Now I guess many of you have gone cruising. I am talking nautical and not the “Yank Tanks” of the 1950s & 60s.
My wife and I have averaged a cruise a year over the past decade on modern cruise liners. We had cruised many years ago on a Russian ship, the Mickael Sholokov, to Noumea back in the days that the Soviet Union was in the process of being disbanded. The ship was very basic as was the food. It was okay if you liked borsch or potato and perhaps cabbage. The entertainment was also very basic.
Cruising has come a long way since those days. Cruise ships are much larger and come with a number of restaurants, theatres, libraries and bars for you to pass the time away whilst cruising at sea.
When the last edition of this magazine hit the streets, my wife and I were preparing to hit the high seas once again the following day. We had a memorable cruise to say the least and this column is all about memories.
We left Sydney on the Saturday evening and started to head north. We got as far as Budgewoi when the Captain announced that due to heavy seas the ship was to turn about and face into the swell. The ship passed by the heads and got as far South as Cape Solander (Kurnell) where it then turned once more to head back north. During the evening a large wave hit the side of the ship and forced open a window in the Restaurant on Deck 5 injuring a number of passengers including a boy of around 3 years of age. Half an hour or so later another large wave hit breaking two windows in a restaurant on Deck 6. Neither my wife nor I thought that the seas were so large as we were able to go about our business as usual. We thought that we had seen larger seas.
This was to be the start of a memorable voyage for us. The next day was uneventful as the ship ploughed on, but the following morning the ship arrived just off Mooloolaba, Queensland. Again both my wife and I thought that the seas were much calmer, however the Captain advised that due to the heavy sea it was considered unsafe to launch the ship’s tenders and so he continued to head North. As we passing Fraser Island, the Captain announced that there was a medical emergency aboard the vessel and that a helicopter had been requested to evacuate a person for transport to medical facilities ashore. Finally we reached Gladstone, Qld which was to be our most northern port of call on this particular cruise.
The weather was fine and warm with a temperature of around 30 degrees. After a day in Gladstone it was back to the ship and another day at sea as we headed back down south to Moreton Island where we lay off shore from Tangalooma Resort. Going ashore at Tangalooma we took a whale tour in which we saw many whales which performed tail slaps and breaches alongside and all around the whale tour vessel. Leaving Tangalooma we again hit severe bad weather and the open decks were closed until we arrived back in Sydney. Will we do it again. Yes!!!
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