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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, part 51

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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage - Holland America Amsterdam, September 19-November 23, 2008

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Fifty-one

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November 17 (Monday, Day 63, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, Continued) -

After lunch Snookums showered and took the WalMart shuttle to get a watch battery while Filbert stayed in the cabin and worked on journal photos. The jewelry woman at WalMart showed Snookums that the battery was good and Filbert's watch was bad so Snookums bought a new $17 Casio watch and took the shuttle back to the ship. She had her laptop with her and immediately went to Aloha Tower Marketplace and sat in the open-air atrium and used the free wifi. She sent Filbert an email and he responded that he was in the coffee shop using wifi so she moved inside. Filbert had to stay online until he heard the end of the SDSU vs. Wisconsin women's basketball game and was very happy when SDSU beat Wisconsin by 20.

We went back to the ship and were soon greeted by a knock on the cabin door. The Neptune concierge was there and handed Filbert a bottle of wine and a notecard. The card said that the wine was for our inconvenience the other day. Filbert was puzzled until Snookums reminded him that our toilet had problems on November 14 and the plumber had to come 4 times, including twice when we were having our dinner party on the verandah. This plumbing problem didn't make much of an impact on us since it didn't even make it into the journal. But, if Holland America wants to apologize and give us a free bottle of wine, we'll take it!

Filbert went to the Holland America 'techspert' since his XD cable wasn't working and he couldn't get his photos from his camera to his PC. The techspert had the necessary devices and Filbert was able to get back to work again.

While Filbert was getting his photos on his PC, Snookums went to the local hula show at 7 PM. Snookums thought the hula show was the best one she had ever seen. It was a group of 6 to 13-year olds and they had to audition to get selected to the troupe. Once selected, they practice every summer day from 8 AM to noon. The woman that started the hula studio in 1975 in her backyard also has 1,000 students in Japan and she was actually in Japan since she goes there every 6 weeks to oversee that school. Her Honolulu school is considered the best on the island and wins many awards. The group had three boys in it and the emcee said that originally hula was only done by men in preparation for battle (Snookums didn't know that) but now females outnumber males about 50 to 1.

November 18 (Tuesday, Day 64, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii) -


More after the jump . . . We woke up at 7 AM when our alarm went off since our goal was to snorkel at Black Rock beach. We looked outside and saw the rain and noted the cool temperature and went back to bed. We woke up again at 11 AM when the cruise director was making an announcement about the tender. We decided we should get off the ship and at least step foot on Maui so we took quick showers and got on the tender around 11:20.

We had several goals prior to catching the last tender at 1:30 and those were: buying an XD memory card reader to solve Filbert's camera cable problem, buying a postcard for Snookums's sister in Wichita, finding brochures on Molokini snorkel trips for our January 13 cruise visit and buying skim milk since the ship hasn't had a reliable source for many, many weeks. We found a Ritz camera store and accomplished the XD and postcard issues and found lots of brochures at activity stands on the way to the camera store. On the way back to the tender, we stopped at an ABC Store to buy skim milk, and put yet another postcard in the mail for Snookums' sister Pam. We were on Maui for about 30 minutes before getting on the tender back to the ship. (We had been here before.)

Lahaina mailbox

We got back on the ship and ate lunch and Snookums decided that it was so nice and warm she put on her swimsuit and enjoyed the sun on the top deck.

Filbert spotted from our veranda a long fish swimming in the clear water next to the ship.

Big long fish

It was great for about 45 minutes and then we started moving and the wind really picked up fast. The sailaway drink stands blew down and various articles of clothing that people had under their chaise lounges were blowing away. Snookums helped gather things up and decided it was way too windy and cool and returned to the cabin.

Filbert notes a belated Halloween story: In the middle of the night, when you get up to go to the bathroom in the dark stateroom, and you see out of the corner of your eye something that's hanging in the air, that looks kinda sorta like a human body, but without head, arms, or legs, it . . . gets your attention.


Scary wetsuit hanging in the cabin

Next: The Crew Show!