29°30′18″ S 153°44′35″ E
Sadly, today is our last full day for the cruise. We arrive back in Sydney around 6:00am tomorrow & take a transfer to the airport at 8:00am. Our flight to Vancouver departs at noon.
The air temperature has dropped noticeably since yesterday. There is also a lot of smoke in the air as a result of all the bush fires in New South Wales & Sydney city areas.
Visibility in any direction is down to just a few hundred meters.
I expect that the low visibility is stressful for staff on the ship’s bridge. Even with all of the modern navigation & radar equipment they have on board, traveling through this smokey haze is like being in thick fog.
Hopefully the bush fires will be extinguished soon. I read in the online media today that 40 firefighters from Manitoba are coming to Sydney to help local fire crews.
Catherine was up early again this morning & off to the gym – such dedication! It worked out well for me too – as I could watch the European soccer league highlights on TV without disturbing her.
But I’m not a total slouch. I was up early enough to attend a 9:00am presentation by the Great Barrier Reef Pilot – a continuation of his talk yesterday.
This morning he talked about some of the routes the Pilots take ships through & also about several of the ships he has been on for his work. He’s been on numerous cruise ships like this one, bulk cargo ships, container ships, car carriers, freighters, livestock carriers (25,000 head of cattle on 1 ship! 🙀) – it must take a big propeller to get that ship moooving! (Sorry, that was sooo bad).
He’s also been on fishing scows that should have been scrapped years ago & on multi- million dollar mega yachts! Now spending a few days on the big yachts would be a treat!
This afternoon we focused on organizing our belongings & packing our bags. We have to have our luggage packed & placed outside our cabin before dinner tonight. Now reality is setting in hard!
After packing our suitcases we went down to the main concourse area of the ship & treated ourselves to a couple of double-mocha coffees. It’s going to be very hard to give all this up!
It will also be hard to say goodbye to Michael (above), our cabin steward. He spoiled us for sure!
Here are a couple of photos of one of my favorite spots on the ship. Deck 16, the Lido Deck is where all of the outside action happens. Two swimming pools, a giant outdoor theatre & two glass-bottomed walkways (one on port & the other on the starboard side) that extend out over the edge of the ship.
When you go out on these walkways you are looking straight down at the ocean, over 100 feet below. I’m not a big fan of heights but this is pretty cool!
The adults only swimming pool area was pretty nice too!
Lots of very nice places to relax & gaze out over the water, read a book, blog, or even have a snooze.
We had our final dinner in the Allegro Dining Room & had a nice visit with the couple seated at the table beside us. Peter & Vicki are from Canberra, Australia & have traveled extensively. Over the past number of nights we have had many interesting conversations about life in Australia & Canada – comparing things our countries have in common & learning about the things that are different.
It’s nice to make new friends & who knows, maybe our paths will cross again at sometime in the future.
Time for one last sunset & then off to bed. We disembark early tomorrow morning – unless we can find a good place to stow away.