Sabins on the Sea - Day 23 - Sea Day #12

by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog


Today is our last sea day before we arrive at Apia, Upulo, Somoa Islands. We are excited to start experiencing the French Polynesian Islands.


We thought today we would write more about our cruise ship - the Zuiderdam.

Our ship was flying the ship origin flag - the Netherlands, the Hawaii state flag and a yellow one. Never seeing a yellow one, John had to research…


Yellow is ‘Q’ (Quebec) meaning Pratique - the flag that indicates to local authorities (on assurance from the captain) that it is free from contagious disease.


Here is a list of signal flags:

Will be watching for the combinations at our next port.


Another neat thing on a ship are the horns.


The ship’s horns point back to a day before radios and loudspeakers. They serve as communication with other boats in the area, telling them what the ship is planning to do. 


The most common in open water is short bursts of sounds in low visibility to let other ships in the area know that the cruise ship is there. Which is what John heard at midnight.


Other sounds include:

Inland Waters (Near Port)

One short blast = Changing course to starboard (right)Two short blasts = Changing course to port (left)Three short blasts = Operating in reverseFive short blasts = Danger signalTwo long blasts = Leaving berth


Open International Waters

One short blast = Passing on ship’s port sideTwo short blasts = Passing on ship’s starboard sideThree short blasts = Operating in reverseFive short blasts = Danger signal


Every day we are meeting new people and it has been fun. We find most people are from Canada or California because those are the two ports the cruise initiated in.


However, we have also met people from Washington, Arizona, Alaska, and other places in the US - even some Floridians.

We did pretty much the same sea day routine. Except our earlier activity was a bracelet making instead of the hula practice. We had that with the ukulele players in the afternoon.


Our bridge practice was a little later. Then we had dinner tonight with the people we met yesterday who live in our community in Florida. We then watched the entertainment tonight; which was the male vocal and dance group, Cantare. They are amazing.

On the way back to the cabin John saw a little hitch hiker on the deck tonight, a Magnificent Frigate bird.  We are in the middle of the ocean and we are still seeing birds.


Tomorrow we will be in Apia by 9 am. We will have to wear masks in the port area, but at least it doesn’t look like we are going to have to take a Covid test.


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