Day 11 – At Sea – June 1st 2015

Fremantle to Colombo, Sri Lanka

The third sea day of seven, between Fremantle and Colombo, and is about the time that first time cruisers and Caribbean type cruisers, used to 6 ports in 7 days, start to get antsy looking for land, but not us, we have settled nicely into the sea routine. Today, the morning and afternoon was busy, but we decided on a quiet and peaceful evening. Read on to check out the minor changes to our sea day routine.

Temperature: High 27C/81F, Low 23C/73F

Wind/Weather: Initially light winds increasing to E’ly at 20 kts. Low to moderate seas. Partly cloudy

Sunrise/Sunset: 07:31/17:49

Clox: Z+7 (back 1 hr )

Distance to Noon – 414 miles


Throughout the day Sea Princess maintained a NW’ly course across the Indian Ocean at a speed of 18 kts, or about 20.7 mph. The conversion is Knots x 1.15 = miles per hour.

Sunrise Indian Ocean Jun 1st



Patter front Jun 1st

Patter 1 Jun 1st

Patter 2 Jun 1st

Based on the above noted schedule, we attended:

  • 07:45 Breakfast in the dinning room
  • 09:00 Zumba
  • 10:00 Enrichment lecture (Andy)
  • 10:00 AM Trivia (Judi)
  • 11:00 Cruise Critic meeting
  • 12:15 Judi reported to Medical Centre as a potential blood donor
  • 13:00 Lunch in the dinning room
  • 14:00 World Cruise trivia
  • 15:00 Passenger Feud
  • 16:15 PM Trivia
  • 17:30 Dinner in Buffet

With the hour clox back last night, I was wide awake at 05:00, so headed down to the Promenade Deck for 05:30 to commence my usual walking routine. Other than a brief stop to capture some sunrise shots, I completed 19 laps by 07:15. The Promenade Deck has a number of deck loungers on both sides where you can sit and relax, read or just watch the constant precession of walkers passing by. Reserving deck chairs on most ships can be hotly contested, and Princess request that you only reserve a deck chair for 15 mins without using it. This morning, I noted the first chairs getting reserved by 06:00, but even when I left the deck they weren’t occupied. They aren’t exactly prime chairs, so no issue, but on a previous cruise we witnessed some serious confrontation up on the sun deck. Two couples had reserved 4 chairs in the sun and another 4 in the shade, but all 8 chairs were empty while they probably went for lunch. One of the crew noted the towels and removed them. Shortly thereafter the group of 4 returned and on finding their towels removed got really irate. The verbal abuse and kicking chairs was ridiculous, so I requested a crew member to call security.

Sunrise Indian Ocean Jun 1st close-up

Zumba this morning was an easier session, but still worked up a good sweat in the now toasty warm Vista Lounge. Judi stayed in the Vista Lounge for AM trivia, while I ran forward to the Princess Theatre for today’s Lecture from Commodore Trotter. Today’s subject was the search for HMAS Sydney.

Title page for Jun 1st lecture

Commodore Trotter headed the organisation that eventually found HMAS Sydney, so he is well qualified for this presentation. He started with some of the challenges they faced, as the subject had been raised numerous times, but no group could provide a definitive location to search. The Finding Sydney Foundation (FSF) was established with their mandate as outlined in the screen shot below.

Jun 1st lecture purpose of finding Sydney foundation

Their first deliverable was to determine a search area, so they reviewed the reports of the German ship survivors and enlisted assistance from a number of academics with special skills. They eventually agreed a search area, but the Australian Government required the assistance of a foreign company with experience in finding other sunken vessels. This resulted in the hiring of David Mearns. The screen shot below shows the David Mearns search area, the FSF search area and the actual location of both ships. The Australians of FSF had predicted the positions with amazing accuracy.

Jun 1st lecture proposed search areas

With sufficient money secured for the search, the FSF hired a boat with ROV and a side scan sonar. The expedition commenced February 29th 2008 and was scheduled to last 30 days.

Lecture Jun 1st search specifications 

Below is the sledge containing the side scan sonar

Lecture Jun 1st side scan sonar sledge

Screen shot of the actual side scan sonar readout when they located HMAS Sydney

Lecture Jun 1st sonar picture when they found HMAS Sydney

The predicted positions were so accurate that the wrecks were located within 15 days, so the additional time was used to lower the ROV to the bottom to photograph the wrecks and debris field. The next photograph displays the battle damage experienced by HMAS Sydney.

Lecture Jun 1st HMAS Sydney battle damage

From the above photograph the various types of battle damage are colour coded:

  • Red – torpedo impact on port bow
  • Brown – fire damage
  • Light blue – flooded compartments

Yet again, a thoroughly enjoyable lecture, but it lasted until 11:00, so I had to run to the cabin for a quick shower and change for the Cruise Critic meeting. The Captain attended, welcoming everyone and introducing the senior officers that attended with him. After the speeches, I chatted with the Captain, getting caught up on the old days, as he was about 1 year ahead of me and we have many mutual friends in the industry.

Departing for lunch we heard a P/A announcement for anyone with A+ or O neg, who would be interested in donating blood to please report to the Medical Centre at your earliest convenience. Judi is O neg, so were headed down. Wow, what a response and the medical centre was very well prepared for the onslaught. About 30 to 40 pax responded, so they narrowed their request to those with A+ and who also had their blood donation card. Judi was placed on the reserve list, but hasn’t been called. We received a nice thank you letter from the doctor, which is a nice touch.

After the excitement, it was off to lunch, followed by the World Cruise trivia. Yesterday we scored 10/15 and are in the middle of the pack. Next was Passenger Feud, which is based on the TV game Family Feud. We did fairly well, only a few points behind the winners. At PM trivia we had 7, so I bowed out and sat at the back working on photographs from Fremantle/Perth.

Dinner in the restaurant is Indian Dinner (curry) which although one of my favourites, Judi just can’t even stand the smell of curry, so we are taking a sabbatical and heading to the dreaded Buffet. It was actually rather pleasant as we both had Leg of Lamb, which was very tender and flavourful. I also had bread and butter pudding and custard, which was vastly superior to what they offer at pub lunch.

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.

1 thought on “Day 11 – At Sea – June 1st 2015

  1. Great to read your pieces on HMAS Sydney. We were on the Sun Princess in 2008. On May 4th we were 92 nautical miles east of the wreck which as you said was located just weeks earlier. Our lecturer was Commander Peter Martin (retired) and the entire ship observed 1 minute of silence to mark the occasion. We then berthed in Geraldton the next morning and did a trip to the HMAS Sydney Memorial, very poignant. Thanks again for your postings.


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