Day 001: Underway from Sydney
Position: S 33.87 E 151.21
Last Port: Sydney, Australia
Next Port: Brisbane, Australia
Status: Underway departing Sydney Harbor, NSW, Australia
From the Navigator:
The ship will let go her mooring lines and once clear will will begin to move astern and swing the bow to port. We will then pass under Sydney Harbour Bridge and between Sydney Opera House and Fort Denison as we set various courses out of Sydney Harbour. Once clear of the Harbour the ship will set various northerly courses parallelling the coast towards out first destination, Brisbane.
We were blessed with a perfect weather day as we made final preparations to meet the ship. Our local friends Merrilyn and John did a great job showing off some of the more exciting and lesser known attractions around the city of Sydney, Australia. We’ll always remember sneaking into the Sydney Swans game and still regret the final score was a 70-70 tie.
A short drive to the White Bay terminal in Rozelle just west of downtown brought us to the ship. Michelle had printed and tagged our large luggage which was spirited off immediately to parts unknown, but hopefully our cabin. The check in lines were long so we pulled into the small café for lattés and to visit with Leif who dropped over to see his parents.
Soon it was time to board and Emma did a very nice job getting our documents sorted out and issuing us each a room tag.
Four of the five bags were waiting after we cleared customs, photographer, xray security checkpoint and shipboard mug shots. Our assigned cabin steward Bonie (pronounced “bone-ee”) tracked down the fifth bag and our initial preparations were complete. We were on the ship and ready to start the 104 night adventure!
The ship was moored port side to and bow out. We warped clear in the final minutes of daylight. Under pilot and shadowed by several yellow and green painted harbor tugs we were underway for sea. The port has a very efficient looking control tower situated in the middle of a construction area just west of the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge (wikipedia link). A popular local tour (at least it seems popular if you can believe their marketing materials) is a climb to the top of the bridge. We were lucky to have a long zoom lens handy and captured this extremely lucky group of adventurous climbers.
Another very interesting sight was this apartment complex tucked into an old earthworks or defensive fort. The rooftop was covered with soil and grass and what looked to be residents or recreationists. The city showed a strong drive to preserve historical buildings while keeping the functional. Although this seemed like an extreme example, the city kept surprising us with their respect for the past and affinity for a utilitarian future.
As we left the harbor an orange and pink sunset illuminated everything for a few brief moments before night suddenly dropped its velvet curtain to plunge everything into darkness. In the fading light we noticed the flags of our current host country proudly displayed from this spire and our link to the outside world. These antennas will bring West By Sea to all of you this summer.
Tomorrow is a full day at sea. We’re not sure you can use “g’day” for an evening greeting. If not, please forgive us. G’Day!