Day 005: At Sea, Coral Sea (Great Barrier Reef transit)
Position: S 16º 37′ 25″ E 145º 46′ 36″
Weather: high overcast, 24ºC
Last Port: Brisbane, Australia
Next Port: Singapore
Status: Great Barrier Reef Transit Day 2
From the Navigator:
Overnight we passed through the Whitsundays and throughout today we will continue our transit through the Great Barrier Reef. With the assistance of our reef pilot, we will be passing Cape Bowling Green and Hitchinbrook Island on our port side this morning. This afternoon we will pass Cairns and then Cooktown as we make our way up towards Cape Flattery.
We were up early to take a morning walk around the decks. This is the best time to walk outside, because we are getting close to the tropics and it is HOT during the day. Three laps of the ships weather deck is one mile. Short sleeve shirts are now in order at all hours of the day, a big relief after this past long winter – if the weather doesn’t come to you, always remember you can probably go to the weather.
At breakfast we met couples Ray & Heather and Heidi & Justin. The latter two had been topside for a morning jog too, but commented they had done 20 laps. Maybe we’ll get up to speed later in the trip! We also met a crewmember named “Hotman”. Another crewmember with him said she wanted to change her name to “Coolgirl” so they could be a complimentary pair. This is an international crew with names both new and normal to us. Hotman is certainly a cool name and they were both consummate hosts.
Ed spent some time getting caught up with blog writing over a coffee in the Wheelhouse, then went to choir practice. Michelle went to a class about bodily detoxification and learned about the need to maintain a healthy alkalinity to assist the liver in removing toxins. The liver takes about 90 days to completely rejuvenate and another 90 days to detoxify the body completely, provided you give it a chance. This is really amazing considering many people have been collecting body toxins for decades.
Also on the program this morning was a short photo shoot for the West By Sea “object” tier backers with the Australian east coast for a backdrop. We grabbed salads and iced tea for lunch. Then it was time for a lecture about one of Ed’s favorite artists: Salvador Dali. Dali studied Picasso, who was complimentary of Dali’s work. Early in his career he engaged in formal art instruction but was expelled – twice – for “inciting unrest”. This early work paid off in later years and a career that produced over 1500 works. Picasso once said to “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”, advice followed with much success by Dali and good advice for us too, regardless of our selected field of “art”.
Tonight they filled our table for dinner. Burt & Loraine from Australia and Karen & Roger from Hawaii added to the lively conversation immediately. We had so much fun that we left dinner too late to find seats for an evening show of song and dance put on by the crew. Even standing in the back the show was exceptional and everyone enjoyed themselves. Also standing in the back with us were Sue and Jeff from Australia. They had worked for many years in the United States at ski resorts in Vail, Colorado. Jeff told entertaining stories about being a bus driver confronted with 5 meter tall walls of snow. They were quick to turn the conversation to politics and were interested in the impact of America’s so called Affordable Care Act. We’ve discovered during the last couple weeks that the “average Australian” is well informed about news from the U.S., although the reverse is not necessarily true. Travel certainly helps fill in the gaps.