In our last update Oceania Sirena was just arriving in New Caledonia. Since then the ship (and Billy's parents) have enjoyed Isle of Pines, New Caledonia as well as Suva, Fiji. We've not talked to them in a couple days but have a few pictures to share. Looking at the colors leaves us selfishly looking forward to their return so we can see some higher quality photos of their journey. One thing you'll note down below are a couple snorkel pics - be sure to read about why they're special. Oh, and there will be a small dose of mind control in this post - you'll see...
Isle of Pines, New Caledonia
The Isle of Pines is an island in the archipelago of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the South Pacific. It's southeast of the main island, Grande Terre, and known for its white sand beaches and tall pine trees. In the northeast, Oro Bay has a natural pool bounded by a coral reef. Kuto Bay is to the south. A large rock, sacred to the locals, sits just offshore in neighboring Kanumera Bay.
Update: A note about the below pictures from Michael, Billy's father, who was in no way, shape, or from bragging:
"...the first two beach pics you included under Isle of Pines are of the beach we chose NOT to spend time at...because, believe it or not, it was not nearly as pretty as the one a couple of hundred yards away."
A personal note from Billy: My mom has never been one to swim with her head under water. She hates it. She is also a quite claustrophobic, making the idea of a mask and snorkel something she'd never been able to even face. She knew however that this was a once in a lifetime experience, bought a full face snorkel like this one, practiced in a pool, and went for it on this trip. Awesome effort.
Billy's father, pictured below, looking a bit like Bob Denver.
Suva is the capital of the South Pacific island nation of Fiji. It's a city of broad avenues, lush parks and grand British colonial buildings, such as the Suva City Library. Suva's colorful, lively Municipal Market offers a range of local fruit and vegetables. Fiji Museum, set within the Victorian-era Thurston Gardens, contains examples of traditional canoes, war clubs and tattooing tools.
Since Billy's folks have been having too much fun to chat in a few days we look forward to finding out exactly where this is and updating the post. Feel free to comment below if you know!
Tiki totems! Not just impressively carved and fun to look at, but really fun to say ten times fast!
This is the entrance to Fiji's Presidential Estate. In case you're wondering, Billy's mother is about 5'7". I'm not about to call the garment that 6'6" armed man is wearing a skirt, no matter how nice he is.
Update: The garment is called a "sulu" and as shown here and explained by Billy's mother, it is worn by most men in Fiji.
Other than the bananas and coconuts, can anyone identify these fruits?
An Explorer of the Seas sighting for RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com
By the way, this is the type of full-face snorkel Billy's mom used. Larissa may give it a whirl in Cuba in a few weeks. Check it out on Amazon, as everyone we talk to, even those who are seasoned snorkelers, seem to fancy them.