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!
The kids love him, and he really enjoys them too.
Plus, with an extra adult, it's a bit less intense for us as parents.
Lilly's having fun here with Bruce at dinner :)
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Harrison's cast came off today.
After checking out a fresh X-Ray, the orthopedic surgeon reckons his arm is healing really well. We're all very relieved.
The cast was on for four months, and Harrison didn't complain at all.
What an amazing young man.
He is still on the pamidronate therapy to speed up his bone growth. He'll need to be on that for another six months at least.
Now, repeat after me - "I will never jump off swings again...".
Monday, October 15, 2007
We're taking another "Week Fantastique" aboard Pacific Star starting this Saturday.
I'll try to post regular updates here each day, where possible.
If you want to keep an eye on us, please come back heare and read the updates, or go to http://ShipWatcher.com and have a look at the Pacific Star webcam.