Melbourne to Margaret River
Since about 17:00 last evening we have pounded, rocked and rolled our way across the stormy Great Australian Bight. No need for us to spend the day at Disneyland when we stop off in Los Angeles, on the way home, as we have just spent the last 30 hours on the equivalent of Disney’s most intense ride. At least that is Judi’s description, mine is more along the lines of rocking gently, just like a baby’s cradle.
Temperature: High 17C/63F,Low 10C/50F
Wind/Weather: Westerly wind of about 25kts and swell of about 10’, increasing and backing towards S’ly in late afternoon to 30 to 35kts and 15’ seas. Generally overcast.
Clox: Put back 1 hour (Z+8)
Distance to Noon/Total Distance: 1,295 miles since departure Melbourne
Sea Princess has continued with the W by N’ly course, or 280 Gyro across the Great Australian Bight. In the early evening Sea Princess approached the SW corner of Australia and altered NW towards Augusta.
The spray created when the bow ploughed into one of the waves early this morning.
Based on the daily schedule we planned to attend the following:
08:00 Breakfast in the dining room
10:00 Port lecture
11:00 AM Trivia
11:30 Pub lunch
15:00 Wine tasting
21:45 Showtime with Nathan Foley
With cloxs back an hour again during the night, I was up bright and early, and out on deck by 05:45 for my morning stroll. With the ship’s movement, it was tough going, consequently the average speed was a tad slower than normal. At breakfast this morning we had 2 couples from Queensland and a single lady from between our next 2 ports, so she was a wealth of information. As an avid caravaner (RV’er), having completed 3 tours around Australia, we also discussed the RV’ing lifestyle in Australia. Judi had her usual cold cereal and I tried the scrambled eggs mixed with smoked salmon, and a side of bacon. This dish was well prepared and cooked.
After breakfast it was off to Zumba, where the session was cut short due to the movement at the aft end. Regardless, it was still a great workout. Quick change and I headed down to the Theatre to check out the port lecture. This is something we have never tried before, as the rumours has them as being a promotion of the Princess recommended shopping stores. Well, I am pleasantly surprised,as the presenter provided a fairly detailed presentation on many aspects of Perth and Fremantle. He discussed the following topics:
- Various population statistics, including percentages of the various ethnic groups
- Public transportation options, costs and any known issues, such as rush hour crowding
- Taxi costs
- Sights close to the terminal including excellent photographs
Definitely impressed, I am now a convert and will attend other port lectures. On completion of the lecture I had to dash to the aft lounge, at the opposite end of the ship for AM trivia. The questions were predominantly about books, specifically Shakespeare, which is not one of my strengths, or any of our other team members. Two Shakespeare questions were – Where did A Midsummer Night’s Dream take place? and What was his longest? (Athens & Hamlet, we got both wrong). Our score of 11/20 is consistent with the past couple of days. Winners got 15 or 16/20.
Needing to drown our sorrows, we headed to Pub Lunch, for sustenance and refreshments.
Time for my first Guinness, aboard Sea Princess
This was actually a combination – Chicken Curry (ultra mild), with a single scotch egg and Judi’s mushy peas
Judi had the fish and chips, which are really fairly large fish fingers, but well cooked and tasty. The curry could handle a ton more spices, but the chicken is tender and well cooked. The scotch egg was well spiced, but had rather more sausage around the egg, than I am used to.
During the afternoon, we had a decision to make, either attend happy hour (1/2 price drinks) or wine tasting (free drinks). The basic wine tasting is one of the complimentary benefits to those of us that have reached Elite status. We selected the wine tasting, which in hindsight probably wasn’t the best choice. The wines served and comments are:
- Asti Spumante – Unfortunately the waiter had poured it before I could cover the glass. Took a smell and almost took ill. All 4 glasses at our table were returned untouched.
- Houghton White Burgundy – An Australian wine, this is a new wine for both Judi and I. Wow, very nice. Clean, crisp and a tad fruity. Judi especially enjoyed this one.
- Rose D’Anjou – A French Rose. Took a smell and based on the smell, a very small sip. Terrible, which was the unanimous opinion at out table, as all glasses were returned.
- Snowy Creek Doice – An Australian Red mixture of both varietals and vintages. Very light, similar to Pinot Noir. It tasted almost like syrup. You guessed correctly, all returned.
- Wolf Blass Yellow Label – An Australian full bodied Cab Sauvignon. Finally a very pleasant wine. Great legs, full bodied and long after taste. Fortunately the wine waiter took pity on us and provided a refill.
The snacks were skewers of cheese and a grape, with some biscuits. Judi reports the cheese was excellent.
With nothing scheduled until dinner, we retired to the cabin, braving the elements sitting out on the balcony, just enjoying the ship’s movement and waves thundering by.
Judi dressed for the Arctic sitting on the balcony, enjoying a glass of nice wine.
The wind and waves have picked up since the morning, but I did notice the wind is backing towards the south. Backing is the term for wind direction changing anti-clockwise. The sea state has picked up a few feet, at about 14 to 15’. This produced some spectacular pounding and spray from the bow.
Unfortunately I forgot to take the camera with me to dinner, so yet again no photographs. Tonight was International dinner, with a selection of dishes from various countries – Cock a leekie soup (scotland), Surf and Turf (USA) Leg of Lamb (NZ). We both had the surf & turf, which consisted of a small fillet mignon and 3 good sized prawns. Again, everything was well cooked and presented. Wishing to attend the show at 21:45, we mentioned it to our waiter and wow, what a difference. Dishes were flying on and off the table and we were out of the restaurant before 21:30. Judi and I joined 2 of the other couples and headed to the Theatre for the new performance from Nathan Foley. His music this evening was somewhat tailored to an older audience, but he still included a few high tempo hits from the 50’s and 60’s.
Departing the Theatre we headed into the Wheelhouse Bar for a nightcap at Happy Hour, joining another couple we met a few days ago.
As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.