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Thursday, February 26, 2009


A Postcrossing post card from Giliian.

Gillian is from Ontaria in Canada and is in grade 8 at school, and is in sea cadets.

Thanks for the card Gillian!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carnaby Street

A Postcrossing post card from Marion (Maz) in North Wales.

Maz studies French and Creative Writing at the University of Wales, Bangor. She has a lot of Aussie friends and plans to visit next year.

Thanks for the card, Maz!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

A Postcrossing post card from Yvonne in California.

Yvonne who is learning about wines and likes Aussie wine.

Thanks for the fascinating card, Yvonne!

US-320725(Stamp 1)US-320725(Stamp3)US-320725(Stamp 2)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Moi Kaveri (Hey Buddy!)

A Postcrossing post card from Fanny in Finland.

Fanny has three chidren and one grandchild.

Thanks for the funny card, Fanny!

Aurora Borealis

A Postcrossing Post Card from Juho in Finland.

Juho visited Australia a long time ago.

Thanks for the card, Juho!

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

A postcard from fellow cruise lover, Fiona (Cruisenut) who's on a south pacific cruise at the moment.

She says that the weather is good, and she thinks her ship is beautiful.

They're already planning their next cruise.

Thanks for the postcard Fiona, I've got a nice QE2 postcard here for you that I'll send away soon.

Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

The Cotswolds, Lechlade and Kelmscot

A Postcrossing post card from Wendy in England.

This is near the source of the River Thames at its highest navigable point.

Thanks Wendy!

Anno 2020

A Postcrossing post card from Nina in Holland.

Nina lives in Utrecht and works for a book publisher and loves living in the city.

Thanks Nina!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lilly the Chipmunk

The restaurant staff on Oriana gave Lilly some helium-filled baloons on Valentines Day. What is a kid supposed to do with all that helium?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Auckland's Amazing Acrobatic Tugboat

We recently sailed from Auckland's beautiful harbour aboard P&O's Oriana which is currently on a world voyage.

The local tugboat captain skillfully helped the 65,000 tonne Ocean Liner gracefully reverse from her berth, and sent her on her way to Sydney.

But after he'd done the job, the Tug Boat captain showed us what he, and his powerful tug could really do.

To the Auckland Port Authority, and their Tug Operators, thanks for giving us a memory that will stick with us for years!

Please forgive the camera movement in the video. It's very hard to hold a mobile phone camera still while trying to celebrate at the same time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We love cruising

Harrison and Sheldon think cruising is cool!

Dinner Time View

We had dinner on the back deck last night and had a stunning view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on our left and the Opera Opera House on our right. Definately the best view in town!

Dinner Time View 2

Here's the view we had on our right at dinner last night.

Circular Quay

The view of Oriana from Circular Quay in Sydney.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sydney. Early morning arrival

Harrison and I got up before dawn today to watch our arrival in Sydney. The ship decks were packed with people who had the same idea. The rain held off until after we arrived.

Circular Quay

Sydney was abuzz with excitement this morning. What an amazing city!

Sydney Didgeridoo

This aboriginal performer was playing an impressive mix of tribal and contemporary music which stopped most visitors in their tracks.

Sydney Opera House

What trip to Sydney would be complete without a trip to the Opera House?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Formal night

We took the kids up to the Crows Nest bar before the formal dinner last night. It's one of my favorite places on the ship with 180 degree horizon views.

Emma and Mark are feeling much better. Ken is no longer feeling sea sick and we're hoping he'll continue with us to Brisbane instead of quitting in Sydney.

All the ladies recieved a rose after dinner last night because it was valentines day.

Kiwi Tug Boat Dare Devil

I couldn't resist uploading a preview of our amazing tug boat captain in Auckland. Watch out for a video next week :)

Look out from the Crows Nest

Lilly keeps watch

Promenade Deck at Night

A great place to walk after dinner at night

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Farewell Auckland

Here's a last look back at Auckland. What a great city.

Mark has got over his bout of queeziness but now both Liz and Emma are feeling sea sick from the movement of the ship.

Lilly thinks that even though she is 6 she should be going pm the teens club instead of 'Peter pans' for the 4 to 8 year olds.

I fear she may be right!

Sail Away Party

The beautiful terraces of the aft deck were the perfect location to farewell Auckland and throw a party.

Each terrace was packed with people partying and they all cheered when the tug boat driver released the lines and did a couple of impressive twirls with his boat as a kind of salute. I'll upload a video of it when we get home.

Seas are rough and Liz is queezy and a bit sea sick. Mark ate some suspect lamb shanks the night before we left so he's been confined to his cabin for 24 hours by the doctor.

As you can see from the picture, Lilly has made some new friends in kids club who are sailing right sound the world. Harrison prefers to explore the ship by himself.

More news later!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our ship has sailed in

We watched Oriana sail in this morning. She looks beautiful all in white. We couldn't have had a better view

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Queen Victoria

Harrison (aka mini Shipwatcher) thinks this is one Very big ship!

Tahitian Princess

The port is pm crowded today that Tahitian Princess had to berth at the container wharf.

But even so, passengers disembark right in the middle of town.

Lilly's Assignment. Part 1

Lilly's Assignment. Part 1
Here are Lilly's answers to some of her assignment questions. Priceless :)

Q1. Write down 5 special things about New Zealand.
1. The kiwi is a special animal.
2. Hangi's
3. The Haka
4. The Maori kiss
5. Bubbling hot mud

Q2. Write down 5 special things about Auckland.
1. Harbour city
2. There is a sea there
3. The buses are green
4. In the hotel you can see the boat
5. There is a haka show

Why is the plane so small, Dad?

Harrison and Lilly weren't very impressed with the small 737 jet that took us to Auckland.

I explained that when it takes off, our plane weighs about 45 tonnes. By comparison Oriana has a grt of 65,000 tonnes. Over 1,000 times heavier.

Both kids wanted a window seat but only one was available, so they tossed a coin and Lilly got the window seat for take off and Harrison for landing.

I've set them an "assignment" to do during this adventure which includes taking photos from the air and finding out facts about New Zealand and the ship. I'll upload one or two if I get a chance.

Auckland Museum

Harrison and our maori guide look pretty intimidating! There is too much to see here in one day!

Auckland Museum 2

"Can we take him home?"

Lilly and Sheldon discover New Zealand's national symbol. But unfortunately we'll have to leave this cute little bird behind the glass.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lido di Jesolo

A Postcrossing post card from David in Italy.

Lido di Jesolo is a seaside resort in the north-east of Italy.

Thanks for the unusual card, David!

Guernsey East Coast and moorings at the Bec du Nez

A Postcrossing post card from 8-year-old Jannick who lives in Guernsey.

Jannick likes Lego, Dr Who and Computers. (So do I), and is learning to speak German.

"Vielen Dank", Jannick!

How to follow us on our adventures

We're going on a cruise in just over a day. I'll try to upload at least one photo per day here, but sometimes it's hard when you're on a ship because they communicate via satellite, which is really slow.

Also, the roaming internet charges for my Telstra phone while we're in NZ are $15 per megabyte, which is ludicrous, so I'll only upload via the hotel internet cafe while we're in NZ.

BUT, I will be sending micro-updates via Twitter. It lets me send updates via SMS on my phone, which is really cheap.

You can see my twitter updates on the right-hand column of this blog.

As you can see from Sheldon's post below, we're also taking a cute little Toy Voyager with us, and I'm sure he'll try to get his face in a few photos too.
I think I'd better start packing. I'm the only one in our group who hasn't started yet!

Anchors Away!


Hi Everyone!

My name is Sheldon and I'm a Toy Voyager.

My mum sent me out into the big wide world on an adventure. Part of my mission is to learn something from wherever I visit. I've also been told to go to New Zealand and see a Kiwi, then to go on a few cruises. (A few??? That means more than one, doesn't it?)

Mum sent me to the right place because the people I'm living with now are crazy about cruising! Do you think that perhaps they're crazy enough to go on more than one cruise?

In a couple of days I'm going on a flight to Auckland New Zealand. And then I'll be hopping on a huge ship which will bring us back home, hopefully without me getting wet.

Here's a picture of me checking out my travel documents. I know I look calm, but inside I'm wondering what I've got myself in to!

Being a voyager can be scarey at times!

Watch this space and you might catch me in some of the family photos pop up here from time to time.