Friday, February 13, 2009

At Sea (Why does that remind me of The Goon Show?)

As I write the northern islands of the Furneaux Group are appearing on the port side (so nautical: that’s the left as you face the sharp end), which means that we are entering Bass Strait after a night and a day of very gentle cruising from Sydney, on our way to Melbourne.

Leaving Sydney Harbour

And we have had the day off! The entertainment manager said that they have learned from bitter experience not to schedule guest lecturers on the first day out of port since they sometimes don’t turn up. And we have competition on this cruise in the shape of Gaynor and Jane (from Sydney Uni and University of Western Sydney respectively) who will be speaking on aboriginal matters and the Australian political scene. Of course we will go and see what they are like, but how can they compete with crayfish and cave spiders??

MS Rotterdam
Flagship of the Holland America Line, and a few weeks into a three month world cruise

This ship, the MS Rotterdam, is virtually identical to the MS Statendam that Jean and I sailed on last year, and so far it has been very comfortable, at least after we convinced them to re-arrange the beds out of the double configuration!

The Cabin: before

The Cabin: after (phew)

View from cabin in port

View from cabin most of the time

It has been a working day (PhD thesis to examine), interspersed by food (so much food) and stiff walks around the promenade deck (3.5 circuits = 1 mile), where I can look out for birds: so far shearwaters, possibly two species of albatrosses, gannets and one petrel.

But it’s nearly beer o’clock, and we must climb up from deck two to the Crows Nest bar for our pre-prandial. We pay for booze (at half the going rate), but everything else is free. What a life.


  1. Hi Darling

    looking good, just remember the bill last time!
    Check Ruthie's blog.



  2. Whoo..glad you got the cabin sorted. Still looks a little claustrophobic to me. Lovely day heading out of Sydney from the looks of it. Happy sailing :D