Feb 7 – Waitangi
Yesterday’s celebration of Waitangi Day is the result of the Treaty of Waitangi signed in 1840 between the Maori and the British at the end of the Maori War. Its name comes from the area called Waitangi in the northern reaches of New Zealand. The ceremonial grounds are still preserved here as are other relics from that era; some are now reproductions, the town, the spirit of the Treaty lives on.
The Amsterdam anchored off the coast because there is no deep water dock here. We were not alone as the Celebrity Solstice was also parked just out of town, too. MA felt no burning desire to tender into town, so D went alone. The town as it presented itself from the tender dock was a collection of shops and assorted food venues. Tourism is the primary industry here although not cruise ships. According to one local merchant, they were anticipating roughly 30 ships this season but anticipate 80 next year. Our 3500+ passengers made a definite impact on the economy despite leaving at 4 pm.
D’s adventure was short-lived. He went looking for baby presents for 2 of the dining stewards, our old friend Mukti and our primary waiter at dinner, Kadek. Both of their wives are expecting to have their babies within the next week, and we thought it would be a nice gesture if we found something for them. D was able to find t-shirts in the newborn size, one each in pink and blue; Mukti is expecting a girl and Kadek, a boy. We will wait until we get the good news to give them the presents. Luckily for them, they will get to see their wives and their babies when we get to Bali and Jakarta in about 3 weeks.
There was an elaborate sail-away party by the Lido pool after lunch. Most of the passengers were back on board before it started and everyone had to be back by 3:30. The party, which did not end until 4:30, included lots of snacks [from cheese cubes to lamb chops] and free wine, beer and sodas. We had eaten a late lunch by the pool and just stayed for the party. By the time Arthur and Linda found us, there were almost no seats left, so we were all grateful that we had arrived early.
All in all, a very quiet day, not unlike the 2 sea days we have ahead of us as we sail to Sydney, Australia.
TOMORROW – Another quiet day at sea