A Travellerspoint blog

Destination Fremantle - Sea Day One

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The sun rose this morning to a sky with scattered clouds somewhat less dense than those recently encountered. The event was less than spectacular but kept me entertained for almost an hour as I tried to capture the best possible images. After that we entered into the regular Sea Day routine with Jenny heading for the nightclub after breakfast and I prepared for a series of lectures.

The first lecture was by Lyndon Jolley on our next destination - Fremantle and Perth, outlining a number of places of interest and the best means of getting around.

There was then an extended break as the Crossing the Equator Ceremony was enacted on Deck 15. Many hundreds of passengers occupied the various vantage points to see a selection of volunteers alow themselves to be subjected to unpleasant applications of raw eggs, sticky pasta, sauces and other harmless and colourful substances. The weather was kind but the even missed any authenticity being two sailing days late.

From there I spent an hour in the Theatre listening to Tiffanie, the future cruise consultant, temp me with an overview of 23 cruises available from Australian and nearby Asian ports between now and May 2018. A quick dash to the International Cafe for a Steak Pie before returning for a session with Evon Anderson addressing the history of the Kimberly region through to the current mineral boom.

I decided to skip Peter's talk on the topic of modern optical telescopes and associated technologies, instead made a trip to the Horizon Court for a dish of fruit and some long drinks of iced lemonade. Back in the cabin to review today's images when there was a PA announcement requesting blood donors for a critically ill patient in the medical centre. A further announcement some 10 minutes later advised that sufficient volunteers had registered. In all the cruises we've done we've not previously encountered such requests and this is the second for this cruise.

Jen and I both had a beautifully cooked steak for dinner and then to the Theatre for an outstanding performance by an Australian Tenor Trio "La Forza".

Another sea day and a formal night tomorrow but not much else to look forward to. Might have to examine the insides of the eyelids while pretending to read the Kindle.

A collage of images from the Crossing the Equator Ceremony forms the feature image for today you can view my photo by following this link to the image.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 05:36 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Brief Visit to Benoa on Bali

Friday, 4 November 2016


View 2016-09 Southampton to Sydney on greynomadm's travel map.

Our ship arrived close to the island of Bali as the sun rose. As the light developed there was the startling sight of a swarm of outrigger boats either side of the ship. Some had hoisted their sail while others bobbed up and down in the swell. The sun was well up by the time we reached our anchorage and tenders were launched to commence the task of ferrying around 3000 passengers ashore. The operation commenced around 09:15 and some time after that we made our way to the dinning room to be allocated a tender ticket, ours were 2196 and 2197 and the room was packed.

There was little indication that anything was happening. Obviously the first wave of tenders had left for the pier and we had to wait for them to return. Counting the time taken to load the tender, time to sail to the pier, unload at the pier and return to the ship I estimate it was taking the best part of an hour. The assistance of local craft helped the situation but with their greater capacity the loading and unloading time was much longer. We were finally called to board the tender at about 11:45 and we were finally aboard the local craft at 12:15. The air-conditioned accommodation was much appreciated and made the lengthy trip to the pier quite tolerable.

We were finally ashore at about 12:50 by which time any slight cloud cover had burned off and we were at the mercy of the mid-day sun. There was a small terminal building and a troupe of dancers to welcome us. The terminal had basic facilities such as money exchange, toilets and a local clothing stall. Outside the security area there were more stalls selling the usual range of carved goods, local clothing and other trinkets. We spent and hour wandering around and managed to buy two shirts for Tony for US$20. Although Jenny did her best she was unable to find any of appropriate size, colour or style. Most were too big for her, not a problem I have.

Back to the pier and as luck would have it we were directed to the same local craft from earlier in the day. The air-conditioning was even more welcome than it was earlier. We returned to the ship with not much more than a handful aboard. We were back on the ship just before 14:00 and we grabbed a quick lunch at the buffet. Just for the record, Jenny's key-card failed again and she now has her fourth or fifth replacement.

The day seems to have evaporated as we were lined up for dinner without having time for only a short TV show. After dinner we spent time watching the delayed return of the tenders, The last tender was due to depart Benoa at 17:00 but at 19:30 there were still four of them bobbing on the swell waiting to unload the last passengers and the shore party. We were in the Theatre by the time the ship recovered her anchor and headed off to Fremantle.

Tonight's show featured Brett Thomas billed as a comedy variety artist. His singing was better than his jokes but we had to endure the one to enjoy the other. Now three sea day to Fremantle.

There are lots of memorable shots but the welcome at Benoa forms the feature image for today you can view my photo by following this link to the image.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 06:52 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Sea Day Before Bali

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The weather is variable with light rain, some sunny intervals and generally a continuation of the last few days. We continue to sail on calm sea and averaging 20 knots as we make for Bali.

The highlight of this morning's lectures was Evon's coverage of the life and career of Sir John Monash authoritatively considered the most brilliant commander in the war on the Western Front. She credits him with developing the tactic that was later used by the German Blitzkrieg.

Lunch with Jenny and nothing of consequence to fill the afternoon. Spent some hours catching up with the real world by watching the BBC World News on the stateroom TV. There isn't much in the way of 'good' news. Trump and Clinton compete with the Battle for Mosul for air time.

After dinner we attended a show in the Explorer Lounge. The act was titled "2 Minds Combined" and comprised a couple with some clever magic routines. The best feature of their act was their ability to react and carry on when the lights were unexpectedly interrupted repeatedly. A nice little show despite the technical difficulties.

Received our 'Certificates' in recognition of the crossing of the equator yesterday. The names and date have been left blank, another example of maladministration !! We have a number of these already and it is largely meaningless to us, but to those who crossed for the first time it will be a disappointment.

We have a tendered port in Bali tomorrow, we will be anchored well off shore and the trip in the tender is expected to be about 45 minutes each way.

Waited long enough for the sun to rise above the clouds and this late showing forms the feature image for today you can view my photo by following this link to the image.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 05:24 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Crossing the Equator - Sea Day Two

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Emerald Princess continues to sail at about 20 knots on a South South Easterly course into the South China Sea on our way to the port of Benoa on the island of Bali.

Event of note was the wash-out of the Equator Crossing Ceremony due to a torrential rain storm just as the setup was to commence. There was over two inches of water across the open decks. The rain stopped just as the cancellation was announced. Funny thing was the substantial crowd who didn't get the message and stood around at the appointed time. Even when a second announcement was made and there were no signs that the event would take place they lingered along the vantage points.

My activities include a forlorn attempt to capture a sunrise, a lecture on the formation of our planet and the evolution of life, and Evon's talk on the disastrous offensive of Gallipoli.

Throw in a breakfast and lunch and that's my day. Jenny continues to enjoy the activities and company of the ladies in the Knitting Group.

The highlight of the day is dinner. Havier, our waiter and Chris his assistant treat us as friends and we have a relaxed relationship. We talk about our day and they share bits about theirs. By being at the door when it opens we have their undivided attention until the rest of the crowd builds up.

Tonight's entertainment is an all new show by Jon Darsk. I made sure Jenny came too and I was surprised and delighted that the show truly was "all new". He pounded that keyboard and with the backing of the Emerald Show-band put on a performance that deserved the standing ovation.

We have another sea day tomorrow before we reach Bali on Friday.

With a failure of the sunrise I focused on the texture of the clouds again this morning and forms the feature image for today you can view my photo by following this link to the image.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 06:22 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Sailing Toward Bali - Sea Day One

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Frequent rain and thunder storms overnight broke the monotony of the grey overcast that has been the norm. Woke this morning to scattered clouds and some squalls on the horizon. Easily adopted the Sea Day routine. Breakfast together, Jenny off to the Knitters and some lectures for me.

09:30 Destination Benoa, Bali with Lyndon Jolly
10:30 The Planet Saturn with Peter Anderson
11:45 Lunch with Jenny
13:00 The First ANZAC Convoy with Evon Anderson
14:15 Commence sorting this morning's captures and think of things to write in this journal.

The excitement of the Melbourne Cup passed me without notice. In the absence of all the lead-up hype and having no knowledge of what horses are running it was of even less interest to me than normal. The ship arranged the live coverage shown on the Big Screen, in Club Fusion and on the stateroom TV.

There was an unusual announcement during dinner. The Medical Centre had a critical patient in need of a blood transfusion. Potential donors needed to have a current donor's card and be a specific blood group. Not more than 10 minutes later there was another announcement thanking the responders and there were now more volunteers than required.

Tonight's entertainment was provided by a little blond by the name of Chantelle Delaney, what a powerful voice !! Nice pair of legs too.

Clocks go forward an hour overnight and another sea day tomorrow and we cross the equator.

I was impressed by the texture of the clouds this morning and forms the feature image for today you can view my photo by following this link to the image.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 07:15 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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