My current location is the Philippine Sea, and if anyone has been watching the news recently you will know that Hurricane Haiyan is currently making landfall in the Philippines passing close to Manila.
Haiyan is a category five super storm, one of the most powerful to have ever been recorded in history.
Up until about five days ago, Amsterdam was sailing right down the track line of this monster, which was then a category two typhoon. Our destination was the tiny island in Micronesia called Yap Island.
Unfortunately, this port of call was cancelled as it was waiting to take a direct hit from Haiyan. We are heading in an easterly direction back across the Pacific Ocean, and when the typhoon made it apparent that it was going to present us with a problem, the Captain decided to divert the ship southwards to take the ship out of harms way.
Yesterday we had our closest point of approach with Haiyan as it passed about one hundred miles to the North of our track line. The Amsterdam is now headed to Papa New Guinea before heading onwards to French Polynesia. This cruise has flown by, and tonight the ship is crossing the equator, and so it will be my first visit to the southern hemisphere.