Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 68 At Sea

First let’s talk about the blog and internet connections. After so many appeals from the blog readers to continue the blog I have decided to do so. What I will do differently is put a tight limit on how much internet time I will invest on a daily basis. Gone will be the days when I just pour money down the drain with poor satellite connections and still trying to get a lot of photos online for your viewing pleasure or even trying to fix errors introduced by dropped and erratic connections. I will limit the time to 15 – 20 minutes per port day (less for days at sea). Ultimately, this may mean 5 -10 photos versus the 20 -40 I have been trying to put up. Lately I have had to stay on for 45 minutes to an hour or more to accomplish things that should take 10-15 minutes. That practice will stop. If I get a wireless connection when I go ashore I may add photos after the fact. Hopefully, the ship’s function that is responsible for maintaining satellite connection will get it together and improve the performance. It really is a pity because the bandwidth that is available isn’t too bad (considering we are at sea). I give HAL a lot of credit for increasing the bandwidth. Of course, without a good satellite connection the bandwidth is meaningless. Now, on to other matters…. I was awakened this morning around 0600 by an announcement by the Captain that we had deviated course for a medical emergency and were dropping a guest off in Vietnam around Saigon. We seem to have been having these on a fairly frequent basis. The patient made it safely ashore and is being treated. It now appears that we are in a monsoon…. Rain is everywhere and thundershowers are forecast for tomorrow in Kemaman, Malaysia and Singapore the following day. Not good! I am scheduled for a tour tomorrow on the river and in the mangroves…. During a thunderstorm?? Here is the tour description” River Cruise & Mangrove Walk
Depart for the pier for a riverboat cruise along the Kuantan River. The upstream boat ride is a visual delight. Observe monitor lizards on the river banks and the different species of eagles hovering above during your journey. Quaint fishing jetties and villages border the coastline. Enjoy a tranquil walk into one of the mangrove forests to see the different types of mangrove trees. What appears to be a wasteland plays an important part in the Earth's ecosystem. You may view various species of mangrove plants such as Rhizophora mucronata, excoecaria and xylocarpus, which is processed into high quality charcoal. The Mangrove Reserve Forest, which is spread over an area of 837 acres appears as a lush green carpet along the Kuantan River, and has been in existence for more than 500 years. Before returning to the port, enjoy a photo stop at the State Mosque. I made the most of my day…. An 1 ½ hour massage was just the ticket…. I am so relaxed.


blair4990 said...

Thank you so much. I appreciate your efforts. It is so frustrating to be sitting in the computer center watching a screen do nothing. It does seem like you have had quite a few medical emergencies. Stay safe and thanks again.

Elsie said...

I have been reading your blogs for 2 years. I feel your frustration but having your blog without pictures is better than no blog at all. (BUT ... I do love your pictures!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
I'm so sorry you're having such difficulties with transmission of the blog. I've really appreciated your sharing your adventures with us.
Did you change the film type you were using? Seems like the Vietnam shots were much brighter in color.
Wishing you sunny skies and great adventures.
BVH-Groton, Ct

Jean said...

THANKS Jeff!!!

As I said we LOVE all your photos!!

BUT we know how stressful & costly Holland America is making the internet. This has been an uphill battle for us cruising folks for years ....those of us that have family & friends wanting to follow our journey.
I believe earlier I asked you if they were telling you the best time to use the internet was between 3 AM & 6 AM!!!
Sounds like they have so many laptops on board the server can NOT take the load. We personally in 2007 informed Holland America (Seattle) they can't have 600+ laptops working onboard with only one server. In 2008 we noticed that the internet service got much better on the Amsterdam.

THANKS for continuing,
Jean & Doug

Anonymous said...

Thanks for deciding to continue on with your blog. Can't tell you how much we appreciate all the time, effort, and money you put into keeping up this blog on a daily basis. The photos and blog are fantastic and so interesting. Wishing you continued safe travels and unique adventures.