Days 8 and 9 at Sea - Crossing the Line

Trip Start Feb 04, 2012
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Trip End Mar 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Diamond Princess Cruise Ship

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Monday, February 13, 2012

February 12 and 13
Our eighth day at sea took us past Melville Island and into the Timor Sea.  In the morning we passed East Timor and later we were offshore from New Guinea and Indonesia and able to view the land mass.  Later in the day we cruised through the Banda Sea, passing the Indonesian island of Damar, and then through the Pulau Islands, a group of islands belonging to Indonesia.  The ninth day, February 13th (Matthew Karl Schmidt’s 33rd birthday), we crossed the equator – precisely at 14:01 (2:01pm).  We were quite unaware of the specific moment, as we felt no bump as we crossed over. :)    In our mailbox that evening we found certificates for each of us from the Cruise Director, officially noting that we had “crossed the line” into the Northern Hemisphere.  There was alot of hoopla about the equator crossing, which is best described in some of the blog photos for this post. 
Our voyage continued through the Molucca Sea, passing the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and then into the Celebes Sea
On the eighth day we had lovely, glassy seas, but on the ninth day, it rained most of the day, with clouds closing in on us at stages and then other times opening so we could see the horizon and the curvature of the earth. 
Geoff Gray did another lecture called “Australians – Who Are They?” and it was very informative about the country of Australia and its inhabitants. The next day he lectured about the partnerships between Australia and the United States.  Now here’s an interesting story:
I went up to speak with him after the last lecture to ask him if he would email me his power point about  Australians.  He had shown pictures of the Embassy of Australia and told about his work in Wash DC (he’s Australian), so I couldn’t resist telling him that our son-in-law is a Commander in the Royal Australian Navy and was posted to the embassy in Wash DC.   I mentioned that AnnaLisa was an attorney working in Wash DC at the time and Murray and Anna were married there.  He asked me Murray’s name, and when I told him, he said he thinks he met him.  Then he said, “Wait!  What year was their wedding?”  I told him 2008 and he said he thought he was at the wedding.  was a backyard wedding, and I said that it was in the backyard of Murray and Anna’s home, and he said he was at that wedding!  What a fun tale, right?  Couldn’t believe it.  So I took a picture of him to send to Murray and Anna!
There have been a number of feature movies playing either on the outdoor jumbo tron or indoors at the Princess Theater.  “The Help” was on yesterday as well as “Tree of Life”, which Taryn and Christoph and we saw together at the Fargo Theater.  In the evenings we have gone to more live theater productions, including another fabulous singing/dance show by the Diamond Princess Singers and Dancers.  They pack the theater for their live and highly professional productions.  We often meander around the ship and have enjoyed various musicians.  One of these times we listened to a fabulous pianist, Mauritzio, who plays lots of fun music we could all sing along to.
We attended a nondenominational worship service in a bar on Sunday morning  (just like Journey in Faith!). A young crew member led it and it was very nice.  We did sing “Nearer My God to Thee”, but I thought was a bit funny, since I will probably always associate that hymn with the sinking of the Titanic.
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