Cruising to New Zealand

I just had the opportunity of a lifetime. My Dad and uncle were on a cruise ship that sailed from Honolulu to Sydney. I got on in Fiji and I just got off in Auckland.

It was strange going from hostel living to luxury boat. I have only been on a cruise ship once before (in Greece), and this boat was even nicer. I spent the days at sea trying not to get lost (somehow I always ended up in the casino), indulging in the ice cream bar, relaxing in the sauna, trying to decide whether to go in the whirlpool or Thalassotherapy pool (tough life, I know!), eating three-course meals with the wrong utensils for each course (oops!), and reading to my heart’s content. I also enjoyed fitness classes, dance classes, and evening shows.

The cruise sailed to the exact point of a full solar eclipse. It was amazing. The whole process lasted about an hour. During the partial phases, the light got weird and it got colder and colder. I watched with my nifty glasses as the moon slowly blotted out the sun. During “totality”, the sun was completely blocked except for a ring. The sky turned dark. It was like at sunset, when you see the first stars, except the sunset was 360 degrees around us. And it was 10:20 a.m. It was so weird, but so beautiful. I am really happy to have had that experience. I didn’t take pictures during the full eclipse, because I wanted to experience it without distraction. And I was terrified my flash would go off!

The ship stopped at Tauranga before heading to Auckland. Dad, Strycek Petr and I visited hot pools on Lake Rotoiti. It was wonderfully relaxing. I now have a specially designated “sulphur” bathing suit that even has its own plastic bag πŸ™‚

I arrived safe and sound in Auckland. The city is lovely, but very windy right now. I am going to be here for a few days to get my bearings, then it’s on to the next adventure!

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Looking incredibly cool during the partial phase of the eclipse
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With Dad and Strycek Petr
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The eclipse formed half-moon shadows through this lady’s hat
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Relaxing in the hot pool on Lake Rotoiti

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