7 March, 2019 – At Sea and almost to Darwin

It’s been cloudy the last couple of days which is a bummer for star gazing. We were hoping we would be able to see the Southern Cross in the night sky. Maybe when we are on our way to Africa while in the middle of the Indian Ocean? In the Chart Room we were able to get a picture of the Southern Cross 🙂

Tonight we change the clocks 30 minutes back – strangely Darwin is one of those places with an odd time zone.

Of course today one of the lectures is all about crocodiles in Australia. Did I mention there was a Steve Erwin zoo in Brisbane, now run by his family, with all the other strange animals of Australia? One of the trainers in the gym said he was going to go to a place in Darwin where you can swim in a cage with the crocodiles – doesn’t that sound like fun? I think I’ll keep my crocodile viewing to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Joshua Levine, “Ambassador for London’s Royal Air Force Museum and Bestselling Author,” spoke today on ‘Spies and Secret Agents’ during World War II. He tells a couple of stories. One is about three men, given the option by the Germans to be spies in Britain rather than going to a concentration camp. They were dropped in England in 1941 by parachute and two were found out and executed for spying and one committed suicide. The next story is about three men and how they became double agents. These same men were behind something called Operation Fortitude. They were responsible for sending the wrong information back to the Germans which resulted in the Germans not being in a good defense position at Normandy. Intriguing. Joshua Levine’s new book is called “Operation Fortitude.”

Another thing you can learn about on cruises is gemstones. Two gems mostly mined in Australia – opals and pink diamonds. Last cruise, I was all about opals….maybe pink diamonds this time?

Last lecture is by the Reef Pilot. He talks about protecting the Great Barrier Reef by showing a lot of videos with information from the website http://www.attenboroughreef.com. A lot of work is going on to protect the future of the reef. One of the threats to the reef is an undersea animal called the Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS for short). One COTS can destroy 8 square meters of coral a year. An underwater drone has been invented and is now being used to survey the reef’s health, detect these starfish and kill them with an injection. The drone can do the same work of 50 divers. Amazing!

Now time to get ready for dinner and another relaxing evening before we arrive in Darwin in the morning.