We are sailing in calm seas parallel to the coast of Australia. First, New South Wales and now Queensland - about 450 miles a day. At present we are carefully avoiding the Great Barrier Reef and all we can really see of it are scattered islands.
The weather has changed from cool in Sydney to warm and humid with shortlived heavy showers - a taste of more to come as we cross the Tropic of Capricorn. Beautiful rainbows follow our course
This first leg of the cruise (from Sydney to Dubai) is a bit excessive on sea days - (15) vs days in port (6). After Dubai everything changes with 19 more sea days interspersed between 26 tour days. So, this is definitely the 'calm before the storm'.
I don't actually mind the days at sea - there is a routine you get into that is as relaxing or productive as you want it to be.
As an example today I went to the gym early and had a workout before the rush and the day began. Walked forward on the ship to the cappuccino bar and grabbed a coffee. After showering joined Merle for breakfast where we sat and chatted with two sets of fellow passengers.
Most of our companions are Australian (makes sense) quite diverse in background, and well traveled. Our tablemates at dinner provide an example - he grew up in New Zealand, joined the Australian military and served two tours in Vietnam. After leaving the army he became a Federal Police security officer and is now retired. Lily, his wife, is Vietnamese - he met her there when she was working as an interpreter - and, after a bit of a struggle he managed to get her immigration status just before the fall of Saigon.
We then went to a lecture on Darwin - our next port; fascinating history that I will share when we are there on Tuesday
Merle and I then started on the projects we brought to work on - she for real, me a bit more virtually. I am not yet ready to share what I am doing (and may only do so if it comes out successfully) :-)
Had a snack at lunchtime, pizza from the fantastic Pizza Bar on Deck 8. Now some computer time then reading a thriller from the library. Bridge is the other major activity to be.
This evening is a formal dinner night so will get a sense of how seriously the rest of the passengers take the occasion. We have three such formal nights before Dubai. After that, probably very few given the busy touring itinerary.