Monday, December 31, 2007
2007 has been a fantastic year for our family.
As I sat up on the deck this afternoon, drinking some whisky and watching the last afternoon of the year, I thought about how lucky we are.
I'm married to the most amazing woman in the world, and between us, we have 10 wonderful kids who we like being around.
I work with some brilliant people. I work with some fantastic guys, and we all enjoy what we do.
It's great to be alive.
To everyone who takes the time to read this - family, friends, partners, clients... thanks so much for helping to make this year a memorable one.
I hope you and your family have a safe, enjoyable, and prosperous 2008!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I was waiting for a flight at Sydney Airport this morning when a spotted a Turkey and a Christmas pudding playing Christmas Carols.
Well, to be more accurate, a couple of musicians dressed up as Christmas Dinner.
They were fantastic, and I managed to capture them quickly on my mobile phone so you could enjoy them too.
Sorry about all my laughing in the background. These guys had me in stitches and it took all my effort to hold the camera relatively still. The Turkey has excellent sax style, and that Pud makes a great clown.
If anyone knows who they really are, please let me know and I'll give them the credit they deserve.
Update 26 December 2007. These guys are from Wacky Entertainment (http://www.wacky.com.au/). The Turkey's name is Tom Bastian, and the Pudding's name is Adam Arnold. They've got some great footage on their website if you want to see more. How good would it be to get these guys at your office Xmas party?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
My Dad, Bruce, was a crew member on the maiden voyage of the original SS Oriana in December 1960.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Here's a copy of a video that my mate, Simon, took of me singing at the "Pop Stars" Karaoke competion aboard Pacific Star last October.
Simon moves the camera around alot, and even turns it on its side, so the editing was a bit of an ordeal, and I made a massive blooper in the first line of the song. But apart from that it was a hoot.
Thanks, Simon, for doing the recording for me.
Would I do it again? Maybe!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I spent most of my Sunday playing around on my computer.
It was almost over when I came to my senses and asked the kids of they'd like to go for a walk to the creek.
It was great watching them splash around in the water and listen to their impish laughter.
How beautiful to be there.
How sad that childhood quickly passes.
Please may I have more afternoons like this!
Click here to see the complete set of photos.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
After we arrived back at Portside in Brisbane, we had a great view of Sun Princess in the drydock on the opposite side of the river.
Unfortunately I was sound asleep when we sailed past her before sunrise, so this was as close as I got.
Most large ships must not enter a port until a locally authorized pilot joins the ship to guide her in. The pilot's knowledge of the local conditions is essential.
This is an amazing event to watch, especially at night. The ship is travelling at about 18 knots (33 km/h) and the pilot boat pulls alongside. The pilot jumps from one vessel to the other - in the middle of the night, about 20 miles out to sea - pretty amazing.
It's pretty sad too, as we realize that the end of our cruise is getting closer.
P.S. I was really happy with this photo that I took with our new Canon EOS 400D, and the 150mm portrait lens. I used the portrait lens because it's exceptionally quick, and doesn't need much exposure time - so you don't get any blurring, even at night, without a flash - like with this photo. Downside of the portrait lens is that it's very narrow angle, but it worked here.
Around midnight on the last night of the cruise, you can see the coastal lights of the sunshine coast. It's a sad moment as you see the lights grow rapidly brighter by the second, and realize the cruise is almost over, and reality is rushing back to you.
Isaac and Anya joined us on deck to watch the lights, and wait for the pilot boat to meet us.
On the last night of the cruise, I took a deep breath, and signed up for the "Pop Star" contest. It was a hoot. A bit nerve wracking at first, but I just pretended I was a pro, and gave it everything. I missed a few notes, but had a great time.
I sang "Lean on me", and tried to make it a bit physical by incorporating a few simple movements. Choreography and singing is all double dutch to me, but it seemed to work, and the audience enjoyed it.
Congratulations to Sven, and his team of groupies, who won the comp.
For the last sunset of the cruise, Dad and I went out the back of the ship and shared a couple of whiskys. There's something special about that last sunset - you don't want to waste a second of it - watching the water rush by and knowing that tomorrow you'll be back on dry land again.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The captain invited us to a special cocktail party and reserved a table for us right at the front.
Bruce couldn't beleive his eyes when he saw all the free grog that the captain laid on for us.
Captain Tony Draper is a lovely man, and very hospitable. We really have enjoyed our time
under his care.
Oh - by the way, I succumbed to temptation and sang at the Karaoke Bar. Unfortunately, they
have now signed me up to perform in the "Pop Stars" competition, so I have to sing in front of the
whole cruise in the Show Lounge on Friday night.
Hmmmmm - I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew????
More news tomorrow.
P.S. It's Thursday already and we all don't want this week to end.
cabin number. A few hours later, the bracelet turned up in her room with a nice letter. So Lilly just
had to send a thankyou note. Click on the image to enlarge it and read the exchange. Very cute!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
He's very skilled, and does magic tricks for us as well.
His name is Christian and he's from the Phillipines.
He's looking after us really well and keeping us all amused.
I think Dad is trying to figure out the secret behind the trick.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
all had to go down to a lower deck and hop into one of these tenders as it bobbed about next to the
ship. Each tender can hold about 100 people.
More pictures from Vila tomorrow.
In the forest there are lots of different plants that have wonderful medicinal properties. Some of them
are secrets that are handed down from generation to generation. Others are shared freely with
Monday, October 22, 2007
So they can't help themselves, and make these amazing sculptures out of towels for our
We wish we could take one home with us, but I don't think we could get him through customs.
Tomorrow we're looking forward to Lifou, an unspoilt, tranquil, tropical island. Let's hope the rain
More news tomorrow.
Liz and Emma both had anti-seasickness injections, and were feeling alot better, which made the
tours of Noumea much more enjoyable.
In case you're wondering, the injections started working after about 30 minutes. They lasted 8
hours, but the doctor gave Liz some tablets to take as well. The total cost is about $90 which we
can claim on travel insurance.
Harrison and Lilly woke up really early, so Dad took them up on deck while Liz and I slept in.
They thought it was great that the wind was almost blowing them over.
Both Liz and Emma are still feeling seasick. Emma's going to get a seasickness injection this
morning, which is supposed to work wonders.
Liz is comparing it to pregnancy: "You only remember the good bits". I think I might try and
convince her to get the injection too.
We get inside the New Caledonia reef in about 5 hours time - so the big waves should abate
Dad and I almost won a "name that tune" competition in the Piano Bar last night.
And I almost sang at the Karaoke bar. Maybe next time :)
More photos and news soon!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
and Lilly had to come out of Kids Club early because she was crook.
Liz has been in bed most of the afternoon.
Dad and I spent the afternoon at the winetasting.
Here's a shot of the waves breaking over the bow as we head into 30 to 40 knot winds!