2008 Spirit of the West Cruise Diary and Photos

That's right - we're off to Hawaii.   First of all a big thank you to Billie and Hugh McLennan, for hosting the Annual Spirit of the West Cruise!!! www.hugh-mclennan.com We've never really thought about a cruise before, but because the folks on board with us will be fellow ranchers, or at least western type people, we are REALLY looking forward to it. Throw in a tour of the biggest ranch in the world and now we are REALLY REALLY looking forward to it!! The fun, the sun, the relaxation ... that's all just a bonus.

Then a big thank you to Judy and Harry who will be dog sitting, wood fire keeping, cow & horse feeding, and bull baby sitting (or dodging). Because of them we are able to leave home on January 10th. Thank you!!

We'll try to keep this page up to date, including photos, but it depends on when we will have Internet access and how many Piņa Coladas we've had before we get it. Below you'll find a basic itinerary of our trip, a map of where we're going, and some info on the ship itself. Go to the Itinerary

We'll start our diary here as soon as possible after we leave. There is also a diary on Billie and Hugh's web site at www.hugh-mclennan.com if you want to see other photos. These photos will all enlarge if you click on them.

 

Jan 10th left home

 

We've left home, the snow, the cold, etc, Thursday morning January 10th. We have a five hour drive ahead of us and we'll have the rest of the day in Vancouver (can't win them all) but wanted to be there a day early - in case. It will also give us a chance to visit with Bruce, Wendy, and Sarah - in fact the plan is to go for Sushi with them tonight. We'll spend the night in the Best Western Richmond and get to sleep in - and we'll have a TV with reception!

 
 

Jan 12th Honolulu

 

The Mariott, where we stayed on the night of the 11th - a long walk to the beach :-) Lots of surfers out - both directions as far as we could see. A great view to wake up to in the morning. We got to the hotel about 10:30pm Hawaii time (2 hours behind BC time).

 

Jan 12th Honolulu

 
 

Jan 12th Honolulu

 

Right outside the Zoo was a Banyan tree which looked like it had its root on the wrong side of the dirt. Lots of beach walking, and taking in the local sights, like this tree. There were kids jumping off a concrete breakwater - probably 30 feet down into about 2 feet of water - they waited for a roller to come in first and jumped on the top of the wave!

 

Jan 12th Honolulu

 

Jan 12th Honolulu

Jan 13th Hilo

Jan 13th Hilo

Jan 13th Hilo

Jan 13th at Sea

Jan 13th at Sea

January 13th. Mark and Hugh up-loading the Spirit of the West radio show to the Internet for the stations. We docked in Hilo at 8:00am. Here is a photo of the Pride of Aloha at the dock. Not that we're complaining by any means, but Billie and Hugh have a nicer deck than we do! Here's a photo of happy hour on their deck. Kathy is standing on our deck just prior to going for dinner. The last photo is of (clockwise) Kathy, Doug, Lyn, Hugh, Billie and Mark.

Jan 14th at Sea

Jan 14th at Sea

Jan 14th at Sea

Jan 14th at Sea

Jan 14th at Sea

January 14th evening. Anyone recognize the couple in the first photo? Probably not ... been a long time since a skirt and/or a jacket have been worn! We didn't have to wear them but figured if we didn't we may never have the opportunity again (once we're off the ship that is). Hugh and a half a dozen other musicians entertained about 200 people last night on the stage by the pool. It was a sing along that neither Kathy or I sang along to (we didn't want to clear the pool deck).

A message for home - Judy and Harry, hope all is ok and that you're having fun there - we sure are here!! :-) Ain't thought about home until I started typing this! We'll let you know if we decide to sell the place and stay here! Can you please pass a message on to Dimps at some point - that Quentin Stevick says to say hi. It is a small world.

January 15th. Room service brought up the coffee and we're enjoying it on our private deck ... could get used to this!! Kathy's going through the list of excursions for Maui as we have to book ahead a few days. Mark works on the computer (this web site and Hugh's) while Kathy and Billie are out at a wine tasting. We'll get to Fanning Island first thing tomorrow morning and are looking forward to a day on the beach - we need some rest ...:-) They are having a BBQ there for us, too.

Jan 15th at Sea

Jan 16th Fanning Island

Fanning Island

Fanning Island

Fanning Island

January 15th.Kathy does her homework - a last review for Thursday's seminar

January 16th. The next photo is taken from the tender to Fanning Island - note the Pride of Aloha in the background. Once on the Island we found local craft tables on the sides of the walking path - in the third photo Kathy checks out some of the hand made local jewelry. At the end of the walking path we found heaven - a white coral sand beach and LOTS of sun!! Heading back to the tender we took this photo of our ship.

Fanning Island

Fanning Island

Fanning Island

Fanning Island

Jan 17th seminar

January 16th cont'd. 2000 people hit the beach. This is now the village side of the Island - a little deeper water and better to swim (the other side we could wade forever and only get to our knees). Can you imagine us in this crowd? The second photo is of some of the local kids heading to a stage where they performed a dance. Next we hit the post office - yes they say you can actually mail a letter from here and have Fanning Island as the post mark. We had our passports stamped by the local officials. Like I said the swimming was great but here we unknowingly washed off all of our sunscreen ... didn't really notice anything for about 4 hours - then things started getting a little stingy! Oouch!

January 17th - seminar Kathy's dreaded day arrived ... 9:00am and she started her power point presentation which went off without a hitch - she did a super job and had tons of compliments and tons of interest and questions. Thanks to Rob O and all his preliminary panel for all the feed back that helped make the seminar what it was!

We are indeed having a super time! Harry and Judy - have you ever had any thoughts on buying a ranch? This lifestyle is pretty hard to take but I guess someone has to do it.

January 16th

January 18th, at sea

at sea

at sea

at sea

January 18th. Many thanks to Beth and Wendy for providing my wardrobe - all the clothes that I would never have had otherwise! The photos show from beach to sunburn to coffee in bed and a couple of evenings out dining on the ship.

Don't forget to check out the photos on Hugh's web site at: www.hugh-mclennan.com - Hugh has already decided that Kathy will be Miss January on the planned Spirit of the West calender!

January 18th

January 19th, Maui

Maui

Maui

Maui

January 18th. Photo one - another of Kathy in a dress!!

January 19th. Photo two - On the dock and looking under the bow of the Pride of Aloha at the hills of Maui!! The next photo is of one of the many kiosks on the docks in Lahaina, Maui. Here Kathy gets our boarding passes for the Atlantis Submarine. Photo four is of a reconstructed section of a coral wall from an 1832 fort. Right after this photo we boarded our sea taxi to the sub. The guide was just saying that there were whales in the bay but they didn't see them very often ... he then added "like that one". So we got a bonus on our submarine tour as we saw two babes and one adult at different times.

Maui

January 19th cont'd. If there is mistakes here we'll blame Jill and Robert as I was typing away and the butler knocked on the door - with two bottles of wine!!! Thanks you two!!

January 19th, Maui

Maui

Maui

Maui

Maui

January 19th cont'd. The next three are of the submarine and the view of the fish and sunken ship from the sub. Sure can appreciate your diving Chevy, after seeing all that neat stuff down there!. The last two photos were taken in Lahaina - the first of a Banyan Tree. This tree shades 2/3 of an acre and is about 1/4 mile around. It was planted in 1873. The second is of a guy and his birds, charging for photos with the birds. They were so tame he put all five on top of two kids when we were there and then I got yelled at for taking a photo so we left.

January 20th, Big Island

Parker Ranch

Parker Ranch

Lava

Kona

January 20th. We took the first photo because we miss the snow so much! Ya right ... hard to believe that there is snow at home right now! The second photo is at the Parker Ranch Pukalani Stables where they fed us lunch. The third photo is for Jill and Judy. Kathy is petting a Catahula Healer (she said "I miss my puppies") that are used by one of the Parker Ranch Paniolos (cowboys). Please note she said she missed her puppies not the snow or cold, or home, or anything like that. The next photo shows one of the old lava flows on the side of the road as we headed back to Kona and the last photo was taken by Kathy a we watched the sun set from Billie and Hugh's balcony in the harbor at Kona.

January 21th, Kauai

Kauai

Kauai

Kauai

Kauai

January 21st. We landed in Kauai at 8:00am and had a relaxing morning - coffee delivered by room service, laying around on our own deck and watching the ship dock. We then headed to the beach with a side tour of the Marriott Hotel Atrium - man what a sight - Jill you wanta see Koi .... In the second photo Kathy and Bille pause at the bridge to check out the waterfall - all right in the centre of the atrium. The next photo is on the beach right in front of the Marriott - a great swim, lots of fun, and unfortunately our last beach. The next two photos are taken at the Luau that night. A great show and a great dinner.

January 21th, Luau

January 22nd, Kauai

Kauai

Kauai

January 21st. In the first photo Mark gets his photo taken with some of the Hula Dancers.

January 22nd. Here we pose in the same spot that Elvis did his wedding scene in Blue Hawaii. Next Mark poses on some rocks on the beach at the site of Gilligans Island. The last photo is of a tug pushing us out - for the last time. Homeward bound ... actually we have yet to cruise around the Na Pali Coast this afternoon and tonight we head for Honolulu. Tomorrow we do a full day tour on Oahu and then at 10:00pm we'll board our plane home.

Jan 22nd, Na Pali Coast

Jan 22nd, last meal

Pearl Harbour

Pearl Harbour

Tiny!

January 22nd. The Na Pali Coast - although cloudy and a little rainy this was a spectacular sight! The photos, as always, don't do justice but it shows the idea anyway. The last meal on the ship (always great food) was with Lynn and Doug and the steak was the best yet - amazing!

January 23rd. Jim and Karen arranged an all day tour of the Big Island and it was really fantastic - some great memories to leave with. The first photo is of the monument that stands over the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbour. The ship is right where it sank and some of it sticks up out of the water. The next photo is of three guys that are survivers of that battle that took place on December 7th, 1941 - they signed a book that we bought. Next is "Tiny", our bus driver and tour guide for the day - he made the tour!! He was hilarious!

Jan 22nd, Na Pali Coast

Jan 22nd, last meal

Victoria

Victoria

Home sweet home!

January 23rd. Next we went to the Dole Plantation where we took a very educational train ride around the place and had lunch - Billie and Hugh stand at the entrance to the building in the first photo and sit in the train in the next.

January 24th. After a night on the plane and a ride on the ferry we arrived in Victoria about 11:00am. It was a great visit with friends and family. The first photo is Mark's sister, Jill, his Mum, and Jill's husband Robert. Next is at Rob and Geraldine's with her parents, Jill, Robert, and friends Dale and Sital, with a friend of theirs. The last photo shows what we came home to - click to enlarge and then read the temperature - note the wind chill temperature! Home sweet home!!

Judy and Harry - thank you sooooo much - if you hadn't stayed here we wouldn't have been able to go. Everything at home looks perfect - couldn't even tell that you had been here! Thanks, thanks, thanks!!

Our Itinerary!         Top of Page

  • January 10th - drive to Vancouver. Take Bruce, Wendy, and Sarah out for Sushi. Overnight at the Best Western Richmond.
  • January 11th - Fly to Honolulu. Overnight at the Waikiki Mariott - you gotta check out this hotel - we're thinking that if they knew us they might not let us in the door but I'm sure the travel agent or our hosts have arranged that the back door be left ajar so we can sneak in. Have a look here -www.marriottwaikiki.com
  • January 12th - Board the Pride of Aloha at 1:00 pm. Find our stalls, and locate the feed bunks, etc. Cocktail party 7:00 pm and we sail at 8:00 pm.
  • January 13th - Arrive at Hilo 8:00 am. Spend the day and depart at 6:00pm.
  • January 14th & 15th - At sea. Both days start out with conference presentations by guest speakers. Topics include animal health, agribusiness, and stock handling equipment. Group Photo - keep your eyes open for it! Evening sing-a-longs under the stars on the pool deck, poolside.
  • January 16th - Arrive at Fanning Island 8:00 am. Today is beach day! Depart 4:00 pm.
  • January 17th - At sea. Another conference morning begins at 8:00 am - this time with Kathy as the guest speaker. She will do a presentation on the CAIS Program (Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization Program).
  • January 18th - At sea. A day to laze around the boat with another poolside sing-along in the evening.
  • January 19th - Arrive at Kahului (Maui) 8:00 am. Another beach day! This could get to be a habit! Depart 9:30 pm.
  • January 20th - Arrive Kona 8:00 am. Today we get the tour we've been looking forward to - a private tour of the Parker Ranch, the biggest ranch in the world, includes a BBQ.
  • January 21st - Arrive Nawiliwili (Kauai) 8:00 am, overnight.
  • January 22nd - Depart Nawiliwili 1:00 pm. Cruise the Napali Coast.
  • January 23rd - Arrive Honolulu 7:00 am and disembark ship. Tour Honolulu for the day.
  • January 23rd 10:00 pm - Hard to believe its over already and we have to head back to the snow.
  • January 24th - Arrive Vancouver 6:00 am - or some rediculous time day and return home.

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    Here's a route map - click to enlarge.

    Route Map

    We'll be sailing on the Pride of Aloha - here's what she looks like on the outside.

    Pride of Aloha
    To see more about the ship go to the Pride of Aloha page on the Norwegian Cruise Lines web site.

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