Voyage HS Onore ( February – July 2016)

Voyage HS Onore

Our voyage on board HS Onore started on the 15th of February 2016 in the port of Hong Kong and it took us on two distinct services – China – Philippines and China – Vietnam – during a period of 4 months and a half. The vessel was chartered by CMA CGM for a period of three months, with a first trade covering 10 ports in China (including Hong Kong) and 2 ports in the Philippines.

After this period, the vessel was supposed to enter the ship yard for some long postponed repairs which didn’t happen due to a change of plans as the charterer decided to extend the contract and introduced us with a new service, including only 6 Chinese ports and a new country on my map, Vietnam.

Although I never mind being the only woman on board, I was very happy when another officer’s wife, Ramona – whom I had previously met during my voyage on board HS Bach – joined us in Hong Kong, at the beginning of May. With her, I spent many hours in my favourite place forward, admiring the sea and the sky, I made cakes in the galley – on special occasions or just for no reason at all -, I enjoyed long hours of swimming in the ship swimming pool, in the middle of South China Sea.

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Due to the fact that shipyard was cancelled, lots of certificates had to be renewed while afloat during a 2 month marathon of hard work. This offered me the possibility to witness much more interesting jobs/tests/ trials and drills than I had  seen before in all my voyages put together – underwater survey, load line test for the cranes and gangway, pressure test for the hatch covers, pipes changing, life boat painting and lots more.

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore – underwater survey –

Voyage HS Onore

– gangway load test –

Voyage HS Onore– Changing the anchor brakes –

Voyage HS Onore– Pressure test for the hatch covers –

Voyage HS Onore

With most of the works and tests being done and performed during port stays – in China and the Philippines – our chances to go out visiting the surrounding were quite limited for the first 2 months and a half. After that, long port stays in the Philippines and Vietnam allowed us to enjoy sightseeing, relaxing on the beach and swimming, eating out, shopping and socializing with local friends. Whenever we got the chance of going out, we made the best of our times.

We managed to go out of the port of Manila South – for a few times – and for a few hours at a time. We enjoyed long walks on the waterfront of Manila biggest Mall – during day time and at sunset – we visited Dampa Fish Market – where we had a delicious dinner of seafood of all kind- , we admired the colorful fountains in Luneta Rizal Park together with hundreds of locals.

Dampa Fish Market

Dampa Fish Market

Manila

Manila

But the port of Manila South offered us another joyful experience for which we didn’t even have to leave the vessel. While alongside in the terminal of Manila South we had the chance of meeting some of our fellow seafarers’ families who came on board for a few hours. During these port stays, I spent a lot of time chatting with their wives, playing with their kids and we even got to celebrate a kid’s birthday, eating cake and having fun. Some of the families we met on board invited us to visit them in their home towns and we are looking forward to doing this as soon as possible.

Birthday on board HS Onore

Birthday on board HS Onore

Birthday on board HS Onore

Visitors on board HS Onore (3)

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

The small port of Panabo offered us other kind of thrills – good and bad. Situated in the South of Mindanao Island, almost 40 km away from Davao, Panabo became our most important provider of fresh fruits, fish and seafood and one day of anchorage in the area offered us an amazing afternoon on the beach of Paradise Resort on Samal Island.

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

I had always wanted to go up in a gantry crane and my dream came true in the small port of Panabo. It wasn’t the highest gantry crane of China ports, but it was my first and, maybe, the only chance I will ever have.

Up in the gantry

Up in the gantry

Our plans to explore Panabo were abruptly turned into pieces when we found out that 3 Canadian tourists were kidnapped and brutally murdered by the terrorist group called Abusayaf. This put a stop to our visits to the market and made us feel very sad because things like these are not supposed to happen to innocent people who are travelling the world.

The first part of my voyage offered me the gift of a wonderful friendship which I cherish a lot – in the person of a female passenger, Silvana, who came on board in the port of Hong Kong. Although my time spent with Silvana was very short, we managed to make the best of it, including long hours of chatting outside, listening to music in the Recreation Room and ‘observing’ the surroundings from the height of the bridge.

Voyage HS Onore

After three months of China – Philippines service, our vessel changed route and introduced us to a new country, Vietnam. Here, we were very happy to discover the colorful and vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh, where we went out on two different calls, together with some other officers.

Voyage HS Onore

During my voyage on board HS Onore, I continued the tradition of baking cakes for celebrating birthdays and I got the chance of organizing both Catholic and Orthodox Easter Celebrations and a Baptism Ceremony, as well – for our two cadets who were for the first time at sea.

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Easter celebration

– Catholic Easter Celebration –

Easter celebration

– Catholic Easter Celebration –

Voyage HS Onore

– Orthodox Easter Celebration –

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Life on board was quite amazing as always, offering me lots of joyful moments and the precious opportunity of doing what I love most – enjoying nature, taking photos, reading and meeting interesting people .

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

When our voyage came to an end, we signed off in the port of Hong Kong and we went to the Philippines for an incredible holiday in the small island of Marinduque, where our chief cooked, Rommel, was living.

HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

– In Marinduque, in our friend’s house –

Voyage HS Onore

– In Marinduque, receiving a ‘welcome ceremony’ –

Voyage HS Onore

– Wonderful holiday in Maniwaya, Marinduque –

Voyage HS Onore

– Wonderful holiday in Maniwaya, Marinduque –

I am grateful for another amazing voyage which offered me the chance of discovering new territories and meeting extraordinary people, some of whom became our dearest friends and whom we hope to see again during our future holidays.

 

** Update May 2017

After our holiday in Marinduque in July 2016 – with our friend Rommel, the chief cook from HS Onore – , this year we spent another wonderful holiday in Cebu, where we were nicely taken care by Jobert –  one AB we met during our voyage on HS Onore.

Voyage HS Onore

Voyage HS Onore

One of the most rewarding gifts of travelling is the gift of friendship. Thank you, guys, for inviting us into your homes and for making us feel like we belonged there.

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