March 5, 2020, Sailing in the Coral Sea
“Where are we going, I don’t know. Where are I headed I ain’t certain. All that I know is I am on my way.” Allen J Lerner and Fredrick Lowe from “Paint Your Wagon”
The Atlas table in the ship’s library is a popular place today, as is the large globe near the espresso stand. During his noon location and weather announcement the Captain didn’t give us our daily nautical term, instead he dropped the other shoe. We are not going to Sri Lanka because they closed their ports to cruise ships. I heard a rumor about that at breakfast and was able to get on line long enough to check and found it was true. Sri Lanka is turning away all cruise ships. The Health Minister said it was because cruise ships carry old people and old people are more likely to have the COVID-19 virus than younger people. Really? We are more likely to die from it perhaps. Well’ he’s the health minister.
And we are not going to India because they can’t work out the visas. I told you they were fussy about visas. Instead we are going to Broome, Exmouth, Geraldton and Fremantle in Western Australia, then cutting across the Indian Ocean to La Possession, Réunion. That sent ‘em scrambling for the maps. Looking at Réunion on the map some people wondered where we will go from there. We arrive there on April 2 so we could cut north to the Victoria in the Seychelles and resume our normal schedule. But some cruisers think that takes us too far north. One thought we would go from there directly to South Africa. But that would leave too big a gap in the schedule. Someone suggested a betting pool on where we go after Réunion.
In reality by April 2 who knows what will happen with this virus. It may be that we that no one will want a wandering Dutch cruise ship. I joked that once we got to Freemantle, since we know the Aussies and New Zealanders will accept us, we may just keep going around Australia, I always wanted to visit Melbourne, and then go back to New Zealand and home. I really don’t think that’s what will happen but I don’t really care that much. We are at day 61 of the cruise, in three days we will be halfway through. The first half will have gone pretty much as scheduled, a missed port (Falklands) because of weather and a missed call at Palmer Station, Antarctica because of fear of the virus. Two missed ports, pretty par for the cruise. I don’t think this is the last shoe. We’re are dealing with a centipede. The second half will be the “Magical Mystery Tour.” Well, we signed on for an adventure.
(This post is out of sequence. I still have an Auckland and Bay of Island post to put up but I thought I would publish this “Breaking News.”)