Tag Archives: Cruise

More Stories from Offshore Russia

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some of our initial thoughts about living and working offshore and I am going to share some more fun stories that have happened since then. For starters, while we are out here, we work every single day (no weekends off!); our days start early – we’re usually in the office before 6 AM which means we usually catch the sunrise and we’ve had a few really great Sakhalin sunrises!

Sakhalin Sunrise

Most recently, one of the coolest things about being out in the middle of the ocean is that there are other animals that you wouldn’t normally see that come to check you out – this is our friendly neighborhood sea lion who has been stopping by often since we’ve been here. I didn’t believe he existed for a little while because I hadn’t seen him and then I was able to see him up close when he decided to hang out on the back of the boat for the morning last week. I was unbelievably excited to see him…he even looked up to say hello!

Sea Lion

We end up working a lot of hours (starting before 6 AM and usually finishing around 8 PM). Part of this is due to the fact that there is not much else to do out here, so working seems to be a natural way to kill time. Even still, we’ve been doing our best to make time to stay fit while we’re out here. We usually workout in the morning but joined the group workout on the helideck on one of the really nice nights out here. It was a great place to work out – certainly a unique experience, particularly running around the helideck and lifting weights while the sun was setting…pretty darn cool!

Helideck Workout - Kendricks

Helideck Evening WorkoutOne of the more frustraing aspects out here has been the internet – I never knew this message existed….

No Internet

…until we started seeing it quite often because our internet kept going down. The picture of the T-Rex translates to: ”Welcome back to the Cretaceous Period where the internet did not exist.” It’s funny because we all get really frustrated when our internet doesn’t work (you hear groans around the office and you immediatley know what has happened) – we can’t get to the files we need to work off of, our email doesn’t work, and we can’t Skype or communicate back and forth with family/friends. It feels like it has almost become a basic necessity – all you need is food, water, shelter, and….an internet connection. I am happy to report that we have had a more reliable connection the past couple of days (which is why I’m able to post this today!).

Last story – a couple of days ago, my roommate, Tamara, came running into my office and said, “it’s official – we are on a cruise ship!” I looked at her puzzedly and she pulled out her phone and showed me pictures of our beds where the cleaning staff had folded our towels to look like flowers.

Flower Towel 2

Tamara’s Flower Towel

In case you’re wondering – yes, we brought our own towels with us – the ship doesn’t stock pink colored towels. My back to back (person who is here working while I am on days off), Amy, had advised I bring my own towel and a fleece blanket with me….I’m really glad that I did – it definitley makes things more comfortable and feel a bit more like home which is nice. And…it seems it also gives our cleaning staff artistic inspiration.

My bed with the towel flower

My bed with the towel flower

To say thank you, we left a candy bar for the cleaning people and the next day, we came back to other towel critters. At the end of it all, sometimes it’s the little things that make you smile more than you would ever expect.

Towel Animal

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a little more about our 3.5 weeks offshore – yes, you read that correctly…3.5 weeks…which means only a few more days until we make the long trek home! And then our time off begins…we are really looking forward to it as I’m sure you can imagine.

NYE in Sydney!

As I said before in my last post about Sydney, spending New Years Eve in this amazing city was very high on my bucket list! We booked a cruise ahead of time so we could enjoy the fireworks in one of the best seats in the city. With tickets in hand, we didn’t have to board until 7 PM meaning we had all day to explore a bit more. So, to make our NYE even more amazing, we headed to Bondi Beach to spend the day.

Bondhi Beach 2

The weather was perfect so we enjoyed the day at the beach before heading back into town to get ready for the main event!

Bondhi Beach Collage

We went to Darling Harbor to get on the boat and then took a cruise around Sydney harbor – we got a great view of the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House.

Sydney NYE Harbor Cruise

Harbor Bridge on NYE

Our cruise boat was in the Harbor of Lights parade so all of the ships had lights all over them and we made a big loop around the water before parking right in the front row.

Harbor of Lights Parade

We were one of a few ships allowed to be as close to the bridge & Opera House…we were literally right in the front row.

Front Row Seat - NYE Fireworks

The fireworks were amazing – it’s hard to put into words just how awesome it was. It was absolutely the best firework show we’ve ever seen!

Sydney NYE Fireworks 1

Sydney Fireworks 2

It was the best way to ring in the New Year – 2014 is going to be one to remember! I’m so glad we went and highly recommend everyone putting this on their bucket list!

Halong Bay Cruise: Day 1

3 days and 2 nights in Halong Bay – let the amazing cruise begin! As soon as we got on the boat, they gave us cocktails and served up a beautiful lunch! The food was to die for every day which made me so happy – we love Vietnamese food!

Cruise Food & Drinks

We were in heaven – the scenery around us was just breathtaking!

Halong Bay

In the afternoon, they anchored the boat and took us out sea kayaking to a private beach which was a blast! We felt like we were living in a dream – it was awesome!

Sea Kayaking in Halong Bay

That night, we had a cooking class and they taught us how to make spring rolls! They also gave us some Vietnamese liquor that they had left in a coconut for 1 – 2 months. It was incredible!

Spring Roll Cooking Class

At the very end of the night, we tried our hand at squid fishing. I don’t think any squid were interested in what we were offering so we gave it our best try but unfortunately did not snag any.

Squid Fishing

We were anchored in a quiet little area for the night…this was a neat sight to have from our balcony as our first day ended.

Halong Bay at Night

Halong Bay Cruise: AuCo Cruise Boat

Halong Bay was extremely high on my bucket list and after a great first day in Vietnam, we were picked up at the hotel and our drive to Halong Bay began – I could not have been more excited! We got to the waiting area and were shuttled off to our cruise boat where we would spend 3 days and 2 nights around the beautiful scenery Vietnam has to offer while eating amazing food and also going on fun excursions – I was seriously SO excited! The scenery was breathtaking.

First View of HLB

We could see our cruise boat getting the last round of supplies before we headed on board – these boats are typically called “Junk Boats” – I know that Junk Boat is more of a nickname for these boats, but this was anything but junky…AuCo Cruise Boat

We hopped aboard the shuttle taxi to take us to our boat…obviously we rocked the life jackets (as you may recall, orange is totally my color)…

HLB Shuttle to Cruise Boat

….and boarded the boat – the crew all stood outside and waved to welcome us. They were some of the nicest people I have met and they would go above and beyond to make sure you had a wonderful time.

AuCo Cruise Boat 2

The woman who gave us our key said that we had the most beautiful place on the boat – we figured she said that to everyone, but as we walked down the corridor, we realized…

Walkway to our room

…they had upgraded us to be at the room in the front of the boat! We couldn’t believe it – what a wonderful surprise! The room was really nice!

HLB Cruise Room

I loved the dark wood in the bathroom…so classy! HLB Room Bathroom

View from HLB Cruise Window

And the balcony made for an excellent spot to hang out and enjoy the amazing view. You can tell how pumped we are from our giant smiles – yeah, those were hard to shake off the entire cruise!

HLB Chilling on the Balcony

We decided on the AuCo Cruise and couldn’t have been happier – it was absolutely amazing! I’ll be sharing more about what we did in Vietnam, so stay tuned for stories about sea kayaking, fishing villages, caves, and more!

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For the record, these opinions are all my own – we fully adored this cruise! 

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