A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne Bound - Sea Day One

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A brisk cold breeze greeted me this morning as I wandered the upper decks to find a vantage point for the sunrise. Fortunately the ship's course was not directly in line with the rising sun as the forward superstructure obstructs the view. The forward sections were closed due to the strong wind. From Deck 19 I was able to snap the sunrise on the starboard side.

The usual sea day routine and we did our respective things. After lunch together we met up in the Theatre for a rare afternoon movie. George Clooney and Julia Roberts in "Money Monster". About 5 minutes into the show we both realised we'd seen it before. Decided to stay to the end.

Another lovely meal and back to the cabin for a while before heading to the Theatre for tonight's entertainment. Nathan Foley was described as a 'headliner' in the Patter and we had no idea what to expect. What a blast !! Nathan hit the stage running and didn't slow down for the whole hour. Massive energy, great voice and handy on the piano and guitar as well.

Clocks go forward an hour as we continue to sail Eastward across the Great Australian Bight.

A brightly coloured cloud-bank just on sunrise 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 04:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Visit to Busselton WA

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

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

After a leisurely trip from Fremantle the ship arrived off the town of Busselton which sits on the shore of Geographe Bay in the Margaret River region of Southwest Western Australia. She is anchored about 2 nautical miles off shore and she deployed all six tender boats to ferry passengers ashore. After breakfast we headed down to the dinning room for tender tickets. Our wait there was quite brief and we were directed to the tender which was soon filled to the nominal capacity of 100 passengers and three crew. The trip to shore lasted about 15 minutes and by 08:15 we were ashore.

Busselton was still in the process of waking up but they were expecting us. Lots of friendly local volunteers there to welcome us and provide directions. Through the foreshore park and we were on the Western edge of the town where an Arts and Craft Market was in the process of unpacking their wares. Jenny lasted all of 10 minutes before finding some elegant small bags and the first purchase was made.

Heading East on Queen St we found the first of a number of barber shops and I was encouraged to shed about 10 weeks of growth from head and beard. Looked like quite a clip when we were done and Jenny was happy with the 'new look' me. By this time most of the shops had opened their doors and Jenny spied a craft shop. We agreed that I'd go for a walk and she'd do some shopping without me 'hovering' as she made her selections. I wandered off and found her again after about 30 minutes. I had some photos, she had some wool and patterns - both happy.
For most of the cruise I've had my eye out for a decent pocket knife to cut fruit and crusty bread rolls. What I was after was a slim knife with a sharp blade that would be allowed on board. Eagle-eyed Jenny had found just the thing in a pawn broker's shop, it is slim, sharp and short enough to be allowed on board. I'll have to be careful to pack it in the check-through luggage when next we fly. I've lost two or three at airport security checks.

We wandered back through the Craft Market, now in full swing, to the foreshore park. The tender boats were arriving with their cargo of eager passengers at a steady rate. My last image ashore was captured at 10:30 and we were back aboard by 11:00. Not a long outing but a pleasant and productive one with both of us satisfying some recent wants, I have some images and a knife, Jenny has some craft supplies and a sheared me.
Time for a relaxed lunch with most of the crowd ashore and Jenny's off to meet the Knitters in the night club on Deck 18. I've spent well over two hours examining captured images and recording the events of the day.

Disturbing news - Trump is to be the next President of the USA. There is nothing anyone can do but learn to live with it for the next four years. Some Americans on board are elated, some are cautiously enthusiastic and others devastated. Almost all non-Americans are alarmed, concerned and incredulous that the unthinkable has happened.

Another delayed departure as the tenders were kept busy well after the 16:00 'last tender' time. When we went to dinner at 17:20 there were still three of them heading for the jetty to bring back passengers, crew and equipment. The Captain announced the final passenger aboard at about 18:15. For the next three days and four nights we'll be sailing at an average of 20 knots in order to make our scheduled arrival time in Melbourne.
Tonight's entertainment featured the amazing talent of Johanna Hemara who attracted a full house and thrilled us with the range of songs and yodelling that has made her an award winning sensation.

Clocks go forward an hour as we sail Eastward across the Great Australian Bight.

A distant unobstructed view of the ship 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 05:33 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Port of Fremantle

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

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

A chilly breeze greeted us to the Port of Fremantle as the ship manoeuvred into her assigned berth ahead of Holland America's Maasdam. For the first time in seven weeks we had mobile network coverage and we made contact with family and friends. It was good to receive such extensive updates. Fortunately most of the news was positive.

After a simple breakfast we returned to the cabin and collected our passports and landing cards. The notice from Passenger Services had suggested an orderly presentation for 'face to face' interview by Border Force officials. It would appear that the suggestion had been ignored but despite the lengthy queue the process was speedy. Bit surprised when the official addressed us with an obviously British accent. He's been here for more than 15 years.

Walked through the terminal, across the car-park, along the bridge over the rail line and across the street to the Red CAT stop. We were unaware that Fremantle had the same service as found in Perth. Between the Red and Blue CAT most of the CBD and popular waterfront attractions were easily accessible.

It was still early and the early morning light brought out many of the features of the many old buildings. The facades of the hotels, professional chambers and public buildings have been tastefully restored. The CBD is not extensive and it was pleasant to walk the vacant walkways with the reduced temperature. We decided to split, Jenny to explore shops and me hunting for photo opportunities. We met again at the Visitor Information Kiosk after about an hour and a half.

With two cruise ships in port the local businesses had arranged a free shuttle bus from the Cruise Terminal to the centre of the town. We had found our own way in and decided to try the shuttle service back. There was only a short wait and we were quickly transported back to the terminal. A great service which created a positive impression with all the passengers I spoke to.

Shortly after returning to the ship the crew were called to their emergency stations as part of an AMSA drill. We were warned that the drill was to take place but there was no explanation of the reason. I suspect it may have something to do with this being the maiden visit to Australia by the Emerald Princess. Can't think of a more likely reason for this test.

Spent most of the afternoon watching the activities in the port as the Maasdam left and cargo ships were shepherded into their births by the fussy tugs. There's no was that Fremantle rates as a busy port but it was nevertheless interesting to watch the process.

After dinner we returned to the cabin to watch our departure and tried to capture the sunset over the Indian Ocean. An unfortunate change of course caused the ship's bridge to block the setting sun.

A short trip overnight as we sail to Busselton for tomorrow's visit.

The facade of one of Fremantle's period buildings 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 04:20 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Destination Fremantle - Sea Day Three

Monday, 7 November 2016

This morning's sunrise failed to deliver any notable images. The buffeting wind and the ship's motion created havoc with the camera's auto-focus mechanisms. The temperature has also dropped dramatically causing me to reconsider my sandals, shorts and shirt attire. Adequate indoors but will need to find long pants and even a jacket for tomorrow's visit to Fremantle.

Standard routine after a joint breakfast Jenny off to her knitters and me to the theatre for a trio of lectures. Lyndon Jolley espoused the attraction of Margaret River and the town of Busselton. Peter Anderson provided a detailed analysis of the NASA Moon Landings to debunk the many conspiracy theories that refute them. Shared a lunch with Jenny who had found time to shop for bargains on Deck 5. After lunch Evon Anderson provided a detailed description of the sinking of HMAS Sydney off the Western Australian coast during WW2.

With no useful images for my daily upload I prowled the public decks in search of subjects. I finally latched unto a group of people in Club Fusion being instructed in Line Dancing. I also discovered that the Crown Grill is utilised by card players and others reading books.

After dinner we went to the Theatre where the entertainment featured both Patrick McMahon and La Forza. Full house 15 minutes before show time, obviously the word has got out that they are both top class acts.

A day in Fremantle awaits us tomorrow and marks our official return to Australia. It will also mark a return to our mobile phone service which we haven't used since leaving home seven weeks ago. There are a number of people we'd like to make contact with.

A snap of the Line Dancers in Club Fusion 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 04:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Destination Fremantle - Sea Day Two

Sunday, 6 November 2016

The sun rose into a featureless sky as we continued our route Southward to Fremantle. The usual trip to the Horizon Court for breakfast and was surprised that there were no prunes on offer. I've been eating a dose of those to maintain regularity. Today's schedule has nothing much that appeals to me so I spent most of the day on the balcony. The breeze was comfortable, the chair less so but I managed to complete another book.

A quick trip to the buffet for my lunch and shared a muffin with Jenny in the cabin. Back up to deck 15 for an Ice Carving Demonstration where the skilled carver reduced a solid block of ice to the image of an eagle in just 15 minutes. I had some difficulty establishing a vantage point and the ice was difficult to capture in the camera.

There's a saying that "The devil makes work for idle hands." In my idleness I dwelt on some of the little issues that have taken the edge of this cruise. That was transformed into a list of issues with an opening statement "If this cruise on the Emerald Princess had been our first with Princess there would have been serious doubts about booking another". Funny isn't it that after about 370 happy days on board Princess ships we're so disenchanted.

Dressed up for the formal night and enjoyed a great meal in the dinning room. Tonight's entertainment was provided by an exuberant Patrick McMahon. His show was very clever and best suited for a rowdy country BBQ, seemed inappropriate for a room full of formally dressed elders.
A full set of lectures to fill in a few hours tomorrow on our third sea day before Fremantle.

A collage of images from the Ice Carving 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 Australia Comments (0)

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