Oceania Nautica: Cruise Notes

Written by Harold McNeill on November 20th, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


 

McNeill's and Dunn's

Lynn, Garth, Esther and Harold share a drink while attending a
production in the Nautica Theatre.

Barcelona to Dubai: Post 2

NOTE:  December 9, 2013.  We are back home safe and sound in Victoria, British Columbia after an awesome 30 days of cruise and land travel.  This post will be updated with about 30-40 new photos of our cruise experience, so be patient as I work to catch up. Also, the stories for other destinations will be written in due course.  It was so great meeting all of you while on the cruise and even while in Dubai (after we left the ship) we ran into a number of others who were in transit.  Happy Travels…..   Harold, Lynn, Garth and Esther….

Claim to Fame

The Nautica’s claim to fame, besides being a very comfortable, passenger oriented cruise ship, was being one of the few cruise ships to be attacked by Somali pirates.  The attacked occurred in late November, 2008 as the ship was transiting the Gulf of Aiden.

As pirates in two skiffs attempted to run down the the ship while firing shots, Captain Jurica Brajcic and his officers immediately began evasive maneuvers and took all other prescribed precautions. After bringing the ship to flank speed, Captain Brajcic began the evasive measures which created a large wake that forced the pirates to slow.  The attack occurred shortly after leaving the Port of Salalah, Oman, the same port from which Captain Philips departed on the ill fated trip of the Maersk Alabama.

We have been advised the Nautica will be taking on armed guards at some point immediately before or after leaving the Suez Canal and that we will be constantly monitored as we continue south and east along designated lanes in our transit to our final destination in Dubai.  I will leave this as the top post for the time being as I am behind in the stories. Open below to link to the most recent photo albums. Additional stories will be written as time permits. (continue to photo links)

Photo Albums on McNeill Life Stories Facebook Page
If you enjoy the photos, take a moment to Like the Page

Links Here to Photos of Barcelona
Link Here to Photos of Rome
Link Here to Photos of Naples
Link Here to Photos of Patmos 
Link Here to Photos of Ephesus
Link Here to Photos of Rhodes
Link Here to Photos of Oceania Nautica
Link Here to Photos of Pafos and Kourion
Link Here to Photos of Jerusalem
Link Here to Photos of Golan Heights and Sea of Galiliee
Link Here to Photos of Haifa
Link Here to photos of Suez Canal Transit
Link Here to the Petra Post
Link Here to Wadi Rum Part 1
Link Here to Wadi Rum Part 2
Link Here to Arabian Nights
Link Here to Ship Building
Link Here to Dubai
Link Here to The Buildings of Dubai

 The Ship and Crew
At 593 feet, the Oceania is roughly the same size as one of the new BC Ferries vessels. The configuration of the Oceania, Nauticaof course, is that of an ocean going vessel with a deep “V” tapered hull. The first night out, after encountering heavy seas mid-way between the mainland of Spain and before entering the Strait of Bonifacio which runs between the Islands of Corsica (on the north) and Sardinia (on the south). We were lucky in that we managed to stave off any signs of seasickness and actually had a fairly good sleep as we tossed and turned.

Oceania, as with many small capacity vessels offers a passenger to staff ratio of about 1.5, so it does not take long to get to know the crew and for certain the crew a number of lumberjacks had joined the vessel. Seating for all meals, except for each of the four ‘special dining’ nights, is at our leisure.

One of the special on board options is a series of one hour lectures by men and women having a special knowledge of the waterways and countries into which we will be traveling over the next three and a half weeks. Having already attended three of these lectures – “The Eternal Mediterranean”, Jordan: “ The ‘Yes, I Can’ People” and “A Short History of the Suez Canal” – demonstrates these presentations will be in the ‘must attend” category.

As for the shore excursions being offered as part of the Oceania package, it is clear and guides have worked everything out in fine details as even when changes must be made due to changing conditions, everything flows out without a hitch.

As we continue our journey, I shall be adding notes to this post along with a series of on board pictures of the crew, passengers and events that take place while on board. All early indications suggest this will be the trip of a lifetime.

Harold

 

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Rick,
    Great to hear from you and trust all is going well. Our family members are all doing well but it must be pretty tough for a lot of people. I had once heard you were going to do some writing but never heard anything further. I would be most interested, but do you think the OB News have archives back to that time. Any link or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Did you keep copies? Regards, Harold

  • Rick Gonder

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Harold
    About 22 years ago I spent several weeks going through the OBPD archives. I wrote several stories that were published in the OB News. Feel free to use if they are of value to what you are doing.
    Keep this up, I’m enjoying it and it brings back memories.

  • Harold McNeill

    April 12, 2020 |

    Hi Susan,

    Glad you had a chance to read. I decided to update these stories by proofreading as there were several grammatical errors in many. Hopefully, many of those glaring errors have been removed.

    Many of the stories carry a considerable amount of social comment regarding the way the criminal justice system is selectively applied. Next up involves a young woman from near Cold Lake, Alberta, who was abducted by an older male from Edmonton. Her story is the story of hundreds of young men and woman who have found themselves alone and without help when being prayed upon unscrupulous predators.

    Cheers, Harold

  • Susan

    April 8, 2020 |

    Great read, Harold!…and really not surprising, sad as that may sound.
    Keep the stories coming, it is fascinating to hear them.
    Love from us out here in the “sticks”, and stay safe from this unknown predator called Covid.

  • Harold McNeill

    February 17, 2020 |

    Update:  Times Colonist, February 16, 2020, articles by Louise Dickson, She got her gun back, then she killed herself,” and,  Mounties decision to return gun to PTSD victim haunts her brother. 

    Summary: I don’t know how many read the above articles, but they contained the tragic details about young woman, Krista Carle’, who took her own life after suffering for years with PTSD. While tragedies such as this play out across Canada every week, the reason this story resonates so profoundly is that the final, tragic, conclusion took place here in Victoria. Continued in the article.

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    February 16, 2020 |

    […] Part I, Police solidarity and the push for amalgamation. Part II, Comparing police cultures and implementing change Part III, The past as a guide to the future Part IV The integration of police services […]

  • Harold McNeill

    February 15, 2020 |

    Testing the comments section after changes made. Updated: February 10, 2020

    Further to the update below (February 1, 2020), I note that since the government announced a “No-Fault” insurance plan for BC, Robert Mulligan is taking a slightly different tack, suggesting that no-fault will only increase the problems by taking away the right of an injured party to sue.

    I’ve copied just one sentence from Mulligan’s longer discussion, “And I think people don’t like the idea that somebody who’s, for example, was drunk and ran into you and you become a quadriplegic is going to be treated exactly the same way you would in terms of getting benefits (go to minute 00:15:26 to see his full comment)

    Statements like this appear to be simple fear-mongering. As was the case in the past, people who commit criminal offences, as well as other forms of negligence while driving, may well lose their insurance coverage and in all likelihood would be sued by ICBC to recover costs of the claim. (Link here to Mulligan’s full conversation on CFAX radio)

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    January 5, 2020 |

    […] 28. The past as a guide to the future (Part III): Over the past 60 years, many activities the police once performed as a natural part of their daily duty, eventually became incompatible with achieving their basic goals. What happened? (August 2019) […]

  • McNeill Life Stories Why I stand with science? - McNeill Life Stories

    November 11, 2019 |

    […] During the Ice Age, the Earth’s average temperature was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it is today. That was enough to keep snow from melting during the summers in northern regions. As snow fell on the snow, glaciers formed. (NASA Earth Observatory) […]

  • McNeill Life Stories How to Game an Election - McNeill Life Stories

    September 18, 2019 |

    […] The Federal Conservatives and Seymour Riding Association complied but one day later those memes will be shared by every third party social media site and by thousands of supporters where the message will be taken as a statements of the fact.  Five years from now those memes will still be circulating. (Link here to background on the SNC Lavalin matter) […]