Monday, October 1, 2012

Everybody's Gone Surfin...

Aloha Kakou!!

    Well, first of all, an apology for not putting out any fresh blogginess for the last week and some change. Leialoha and I joined the Golden Princess for yet another season of Hawaiin cruises...and if you thought dial up internet was slow back int he 90’s, you have yet to exoerience ship internet...which moves at what might be generously called a “glacial pace”. I’ll get back to how internet works on the ship in a moment...but for a little while, the blog will not be appearing on a “regular” basis...but on a kind of catch as catch can basis. In other words, when I have internet that I don’t have to take out a second mortgage to use...I will post. Sorry about that everyone.

    How important is internet on a cruise those working on one? I would say that after the need to eat and sleep, it is the most important thing. (And by the look of some of these folks out here and how thin they are, maybe it is more important then the former...then again, it just might be that most of the workers out here are about 24 and have the metabolism of a hamster) For many of these workers out here, they are literally thousands of miles from home, and to keep in touch with family and friends is imperative to their mental health. This is a very hard gig, and sometimes, the one thing that can keep people on an even keep is being able to communicate with home. So, on any given port day, you see hundreds of cruise ship workers schlepping their lap tops to the nearest Starbucks or internet cafe to Skype with the Phillipines, Bulgaria, Australia, Ukraine, South Africa or one of the remaining thirty or so different countries that workers here hail from. THE hottest piece of news to share with your fellow cruise ship worker is where to find good cheap, or free internet in a port. Sometimes it’s actually not such a hot idea to in point. When Leialoha and I first started working on ships in 2005, we were on a ship that sailed to St Thomas once a week. We found, just around the corner from the ship a lovely little dive bar, with cheap drinks and free long as you bought something. (Rumrunner with a floater for me please) Anyway, for about a month and some change, along with the trombone player from the orchestra, we were pretty much the only folks in there. But, someone ratted us out, (not me or Leialoha) and before you knew it, the entire bar looked like mission control in Houston with dozens and dozens of Skypers sucking up bandwidth.

   Now, internet ON the ship is another beast crew members, we receive a discounted rate on internet...but not that much. I will try to give you an analogy for the speed of the internet at sea. If what you are used to at home or in the office is what most people use, let’s say it is this:

 Those of us who connect to the WWW on a cruise ship are surfing on something like this:

    Yes, for those of you born in a certain era, I have name dropped the Yugo...don't friend Billy Richmond had one...and it could go from 0-60 in an impressive two days. This is no fault of the cruise company, it is just the way it is when you are using satellite connections, and you have hundreds of people at a time trying to jump on the, in other words...NOT FAST. So, since we will only be in port for 1/3 of our days, I apologize, but the blogs will not be as plentiful. Then again, I guess I should be 1990, when I worked on my first ship, this, is how we all stayed in touch with loved ones and family:

My how things have changed...for the better!

   Anyway, we are five days into the Hawaiian cruise season, and to say it is going well is an understatement. The people have been very receptive, the ukulele,hula and lei classes full and fun, and the cruise staff from top to bottom is great. The seas were VERY smooth going over and if I peek out my window right now, I can begin to make out the Hamakua Coast in the distance. It will be a day of running around and business for us and of course...renting a car. See, we do not own a car, and have not for the last seven and a half years. It can be a bit of a pain, but very least monetarily. So I have become a little bit of an expert on renting cars...long term, short term, budget, name it, I have rented it. Next summer though, that all comes to an end...and I will share with all of you when the time comes, the trials and tribulations of that.

   Okay, to wrap it up, I am going to drop a recipe on you all. I know that we will be having a lot of new readers in the coming months, as already, many people on board have asked about websites for us, and things like that. While we are still working on our website, Elua World will have to do. So as a welcome aboard gift for new readers, here is one of my favorite recipes...Chicken Long Rice...I do a few things differently then the recipe...for instance, I use chicken thigh meat instead...and also have extra broth on hand, as the noodles will suck up the moisture pretty quickly and you will be left with no keep an extra two cartons of chicken stock ready...JIC. Try it, I think you'll love it. Next blog..."Welcome To My World"...where I will show you my unnatural habitat on the ship.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: 8
3 pounds chicken leg quarters
3 (32 ounce) cartons low-sodium chicken
1 tablespoon Hawaiian sea salt
1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger root,
1 large Maui sweet onion, cubed
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked bean
threads (cellophane noodles)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 small head bok choy, chopped
1. Place chicken, chicken broth, salt, and ginger into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 35 minutes. Remove chicken, and strain broth into a new pot. Discard the solids.
2. Fill a bowl with hot tap water. Add the long rice noodles, and let sit for 30 minutes to soften.
3. Stir onion into the broth, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Meanwhile, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and discard. Roughly chop the meat and set aside. Add the noodles, chicken meat, green onion and bok choy; simmer until noodles are tender.
4. After the noodles have sat for 30 minutes, stir in the chicken meat, green onion, and bok choy. Reheat and serve.

Malama Pono,

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