To South-East Asia

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Happy as can be.
 In the last part I talked about we leaving the Mediterranean, and sailed in convoy through the Suez Canal, into the Red Sea, with a stop in Safaga, and later on Djibouti which was a shocker to experience. Then we sailed through the Gulf of Aden, which a few years later would be an infamous place to pass through due to all the Piracy activity. Or, to skip the ridiculously romanticised word and call them for what they are – armed robbers.

The Indian Ocean was ahead of us, and we passed Somalia and ended up in Mombasa in Kenya as a turnaround port, or Embarkation day, where we changed Pax again. Although several of the pax are often “in transit”, which means they stay onboard for one more cruise at least. With our next stop in the famous port of Zanzibar, know for a bloody history as a safe haven for Pirates and Slave traders, which belongs to Tanzania now. Walking around a few hours here really made feel far away from home.


Ganway duty together with one of the Deck hands.

When we left Zanzibar, we headed south towards the big island of Madagascar on the East coast of Africa. This is where I for the first time in my life experience high humidity. I remember how I could hardly believe the air could be this humid and we were sweating all the time, changing uniform shirts several time per day. After a day’s stay we sailed towards the island groups of Seychelles and The Maldives. And these island groups are far from each other in the Indian ocean, which gave us a couple of “sea days” between each stop. 

And we stayed 2 days at each place, which gave us Crew members plenty time to also be a little bit tourists and to experience these exotic island paradises, which they really are.
Absolutely gorgeous places.

 

Some of the Deck hands.

Then we continued this long cruise, which would later on end in Singapore, towards Colombo in Sri Lanka.
A place we also had a so called “overnight” which meant we stayed 2 days, and most of us were able to again be little bit tourists and go ashore to buy souvenirs, and maybe send off postcards.
Remember, this is before selfies and posting pictures instantly online. 
And once again I had a new experience, which again reminded me I am not in safe Norway anymore. Because shortly after we had left the city, a suicide bomber attacked the banking area of the city. And this area was only a few blocks away from where we had had lunch a few hours earlier. it kind of gives you a wake up call.



Tourist…in need of some sun on my legs.



Next morning off we went, and next port of calls would be Pinang (Penang island), Malaysia, before we transited through the later infamous Strait of Malacca, which also is a area of concern with Piracy activity.
Then we sailed through the Singapore strait, before finally ending up in what would be a regular turnaround (Embarkation) port the next couple of months, Singapore.

Absolutely incredible what I already had been able to see and experience, only for the last 6 weeks. It already kind of felt I had been away for half a year, because my head was filled with impressions I hardly had been able to process yet. And just the fact that I had ended up on a cruise ship which was about to reposition to another region was an amazing luck, since we would not repeat the places we passed for a long time.



Who is this guy?

 

 
Next…..Turnaround port.

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