From Bora Bora across the International Date Line to Fiji and Australia

From Papeete on Tahiti, we first sailed overnight to Bora Bora. The lagoon invited both guests and crew to go on extensive snorkeling excursions. In the evening, we left the Society Islands and headed for the Cook Islands.

The next morning we were already there and water sports were also on the agenda in Aitutaki within the atoll.

It was time to say goodbye again around 5 p.m. and we made our way to Palmerston, the atoll that was to be our last stop in the Cook Islands. My nurse and I were called to the island because medical help was needed and there is no doctor stationed on the island. We took the zodiac boat to the atoll. First, however, we were to take part in a folkloristic event for the tourists before the island nurse took us to the patients. After first aid, we decided to take them to the ship for further examination and to give them the best possible care. I then arranged for everyone to be admitted to hospital for the next possible appointment, which could only take place by ship the following week. That’s the way it is in a remote island paradise. You should be healthy! Medical help is usually a long way away, both in terms of distance and the time until the next possible transport.

The next stop was Alofi on the island state of Niue. There I was able to take a three-hour walk across the island.

During the subsequent trip, a whole day was “stolen” from us on April 6 due to crossing the International Date Line to the west and we found ourselves in Tonga on April 8 – but without noticing anything in terms of jet lag.

An interesting day unfolded on April 9 when we arrived on the Fiji Islands. The obligatory kava ceremony took place there, where a local advocate asked the island’s council of elders for permission to enter the island on our behalf. The captain, ship’s doctor and hotel manager of the ship were officially invited as applicants. After formal negotiations and consultations, we were granted permission by the highest dignitary and celebrated with a shared sip from the kava bowl. Kava is the national drink in Fiji. After harvesting, the roots are dried in the sun and crushed. During a kava ceremony, people sit cross-legged in a large circle around the kava bowl. Three people sit right next to the bowl, one of whom hands out the kava bowls.

On April 11, the cruise ended in Lautoka, the third largest city in Fiji, and there was another big change of crew and guests.

On April 14, we arrived on Tanna Island in the island state of Vanuatu. There I was able to go on a safari of several hours to an active volcano.

We continued on to Norfolk Island, Australia’s first outpost, where we were greeted by glorious weather.

We arrived in Sydney on April 18. There we spent the whole day dealing with the Australian biosecurity inspection. The health authorities there are very strict and meticulous for good reason, because they want to contain the introduction of invasive species, vermin and germs as much as possible. However, we were able to enjoy the city in the evening and the next day.

The following day, we drove to another pier to change guests. There was also another opportunity to go ashore.

My next cruise took us north from New South Wales to Queensland. This assignment ended for me in Cairns on April 30 and my return flight took me back to the Azores via Tokyo and Lisbon. A chapter full of experiences has come to an end.

My insta journey so far...

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Don’t Stop Here

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The South Seas are calling

After the Caribbean trip, I spent just 10 days at home sorting everything out and preparing for the next, longer planned trip, but not without