One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Monday, May 31, 2010


31 May 2010
Hobo 1 is not feeling very well today. He suspects he is getting the flu and doesn’t have number 2 daughter in calling distance to offer him comfort or worse still - no chemist shop nearby to purchase the necessary condiments to meet his special needs. Never the less I feel sure he will survive.
Welcome to all new followers. We discovered the comments section on the blog today and it was great to see you are all keeping track of our journeying.
Bali was surprising, interesting and worth exploring.
The day started with a half hour tender ride to Benoa and an hour and a half ride to the Safari Park. There are 4 million people in Bali and I can believe it. From Benoa to Ubud we were supposed to be driving from village to village but there was absolutely no break in the housing. The only thing to change was the wares being sold on the streets because each village is distinguished by its crafts – sculpture, woodwork, carving, silverware, batik etc.
The roads were amazingly narrow. Thank goodness most of the transport is by scooter but we invariably met the odd bus, car or truck along with chickens, dogs and pedestrians which made for some exhilarating moments.
The elephant park was even better than we imagined. We fed elephants, patted three of the cutest little babies, sat on the knee of the bull elephant and took a 35 minute ride around the park and out through the village before returning to a beautiful smorgasbord luncheon. The surrounds were delightful and while everyone else complained of the heat in Bali we had an idyllic day up in the hills.
By afternoon a little chop had come up and our tender ride back to the boat was rather rough and wet and slowed down the movement of passengers back to the boat. It even meant the ship had to swing on its anchor to pull the tenders back on board as it was too rough on the exposed side of the boat. So our sunset sail-away had to be delayed until 7:45pm. We are now in the middle of the Java Sea on our way to Singapore.
The highlight of today will be our second formal night... or maybe it was the tropical fruit lunch...fruit of every shape, size and type imaginable piled high for all to select as much as they desire ...served poolside on Riviera Deck 12.
Signing off...have to prepare for dinner...we are in a dilemma... we have to choose between lobster and monk fish can see life continues to present challenges.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Day at Sea

We are now 3339 miles from Sydney at 9054S and 118007E with 181miles to go to Bali where we should arrive by 8:00am tomorrow morning.
It has been another day of rest and Hobo 1 has nothing profound to say today. He says he cannot be expected to come up with profound observations any more frequently than once per week. He is presently listening to a lecture on Captain Cook and navigation from the luxury of his bed on our new wide screen TV that was installed last week.
Today’s photos shows yours truly on the 23rd – our first formal night - and our cabin which is home for the 104 days of our tour.
What does a sea day involve?
This morning I rose at 6:00am and sat on the balcony under the full moon to watch Scorpio disappear as day dawned. Then dress and up to the Gym for stretch class at 7:30. (Over 50 of us gather each morning for 30 mins of stretches not unlike we did at school each day.) On the way, as I stepped out on to deck 12 to check where we were, I searched the horizon for Sumba Island only to miss a whale that must have been right beside the ship because as my eye roamed back to the ship I caught a view of him disappearing under the surface and could only watch his spouts as he swam away from us into the Indian Ocean.
8:00am: Return to the cabin and join up with Hobo1 for breakfast in the dining room – a great part of the day. We are placed at a table in the order we enter the dining room and this morning we were seated at a table of 9, everyone of us Qlders. The conversation is always enjoyable and a very pleasant way to start the day. Juice, fruit, smoked salmon and baggles for breakfast with as much coffee and toast as you wish.
9:00am: A little house keeping then off for our daily circuits of the ship - 3 circuits or 1km – before Trivia at 10:15am. This is followed by line dancing. Today we learnt a Brazilian dance with our assistant cruise director Nat, a Brazilian.
Back to the cabin for some writing and filling in of arrival and departure cards for Singapore before lunch in the Horizon Court. Today we joined our “wheat planter” friends from the Grand Pacific cruise, and talked rural matters while we dined on scallops, followed by steak and kidney pie.
2:00pm found us in a packed Princess Theatre (550 people) to hear a Tour Presentation on our next 4 ports of call. We will be riding elephants in Bali tomorrow!
Now is rest time before we dress for dinner at 5:30pm and the theatre at 7:45. Tonight we are going to see Elizabeth Lord a “sultry song stylist” backed by the Dawn princess Orchestra before dancing under the stars on deck 12 with Derringer until we are ready for bed.
You can see it’s a very full day.

Friday, May 28, 2010


28 May 2010
Today we are sailing the Timor Sea. Fitzroy Lagoon wouldn’t be as calm and the water is the most beautiful rich blue satiny colour. We’ve only left our balcony to go to Trivia. This morning we had our best score to date. We compete in teams of six and our scores for the Sydney-Dubai leg are tallied for a Grand Prize at the end. Our team, Allofus, is trailing the leaders by 13 so I don’t think we’ll be in the prize winners circle but it is all good fun.
The ice carving in the Horizon Court today is the Eiffel Tower. We’ve just been up for lunch and returned with a cheese plate to eat on the balcony as we watch the day roll by. We’ve seen two dolphin pods, two small Indonesian fishing boats in the middle of nowhere and a livestock carrier returning to Darwin along with the odd flying fish scampering out of harm’s way but little else to disturb the peace.
Yesterday the crocodiles performed well for us. We drove 1.5 hr down to Humpty Doo and out onto the Adelaide River through the floodplains where they attempted to grow rice years ago. I put the camera on sport continuous mode and captured a couple of great sequences of jumping crocodiles and swooping hawks.
Last night we saw the first Dawn Princess dancers’ performance- Rock this Town. It was fabulous. The dancers are so energetic. We saw them on Sun Princess and I couldn’t believe how the singers had matured over the time.
Life continues at a very pleasant pace with no timetables to be met and a ship load of interesting people to meet. Unfortunately the husbands have forgotten their training and tend to think and act for themselves much to the chagrin of wives.
We close as a tropical squall envelopes the ship and drives us back into our cabin.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hi Everyone. We are safely along side in Darwin harbour waiting for our Jumping Crocodiles tour.

We watched the State of Origin from the best venue imaginable ...sitting on deck 14 under the stars being served alchohol as required...sat in the New

South Wales corner giving cheek and cheering loudly, or booing, when continues to be a challenge adjusting to the rigours of cruise ship life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

26 May 2010, 11:45am
The ship is a buzz. At passenger’s request, Princess has negotiated viewing rights to the State of Origin and we’ll be viewing it under the stars on the big screen from poolside on Riviera.
Presently we are cruising due west from Cape York, through the Arafura Sea –to the South of us is the Northern Territory coast but too far away for us to see. What a big country! We rounded Cape York at 11:20am yesterday and at 2:30pm sailed past Booby Island and into the Gulf of Carpentaria. We next saw the light house on Wessel Island marking the end of the gulf at 7:45am this morning!
I’ve just completed my 3 circuits of the deck – a distance of 1km and we are the only visible object on the 3600 horizon of sea. I began the day with stretch class – half an hour of stretches that are supposedly going to improve my back and neck problems. One lives in hope! Hobo 1 is up listening to a lecture on Pilotage in the Great Barrier Reef. He’s managed to reach 2 circuits of the deck but always finds too many people to stop and talk to, to make the full three circuits.
The sail up the coast on Monday was wonderful. We sailed past Scawfell and other Whitsunday Islands almost close enough to touch them. Yesterday we started the day just off Hopevale mission. The sunlight was just perfect to show up the beautiful aqua water and we had the prettiest cruise around the cape – absolutely picture perfect. Once again we saw Booby Island- just a rock at the entrance to Torres Strait. How Laurie and Val lived there for seven years, I don’t know.
We are off watching the Jumping Crocodiles tomorrow in Darwin.
Life is tough!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


22/05/2010 11:06 PM
In spite of the many queues, we were looking over the balcony of our home for the next 104 days by 2:15pm. Then the real waiting began. Would 5:00pm ever come? But it was worth the wait. The dusk sail-away from Sydney was absolutely beautiful – every bit as pretty as Hong Kong which I loved. Now we are 593 km into our 2593 mile journey to Darwin. That puts us off Bundaberg.
Ally and John, friends from our Pacific Cruise, were waiting for us at table 33 for dinner. It was great to see them and we quickly slipped back into our friendship.
Today was a quiet “catch up on some sleep” day although our old trivia team was back in action at 11:00am.
We have just returned to our room from a Trevor Knight concert – a tribute to Johnny Denver... A fabulous concert... He is performing a whole new show tomorrow night... So no prizes for guessing where I’ll be... (He made me think of you Kellie and our lazy Taku days sailing around Heron, Masthead and Fitzroy.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ready, Set...

Dawn Princess here we come. Just one more sleep! The bags are packed and we are down to the last few jobs. I can't believe how good our plannning schedule has been and that we are able to be ready just five days after finishing school.
Thanks to every one who made my retirement party such a happy event - our best production to date and I wasn't even allowed to conduct!!!
I've already found a great venue for those "eating out" opportunities that are going to present themselves now retirement has arrived - Gecko Valley. We welcomed Kellie to the Big 40 Club on Sunday with a delightful meal and relaxed family gathering at the the winery - a very pleasant ending to an exciting weekend. Now Friday's departure is just around the corner and we're like little kids - just want the day to come.
Be thinking of you all as we travel. Become a follower and we can keep in touch personally.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Countdown Cont

Wednesday 12th May.
Jess is packing her bags as well. She's off to town to holiday with Kobi and Johnti. I hope she forgives us for leaving her and is still here to welcome us when we get back.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Tuesday 11th May
Only nine more days and we are on our way into the next chapter of our lives - retirement. What a way to begin! We leave Sydney cruising west and return 104 days later from the east circumnavigating the world in the process. We can't wait. After 60 years in classrooms what will I do with myself you ask? Just watch this space.