This weeks Cruise Blog is by our guest blogger Dave Warne. Dave is the Commercial Director for WEXAS, our parent company, and this was his first cruise experience. Join him onboard Orion Expedition Cruises Orion II on his recent trip and discover the amazing ports of call.
Day 3 - Sangatta River
A relatively leisurely day today, with no activities in the morning while we sail on to our afternoon excursion on the Sangatta River.
Meal times are already arriving with frightening regularity and I'm working on a strategy to restrict myself to a fruit-only breakfast to keep the waistline in check. Needless to say I fail dismally and after a full, cooked breakfast we decide to return to the cabin to watch a film from the ship's DVD library.
Our afternoon zodiac trip on the Sangatta River lastsaround 3 hours. No landing this time; we stay on the zodiacs which are surprisingly comfortable, even after 3 hours. The emphasis is on spotting some of the birdlife and wildlife in the area. We see a grey leaf-eating monkey, macaques and various birds.
We have an interesting moment towards the end of the excursion when the outboard engine doesn't start after a change of fuel tanks, leaving us drifting downstream on our own as darkness approached. However, just as we thought we weren't going to see the main attraction of the area - the proboscis monkey - we rewarded with a great sighting.
Some quick thinking from one of the guests resolved the fuel problem and we were soon on our way. At this point it is worth noting that all individual expedition crew members are in constant radio with other zodiacs and the ship itself, so back up was on its way even though we managed to resolve the issue before help was needed.
The evening meal is a more relaxed affair served on the outdoor deck under the stars. The breeze from the movement of the ship makes for a very pleasant evening on what would have otherwise been a sticky tropical evening. The Aussie-style BBQ is timed to coincide with the crossing of the equator. Huge barbecued tiger prawns are the star of the show this evening, amongst a wide choice of fish, chicken and other meats.
A traditional light-hearted initiation ceremony is held to mark the crossing of the equator for the first timers, with Neptune himself even making an appearance. Entertainment then follows in the form of music and dancing on the outdoor deck. By the end of the evening we have met a number of our fellow passengers, with many exchanging stories from past Orion cruises.