TNS460 02/06/2016

Today (Thursday 2nd June) is our last afternoon watch and therefore our last
blog of this voyage. We also have only one full day of sailing after this,
so we are making the most of these superb sailing conditions. An almost
cloudless sky, a pleasant breeze, in a 28 degree temperature,
And a steady 4.5 knots taking us slowly towards our final port in Fiji.
We have covered just over 2,600 miles with less than 200 to go to the port
of Suva.
Last night was just about perfect for stargazing, with a lovely clear view
of the Milky Way.  We identified at least two satellites, shooting stars in
abundance, and Mars shining a bright red/orange.
We had our watch dinner on Samoa at Sails restaurant out on a promontory,
with a lovely sea breeze. Some of us had been there on the previous evening
when there was a ‘Fia Fia’ night with traditional Samoan and Fire Dancing.
Inevitably the voyage crew extroverts took up the challenge to do a very
exacting battle dance and then the ladies joined in to do some more fluid
(twerking?) steps.
We all agreed that Samoa was definitely one of our favourite stops.  It was
just so vibrant and friendly.  We all loved our visit to the home of the
writer ,Robert Louis Stevenson, who was beloved by the Samoan people. The
beautiful colonial style house was surrounded by acres of landscaped garden
which were a riot of colour. What a peaceful and cool spot to live and die,
above the hustle and bustle of Apia. A few intrepid crew made it to the top
of Mt Vaeila, to see the Stevenson’s graves , but it was a hot, steep, muddy
climb which defeated most of us. We all went ashore in Samoa to explore, and
we all returned with an amazing array of different experiences.
Some went off to the cathedral to catch the 6am service and experience the
wonderful singing and atmosphere, while others went on island tours, some
enjoyed the beach and the more intrepid went to some ‘Sliding Rocks’ to
catapult themselves down a steep rock into the deliciously cool water of a
natural pool. All arrived back safe and sound with lots of photos and video
clips to share. This was certainly another memorable stop in what has been
our South Pacific Odyssey.
Back at sea again, we returned to our watery, Microcosmic world, where even
a solitary bird landing on the lower topsail yard, was a cause for
excitement. He happily spent about an hour preening himself while we all
debated what kind of bird he or she was.
Below deck, the arrival of some Heineken Beer has been the source of great
jubilation for all beer drinkers.  The existing stock of ‘Desperado’ which
came on board in Tahiti,
Is now likely to be consigned to the deep.
The gin drinkers will be equally happy when Gordons comes aboard.
Our watch is currently heading the table after winning both the quiz and the
‘nautical animal game’.  However we didn’t do well in the pin rail chase,
but we can conveniently blame that defeat on our forward port colleagues who
joined us. When the clocks change tonight to Fiji time, there will be
another quiz which we have every hope of winning. Keep your eye on
tomorrow’s blog to see if our confidence is justified!

This voyage is sadly soon to end so farewell from Aft Port watch
Georgina, Brian, Steve, Jules, Jim, Rowena, Helene, David, Kay and Sam.