5 -6 March 2019 – At Sea to Darwin

The Queen Victoria is heading north and the temperatures are climbing……a different way of thinking for those of us from the Northern Hemisphere where going north means colder. The Whitsunday Islands gave us a taste of the weather change and now that we are at sea heading to the tropics, each day is warmer than the next.

There are quite a few Australians who boarded in Sydney and are sailing to Hong Kong on this sector of the cruise. I learned from one woman how bad the hurricane was that hit Brisbane a week or so ago. Huge floods and stranded livestock cause a lot of damage to the farms there. I told her we sailed oblivious to it all – a side benefit of cruising – minimal news about events that you have no control over. Although we did hear about the horrible tornadoes in Alabama/Georgia 😦

When a ship is sailing up the coast heading toward the Great Barrier Reef, each ship must take on an Australian Reef Pilot. Our’s boarded in Brisbane and will be with us until Darwin. His responsibility is to assist with charting the course through the Great Barrier Reef area as well as guiding the ship through the Torres Strait. He is also doing a daily lecture. The first one was all about the Great Barrier Reef and the one today was about the Torres Strait, Thursday Island and Booby Island. I attended this one and learned quite a bit about the strait and the history.

The Torres Strait is only 6 to 10 meters deep, constantly in change because of the currents moving at 10 kilometer through here, making dredging impossible. We are sailing through today. There are 274 islands in this area. There is only 93 miles from the tip of Australia to the island nation of Papa New Guinea. It’s understandable why it is such a strategic shipping passage way.

Lecturer 2 is the Crime Stoppers expert. Counterfeiting and Human Trafficking are interesting subjects!

And we couldn’t miss Judith Hinchliffe and her dental forensic lectures about murder cases – just like crime TV.

Other lectures on World War 2 battles in Britain – skipped these.

Finally, port lectures – Bali coming up in a 6 days.

Dinner last night with the Sarasota woman and her friend at The Verandah for a ‘Fat Tuesday’ splurge of steak, potatoes and delicious desserts.

So the life on the ship continues to keep us entertained and busy even while at sea for 3 days. Today, there was another medical evacuation by boat this time just as we were passing Thursday Island where the only hospital is located in the Torres Strait.

Best news of the day – Baby Alyssa is going home.❤️