Second port stop, woo hoo!
Full disclosure: I loved life at sea. I loved seeing a 360 view of the horizon and watching the stunning sky, regardless of whether it was sunset, sunrise, midday, or even the middle of the night! I loved spotting all the flying fish, the birds, and we even saw dolphins a few times. The watch schedule doesn’t bother me too much (I never got much sleep anyways).
Dawn watch can be rough, but you get teatime with your watch mates and that’s the time where I’ve seen the most shooting stars. I’m even one of the lucky few who didn’t get seasick. Still, it’s nice to get wifi again.
Plus, it’s probably a good thing that I get the chance to download some more music and entertainment – I was really starting to burn through my books.
The ship’s library has been a lifesaver, but the fiction section is… lacking to say the least. I read One of Us is Lying and The Devil and the Dark Water, both of which were very good, and am currently reading American Gods, which is also good, if a little dated. But I read the blurbs for some of the remaining options and am a little skeptical.
Enough about that though; you want to hear about Raiatea!
It’s very different from Papeete. Smaller, not quite as geared towards tourists, and with the mountainside much closer. There’s actually supposed to be a hiking trail nearby, and I went with a group to find it yesterday.
It took us awhile to even find the path; which we promptly lost no more than ten minutes in. We tried to push forward for a little bit, but eventually had to admit defeat. Oh well. It wasn’t very good hiking conditions anyways, kinda rainy and muddy (guess who slipped, not once, but twice on the way down? I’m going to have to wait until I get home to a real washer and dryer to get some of those stains out).
Aside from that though, I had a pretty chill day yesterday. Spent some time wandering around the town. Once again tried to get some cash; myself a few others have cards the ATMs won’t take. None of the banks we found did cash exchanges, so no luck there. Lesson learned; get cash squared away before you get to a foreign country. Of course, my destination changed a week before we set sail, so I’ve got a good defense for not doing so, but that doesn’t make things any easier now. It makes buying food a little difficult, hoping they take cards and trying to figure conversion rates for paying friends back, but having the chance to pick my own food again is so nice.
I got a frappe yesterday! A frappe! With whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top! I knew going in that ice cream would be one of things I’d miss, but I underestimated just how good it would be to have it again. Dinner was delicious as well; I went with a few others to a nearby Asian place and got beef with broccoli and rice. I actually ended up eating the whole thing, which was a shock since I can’t usually finish restaurant portions.
Not sure what I’m going to do today. I’m writing this pretty early so I got time to do whatever it is. Probably make some calls (hi Mom, hi Dad, hi Mimi and Gramp and everyone else; I was so surprised to hear how many people I know were reading this!). Might just hang out and enjoy the view.
It’s so pretty here! The sea was gorgeous, but after a few weeks there, land feels new and exciting. This trip has really made me aware of my love of traveling. I knew I liked it before, but not this much. I love seeing all the new things, not staying in one spot for too long. And boats are a much better way to go than airplanes (I am not looking forward to that return flight). I think I’ll want to do more trips like this, not as student. Or even not like this, and explore life on other kinds of boats!
That’s all I have to say I think, and I’m starting to get a little antsy sitting in front of this computer, knowing that the dock is right there. So goodbye for now everyone! Sending lots of love and cheer from the Robert C.
Aster Van Dyke, B Watch, College of the Atlantic