Vacation 2005
Thursday
, November 17th, Vacation Day 20
Arrival at and First Day in San Diego

The ship sailed from Ensenada at midnight last night for a three hour cruise. Unlike that infamous three hour tour (of Gilligans Island fame) the ship arrived in the San Diego area safely. The pilot boarded at 3:00 and the ship was at the dock at 4:00 A.M. With this timing there certainly were not very many passengers around to witness it (including me). The early arrival was to allow for refuelling the ship which was going on a lengthy (something like 35 day) South Pacific cruise starting this evening and needed all the time they could get for the refuelling.

Now that the ship has arrived back safely here is the final total of the distance traveled. From dock to dock including all the stops the ship traveled 5,228 Nautical Miles, or 6012.2 Statute miles, or 9671.8 Kilometres.

Here are the last pictures taken on/from the MS Statendam.

Ryndam Arrival Naval Ships 1
The Ryndam, a sister ship of the Statendam arrived while the formalities of disembarkation were being completed. There is a naval base in the harbour. Here are a couple of aircraft carriers docked there. There is a big military presence in this area.
Fuel Barge Skyline  with Moon
This is the whole reason we arrived so early. This is the refuelling barge pumping fuel onto the ship. Another one arrived later with more.
The moon over northern San Diego.
Skyline without Moon Russian Sub
A marina, and beyond that, Lindbergh Field otherwise known as San Diego International Airport. Remember the Russian Sub from 15 days ago. Guess what!!!! It is still here.

The rest of this day entailed getting off the ship and to the hotel I was staying at. The last picture taken from the ship was the Russian sub one above. It was taken at 7:36A.M. As is usual disembarkation was by groups in order of importance determined by who had to be where when. Things like air flights etc are used to determine this sequence. I was in group green 2. I think I was one of the later groups because I did not need to be anywhere at any specific time. The time came, it was around 10:00 and off I went. As you can imagine there are lots of people around, even on a not so big a ship as this one. I needed a taxi to get to the hotel. You had to take a number. The wait was something like 20-30 minutes which was not bad based on other experiences I have had.

Once I had the taxi it seems that I had the right address but not the correct name of the hotel. The correct name was the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley. The driver was somewhat confused about this but he still got be there, in what was probably a more round about way than necessary, but I don not know that for sure. I arrived at the hotel between 10:30 and 11:00 and with a check in time of 3:00 there were no rooms ready yet. I only had to wait about a half hour until they found one (# 515) and I was in.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the shopping areas near the hotel and checking arrangements to get to the airport Saturday morning for the flight back and other trivial things like this. The rest of the day after this was unexciting and so after a slight digression below I will proceed on the tomorrow and the famous San Diego Zoo. Tomorrow there are going to be lots of animal pictures, after all it is a zoo. So, I thought I would summarize here the zoo I have been living with, one almost everyday since the cruise started. If you have been following through this site in order you have probably figured out which zoo I mean. If you have not, then what I have for you below is a summery of all (minus one or two that I forgot to take pictures of) the towel animal menagerie. Here they are, all together in one place for the first (and only) time.

Towel Animal Nov 3rd Towel Animal Nov 4th
November 3rd
November 4th
Towel Animal Nov 5 Towell Anilam Nov 6
November 5th
November 6th
Towel Animal Nov 7th Towel Animal Nov 8th
November 7th
November 8th
Forgot to take the picture!!!
Towel Animal Nov 10th
November 9th
November 10th
Towel Animal Nov 11th Towel Animal Nov 12th
November 11th
November 12th
Towel Animal Nov 13th Towel Animal Nov 15th
November 13th
November 14th
Towel Animal Nov 15th

November 15th

Because of the disembarkation process there was no animal provided on November 16th.

Now I will continue on to tomorrows page with pictures of real animals.

On to the Zoo!!!

Originally created: March 11th, 2006
Last Updated: March 14, 2006