Day 006: At Sea
Position: S 10º 33′ 51″ E 142º 05′ 38″
Weather: puffy tropical clouds, 22ºC with some rain
Last Port: Brisbane, Australia
Next Port: Singapore
Status: Underway in the South Pacific
From the Navigator:
This morning we will continue to proceed north through the Great Barrier Reef passing Cape Direction and transiting between Cape Grenville and Sir Charles Hardy Island Reef, making our way towards Cape York. Once we round Cape York we will enter the prince of Wales Channel in the Torres Strait. At approximately 16:30 this afternoon we will disembark our reef pilot at Booby Island before setting westerly courses across the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The long rolling motion got me up at 4:30am. Unable to get back to sleep, I headed out to the messdeck for an early coffee and to watch the sunrise. Early morning shipboard routine seems pretty much the same here: boat checks, prep common spaces and washdown on the wooden weather decks. The morning day workers were at it already and I didn’t see another passenger until about 6:30am. The morning routine may never be seen by many of them.
The nice thing about being up on the Navigator’s watch is time alone. I’ve always liked this watch the best. You get to see the sunrise, smell the first aroma of morning coffee, grilled potatoes and scrambled eggs, and hear the ship slowly come back alive to meet the new day.
This is not a trip for introverts. Everywhere you turn is another passenger with another story, interested in sharing theirs and hearing yours. Michelle went for an early morning stretch with a yoga group and Ed continued the quest for a quiet spot. He found it aft in one of the common lounges, all the way in the back with enough space to spread out with notes, cameras and laptop. Caught up with pictures it was time to transcribe the first few days.
We attended a newcomer’s briefing with the ship’s staff, then sat through an interesting class about how to boost your metabolism. With just the few weather decks for exercise it is easy to get lazy, lethargic and then discover your clothes have shrunk a bit.
Ed once again attended choir practice. The music is really coming along. During a late lunch we noticed a crowd of passengers gathering on a high wing deck to watch the pilot disembark. We had cleared the Great Barrier Reef with no issues, but discovered later the pilot also took several passengers ashore in the company of one of their party suffering from medical issues.
Having rounded the north tip of Australia we have now entered the Indian Ocean. While just another arbitrary line on the globe this is a first for us both. Of course the water looks the same but each day brings us farther from our existing experience and closer to adventure. Five more nights of steaming westward and we’ll wake up to see Singapore. We’re glad to have you with us on the journey. Travel on friends!