Friday, February 27, 2009



We awake to a sky filled with an ash haze and the ship vibrating as the captain puts in close to the dock. The volcano that destroyed Rabaul in 1994 is belching smoke and ash just across the harbor!

There are two three-hour ship’s tours, but they are in open air, 12-passenger vans for $89 apiece. We have passed on this experience! So about 10:00AM, we head off the ship to explore the town on our own. There are many ruins all over the island from the Japanese occupation and in town from the volcano damage. As we leave the secure area of the dock, we have to walk through the maze that is the street market set up for the passengers. Here we pick up six, 6 to7 year old, boys who follow us around as we walk down the main street to the Rabaul Hotel. There is an entrance to the Japanese bunker system at the back of the hotel, our goal for the morning. Along the way, we stop at the Catholic Church that was heavily damaged by the eruption. We see many houses and buildings that have gaping holes in both the roofs and walls, but are still occupied.

The people are friendly and there are many children running around. Most of the adults have bright red teeth from chewing on beetle nut. After about two hours, we are soaked to the skin from the humidity and a rain shower so we head back to the ship.

Dick goes on board, but Carolyn makes a stop at the market to buy several bead and shell pieces. There is a man with some very nice basketwork. She stops to admire it and he quotes prices that are dirt cheap, so now we own a really nice basket with a top and a pretty platter. It reminds us of the sweet grass work we have collected from South Carolina except they use a heavier reed with which to weave. Now we just have to find a big box on Guam!

Security is really tight! A crew member is fishing off the dock and talking to the security guard. Back on the ship, we go for a swim and order lunch from room service.
The ship sails at 1:30PM. About two minutes before they put the gangway up, a small boat docks on the edge of the pier and off loads a group of passengers who have been diving…they were really cutting it close. The captain does a sail away very close to the volcano so we have a good look at the damage from the eruption and the cone. It throws a towering new column of dark gray ash into the air as we pass and sounds as if a big jet were revving up its engines in the distance. We then sail between the islands of New Britain and New Ireland and into the Bismarck Sea along the edge of the Bismarck Archipelago.

Carolyn works on the pictures and the blog while Dick takes a nap.

Tonight is Italian night in the main restaurant. Our headwaiter has made us a special pasta dish…Penne with a good red sauce to go with the Caesar salad that has been excellent. We also have melon wrapped with prosciutto and the minestrone soup. It is nice meal with bottle of Shiraz. What a nice ending to an interesting day. Now we have three days at sea on our way to Guam.



Another lazy day at sea; these are Carolyn’s favorites. Dick spends the morning messing on the computer and Carolyn goes to the vegetable carving demonstration where they make a flower basket in a watermelon bowl

and the culinary demonstration where the head chef prepares two dishes; pesto pasta and a scallop dish. The pastry chef does a custard desert also. It turns out to be comedy show because they can’t get the burners to work right and waste a lot of time which in turn causes the pastry chef’s frozen sample made earlier to melt so it won’t hold the finish decorations!. It is a fun hour and a half!After lunch, we both go to the two lectures. The first one is “World Famous Ocean Liners” by a Dr. Bradley and Sarah Weber. They have been doing a series of talks on various sea related subjects since the ship left on its world cruise. The talk today is on the RMS Titanic. It is from the perspective of the type of ship and is very interesting. The second one is of interest to Dick, “Custom Villages and Cargo Cults, a visit to the Black Islands of Melanesia”. The speaker is Dr. Pamela Peck. She talks about Vanuatu and its people and mystery. Dick said it was good, but Carolyn only remembers the opening and closing pictures. She had a very nice nap during the rest of it!

The ship brought on new entertainers in Cairns and tonight it is a comedian and a musician at the pre-dinner show. The men are OK, but not as good as the ones before them. However, it is nice to do something before dinner.

Tonight’s menu has three of Carolyn’s favorite appetizers; crabmeat cocktail, a fruit and cheese dish and a potato and cheese quiche, so those dishes and a bowl of the, “always available,” fettuccine alfredo are her choices. Dick has the crabmeat cocktail, a vegetable and lamb soup and the “drunken shrimp”. We finish off with our waiter’s recommendation of the chocolate mint torte. It is another good end to a very relaxing day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009



After falling into bed last night, by 8:00AM we are awake and well rested, ready for a day somewhere in the Coral Sea basin. It is sunny, humid and hot!

This morning Carolyn decides to do a though search of the luggage and stuff. The goal is to get everything we want to send home, souvenirs, travel books, and clothes that we are not using or don’t need any more sorted and ready to ship home when we stop later at Guam. The other reason is to be sure that we haven’t just hidden some little things from ourselves. In the process, she realizes that among the lost travel papers are the passport photos for the visas for the countries where we will get our visas "on arrival", one more thing to take care of while we are on the ship! The saving grace of all the mess with the lost case is that we had two extrenal drives for picture storage. We were using one just as a back up and at some point in New Zealand started carrying it in the camera case. So we still have all our pictures and now have a new replacement drive. Again we have two sets of all the trip pictures!

After lunch, Carolyn goes to a port talk for Rabaul, our next stop. Since it is so hot outside, Dick goes for a swim, but the sun does not appeal to Carolyn, she uses the time to work on the computer.

A new singer is doing the pre dinner show for our seating. He came on board at Cairns. We get a drink and enjoy his performance.

It is Polynesian night tonight, but neither of us is too hungry, Dick has crab pot stickers and coconut scallops and Carolyn has salmon from the “always available” list and we both have a very good macadamia nut mouse.

They are having a western ho down up stairs with the crew, but we are party poopers and head for bed instead!



The mistake most people from the US make in planning a trip Down Under is that we get a map of the whole of Australia and pick places we want to go, either driving or flying, in our standard vacation time of 2-3 weeks including the time to fly to Australia and back. Hey this is how we do it at home….except we are usually looking at state maps and are talking about doing something in one or two states. Makes sense…Hey; my map of Texas is the same size as my map of Australia! We simply forget that we would not try to see all of the US in a couple of weeks and, like wise, we cannot do that in Australia either. Both countries are huge!

We arrived on January 22 and left on February 24. We went from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans on the Indian Pacific train and from the Northern Territory to the Southern Ocean on The Ghan. We drove some 3,000km in West and South Australia. We stayed mostly in self-catering cottages with a few city hotels thrown in. We shopped in local produce and meat markets, fixing many of our meals in the cottages and visited with lots of lovely people. We visited Kangaroo Island, but did not go to Tasmania nor to the state of Victoria. We stayed in Sydney, 4days; Albany WA, 4 days; Yallingap WA, 2 days; Fremantle WA, 3 days; Darwin NT, 2 days; Seven Hill SA, 2 days; Oakbank SA, 4 days; Kangaroo Island, 2 days. We spent three nights on the Indian Pacific Train stopping in Broken Hill, Cook, and Kalgorrli, then spent two nights on The Ghan with stops in Katherine and Alice Springs. We flew from Perth to Darwin and from Adelaide to Sydney on Qantas. We found their service to be great and the planes comfortable in coach. Our final time in Australia was spent on the Tahitian Princess with stops in Brisbane and Cairns.

We feel we got a good taste of the country. It reminds us of the US…very diverse terrain, varying in appearance very quickly sometimes with lots of cigarette-smoking, tattoo-sporting, scantily clothed young people. As we went from place to place we would say oh, this looks like…. For instance, the Red Center looks like Utah and the four corners area. It is a much drier country than the US. It is a young country compared to the US; almost 200 years younger….their history begins with the transportations in the late 1700’s, ours begins with the Jamestown settlement in the early 1600’s. The people are friendly, easy to talk to, fun to listen to, very proud of their country and do not hesitate to tell you how great it is.

Traveling in Australia reminds me of traveling in the States in the 1950’s…in the rural areas, the small towns have not changed…actually, it looks like time has stood still since, say 1900. On the other hand, the cities are very new and shiny looking with a core of the original Victorian center.

ACCOMODATIONS: There are many nice small B&B’s and guest cottages, but very few hotel/motels except in the big cities and, with the exception of Sydney, the hotels are not up to the standard we are used to in the States. The name hotels are expensive for what the rooms are like. Some of the cottages we stayed in were over the top in what was provided, some tended to nickel and dime us. If I have one BIG complaint, it is with the A/C. Everywhere we stayed, I checked for A/C and all places said they had it. However, the reality is some places think an A/C unit in the living room of a four-room cottage is air-conditioning. This brings me to the climate.

We visited in the summer time. The north and the east coast are humid and hot, but no more so than on the Texas or Florida coast…actually not as hot as we get in the Summer. The problem is the lack of efficient A/C in public buildings. I am not sure whether the abundance of street side cafes is a result of people liking to be out doors or because it is just too hot inside. The center and the south are hot during the day, but comfortable at night, in fact far more so than summer time at home. Of course, this is because it is the dry season.

FOOD: We found the meat and produce in the local markets a real treat and very reasonably priced, but did not enjoy the restaurant food that much. Most of the restaurants were very pricey, in fact. The type of food leans too much to the Pacific Rim style for our taste. The food combinations and spice choices just did not hit us right and we realize that is a personal thing.

DRIVING: The roads for the most part were well maintained and traffic was light, even during what is considered the rush hour. The roads, except around the big cities, are two-lane with passing lanes where needed. We never had problems with animals on the road, but we did not drive after sunset either. We did encounter some road-trains, but not any longer than four trailers. The road-trains are allowed to be as long as six trailers! Driving was very easy and we would highly recommend a driving vacation! Like driving anywhere in our western states or Alaska, you need to plan a little and be aware of your gas situation etc, but it is not a big problem.

We enjoyed our time in Australia. There are a few places we would still like to visit and a few we would like to revisit in the springtime. My biggest recommendation to anyone planning a trip is to get out of the big cities and away from the big tourist areas and visit the areas and the lesser known coastal areas… in the south and west, they are wonderful!


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2009 – 46/99 – CAIRNS

This is an early morning. We board the catamaran for the Reef at 7:40AM in the pouring rain…looks like it is going to be a ”lovely day”. Actually, it can’t get much worse as Dick has discovered that our dive cards were in the computer bag with some other travel documents, so will not be able to dive here or in Egypt as planned.

We don’t normally do anything arranged by the ship as we find it is not a good value. I had booked a private helicopter trip with Reef Magic about nine months ago for a morning trip out to Marine World and then we were going to do something else in the afternoon. About three months ago, they notified us that the ship had taken over the pontoon so they cancelled our trip. It was so close to the departure, I couldn’t find anything online that looked as good, so we just went with the ships tour.

Ok, so here we are with 161 of our closest friends on the way to Marine World in the rain. The water is rough, the boat is full and people are getting sick. It always seems that this kind of tour brings out the “nuttiness” in people. The crew spends the trip out trying to arrange the activities and get everyone properly briefed. Since we can’t dive, Dick is in a blue funk again. It is still raining so the water doesn’t look too inviting either. It was a long ninety minute ride!

At the pontoon, the sky begins to lift so everyone heads to the water or the semi-sub for a look. Carolyn decides to do a helicopter ride, but that activity is now full, so she heads for the water to snorkel. The sun isn’t really out, but it is bright . Other than some pretty, electric- blue coral and a couple of new fish, you could be in Grand Cayman or BVI. But, what the heck, you are on the GBR and you have the picture and the T-shirt to prove it. Actually, she does have fun playing with Wally a BIG blue fish. He was a male Maori Wrass.Carolyn bagers Dick into getting in the water for a while.After swimming, we have a buffet that was just OK, and then Carolyn does the sub ride and sees the giant clams and some other larger fish. The biggest surprise is the condition of the coral….It looks like Roatan did after the huge hurricane in the late mid-1990’s. Yes, there are a few fresh breaks that, maybe, are caused by human activities, but there is way too much broken coral to be explained that way.

Now, the problem with this type of deal sets in. It is 12:30PM and we are ready to go back as are about half of the other people, but we don’t leave till 2:00PM. Fortunately the ride back is smooth.

Back at the ship, we get our VAT back and then walk ashore. Everyone is carrying back bottles of Australian wine, but we brought our share on board in Sydney so we just spend the last bit of Australian coin on a souvenir or two. As we reboarded the ship there were hosteses at the pier serving slices of local fruit, mango, rasbutan (?), a red spikey walnut shaped fruit, and small bananas. They were all so good! It was a nice gesture on Cairns part.

The ship sails at 6:00PM with the sun setting over the rainforest covered mountains behind Cairns. It is pleasant sitting on our aft deck with a drink in hand watching the sail away! We are pooped…mainly from the early morning and heat and humidity. This is where the suite proves to be great. Carolyn calls room service for our dinner. About 30 minutes later we have a nice dinner of Caesar salad with Carolyn’s special dressing, shrimp cocktail and fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken for Carolyn along with seafood bouillabaisse and prime rib for Dick. We finish off with a chocolate brownie and the floating islands (meringue dumplings in a vanilla and caramel sauce). It is good to be sailing!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2009 – 46/98 – AT SEA

A lazy day at sea……we get down to breakfast about 8:45am then go to the lounge to hear a very good talk on Captain Bligh. The Great Barrier Reef Pilot is a very good speaker and must love seafaring history!

Back in the room before lunch Dick works on the computer getting everything back up to date. After lunch Carolyn works on the pictures and gets mostly caught up on the Blog. Fortunately we had two drives and were backing up pictures on both. We had one in the computer case with the computer, but the other was in the camera case! So we were lucky in that we haven't lost the pictures.

It has been rainy most of the last two days at sea, so we haven’t been swimming or out and about much, but hopefully the weather will improve for our day in Cains tomorrow and the reef trip.

The evening show for second seating diner is at 6:45PM. It is a double act…a singer, Drew Ashley and a comedian, Don Ware. They preformed the first night when we were in such a tizzy. At dinner that night everyone was raving about the acts, so we go for this show. They really are very good!

We have a nice dinner; Dick has escargot, French onion soup, Caesar salad and frogs legs: Carolyn has shrimp cocktail, French onion soup, Caesar salad and a steak. We like the show before diner. You are not falling asleep while trying to enjoy the entrainment. There is still music and dancing after diner if we want it, but it is off the bed for us. We have an early call for the reef trip tomorrow!


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2009 – 45/99 – AT SEA

After a good night’s sleep, we are ready for a pleasant sea day. Dick spends the morning getting the computer set up and Carolyn goes to an interesting lecture given by our Great Barrier Reef Pilot. There is a sushi luncheon on the Lido so that is where Dick eats. Carolyn eats in the main dining room as they have lasagna, a favorite.

We both attend a good lecture on Captain Cook this afternoon and then enjoy the activities of the first formal night; all the while trying to get the blog up to date. We go to the “Welcome Abroad” cocktail party for those of us that boarded in Sydney. The captain introduces the senior staff and tells us there are 509 passengers from nine countries on board. The ship is full at 650, so that may explain the roomy feel of things. For dinner Dick has lobster bisque, the great Caesar dressing on a little salad and halibut, Carolyn has crab quiche, the Caesar salad and lobster thermadore. Good food and good night!

Monday, February 23, 2009



We are up at breakfast early as we want to catch the first shuttle into Brisbane. The ship is docked at Fisherman’s Island about 30 minutes from downtown. The shuttle drops us at Queens Street Mall. Armed with information on computer and camera stores we start our search. By 1:00PM, we have found all the parts we need, including a new Toshiba laptop computer. Dick is carrying a huge, heavy bag so we catch the shuttle back to the ship.

We miss lunch in the main dining room and go for some pizza on the Lido deck. With a light lunch and all the new stuff Dick is feeling more himself and has eyes only for getting his life back in order.

Carolyn on the other hand wants to see some sights. She heads back to town about 3:00PM. She is the only person on the bus and the driver strikes up a conversation with her and gives her a quick tour of some sights on the way in including the Old Government House, Parliament House and The Mansions. That was a really nice treat! He suggests a walking route that can be done in the short time she has before the last bus leaves to go back to the ship. Carolyn visits the Cathedral of St. Stephen, built in the Gothic style, completed in 1874, where a wedding is taking place, then walks along the riverand back up by the Post Office, built in the Neo-Classical style between 1871 and 1879, Post Office Square and Anzac Square. It turns out to be a nice little walk and, once again, the Great Victorian architecture in Australia is nicely highlighted. At 4:30PM, she is on the last bus back to the ship with many of the young crew. They are all stuffing Big Macs and singing in very accented English. It made for an interesting ride back!

Back at the ship Dick’s mood is greatly improved now that he is plugged in again! Oh, how the computer controls our life these days! Things are definitely looking up!

Dinner is delightful. Our head waiter is taking good care with Carolyn’s soy allergy. He has fixed a special Caesar salad dressing for us to be sure there is no soybean oil and it is wonderful! The food is good. We both have, the always available, shrimp cocktail, the chilled fruit soup, Ceasar salad and Carolyn has salmon and Dick has a steak

We are both finally settling into the relaxing routine of the ship after the past two rough days.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2009 - 43/101 - AT SEA

After a sleepless night for Dick, he is up at 5:00AM and on the ship’s computer changing passwords, etc., so no one can access our accounts. By breakfast he is feeling a little better but is still in a blue funk.

Carolyn spends the morning with the purser filling out forms for the insurance. Fortunately we had not really planned much for Brisbane. We were just planning to go into town and ride the Citycat ferry up and down the river. So, we spend the day working up a list of what we need at a minimum to make things work for the rest of the trip.

We also finally get confirmation from South African Airlines that our request for a change of date on our return ticket is done. We will now fly home on June 2nd adding another twelve days to the trip. We are doing the extension because, while at Wildwood cottages in Yallingap, we made arrangements to rent the owner’s Tuscany villa for a week. This is something we have always wanted to do sooo…..

It is still morgue like around our room, but Carolyn hopes things will improve with a trip into town tomorrow.

In spite of all the upset with the lost computer we like what we see on the ship. The Tahitian Princess is very pretty and kind of formal and old fashioned looking which we like. The suite is very nice with a wrap around veranda with loungers and a table and chairs, a living/dining room with half bath, a nice bedroom and a dressing room and bath with a big whirlpool tub.All the staff we have met are great so far. The whole feel of the ship is family-like as everyone is introducing themselves to the 80 or so new comers. We also attend the first lecture in a series on the seafaring history of the area. It is about the first voyage of convict transportation to Australia and it is well done. There are a number of sea days with lectures, so this is very promising.



The day starts out with so much promise, but goes terribly wrong! Dick is up early and watches the Queen Victoria dock at Circular Quay. She is on her 2009 around the world voyage. We have breakfast and get the luggage ready to transfer to the ship. Check out time is 10:00AM and we can only get a late checkout of 11:00AM even though the hotel is almost empty and we only want the room till noon when we can go to the ship. This is another big, black mark on the Australian tourist industry along with the inattention to detail in the non-worldwide chains. Our previous stay at the Sydney Harbor Marriott was very nice. There were no surprises and when we told them our flight left at 3PM, we were quickly granted a 1PM check out which made the transfer so easy.

Oh well, we have an hour that we have to be out of the room before we can transfer to the ship. We decide to go ahead and store the luggage with the hotel and check out around 10:00AM with the idea of walking around a bit and checking out a couple of things of interest. It is not so much hot as it is humid and the stores and cafes are very poorly air-conditioned, if at all. Well, Carolyn has an asthma attack so we get a cab to take us back to the hotel to get the luggage and then to take us to the ship. The cabbie is not using his A/C and has the windows rolled up. After asking three times he finally turns on the A/C. We collect the luggage and head to the pier.

Actually, it is not too far from the hotel to Darling Harbor, so we arrive at the dock about 11:45AM. We are glad to see they are checking people in and we take the luggage to the drop off place and head back through an interminable maze that is a check in facility set for several thousand people but with only 80 people boarding at this port. We drop off the carry-on luggage and head to the main dining room for lunch and have a great tasting hamburger!

Carolyn is feeling better after lunch and begins to unpack. She immediately realizes the computer case is missing. Needless to say, we panic and start retracing our steps. The last time it was seem was near the luggage drop off as we arranged the carry-on luggage. The security assures us it is with the luggage to be delivered, but by 4:00PM all our luggage has been delivered to the cabin and both the security and the purser start the lost luggage paper work with the hope that it will show up during the night.

There is a pall hanging over us, especially Dick, so much so that we don’t even remember what we had for dinner! We spend the evening trying to figure out what we have lost!
The Tahitian Princess sets sail from Sydney at 10:00PM. As we go under the Harbor Bridge she blast her horn about five times!



After a week or more of rain, Sydney’s weather is supposed to improve today. It is still overcast and rainy when we head to breakfast, but, by the time we are ready to start exploring, things look better with blue sky off in the distance.

We take a taxi up to QVB, the Queen Victoria Building. We walk over to the town Hall with its clock tower, finished in the 1880’s, and to St. Andrew’s Cathedral, built in 1819. The QVB is a beautiful Victorian building, built in the 1890’s as a produce market. It is five floors, two underground and three above with a copper dome and a glass ceiling. Carolyn is still looking for opals so after checking the directory we head to the top floor to a small one-man shop and, with the help of a delightful sales lady, walk out with five stones. They are a pair of boulder opals for earrings, two other really nice, irregular shaped, bolder opals, one with the blue colors and one with the reds, for pendants and a black opal that will match a pair of stones Dana got for Carolyn while she was teaching in Australia in 1995. The search and the wait were worth it.

While Carolyn shops for opals, Dick explores and finds a fountain pen shop with a gorgeous heavily decorated pen for only $9000AU, but he decides he can live without it for that price. We find a neat antique jewelry store with a great collection of Victorian things. Carolyn visits with the owner and finds that he has just found a Victorian Diary Locket in 18ct gold. The locket was made around 1900 by a famous Melbourne jeweler. It has all the proof marking and is very nice. Needless to say, we walk out with the locket and all the documentation on it. It is real piece of Australiana; a great find if you like that kind of stuff!

By the time we start our walk back to the Rocks and the hotel, it is after 2:00PM, the skies have cleared and the humidity has come out with a vengeance! We stop and check out another shopping area, The Strand, built in 1891. It is a shopping arcade filled with many little shops and cafes and is covered by glass roof. It reminds us of many such places in London and Paris. We also admire Martin Place. It opened in 1891 and is now a traffic free plaza with the beautiful Renaissance style Post office built in 1866. After cooling off and resting for awhile at the hotel,we head down to the end of the Rocks to Campbell’s Storehouses and an Italian place, The Italian Village, which has been recommended, for an early supper. As has happened several times on this trip so far, we are greeted with an Australian version of Italian which is akin to most cruise ship’s attempt at Tex-Mex! We won’t go hungry, but it definitely is not very good or worth the high price! The Steak dinner in the hotel last night was much better and almost half the price. It is still light when we finish so we walk around the area and take some pictures in the good light. Then we take a taxi back to the hotel and bed.



This is a lazy morning with a late breakfast. We work on getting the blog up to date since we won’t have internet access until we get on the ship.

At 10:00AM Peter takes us to the ferry. It is a smooth 45 minute ride to Cape Jervis where we load the car and begin working our way to Adelaide for the 4:50PM flight to Sydney.At Delemare, a little hamlet in a vale along the coast, we stop and explore an old Uniting Church and a small Anglican Church dating from the 1840’s. We take advantage of the shady parking lot and rearrange the luggage to meet the airline’s standards and head on to Adelaide.

At McLaren Vale we find a Subway and share a great sandwich. By 3:30PM we are checked in having retuned the car and cleared security with no problem. The plane lifts off on time, 4:50PM, and we arrive in Sydney as scheduled at 7:15PM. We lost an hour and a half going back to Sydney.A $50AU cab ride gets us to our hotel, Quay West Suites. We have a one bedroom apartment with a beautiful full view of the Harbor from the Bridge to the Opera House. Since it is late and we have been on the go all day we treat ourselves to a good steak dinner and a bottle of wine in the hotel restaurant and call it a night.

Monday, February 16, 2009


FEBRUARY 16, 2009 - 39/93 - KANGAROO ISLAND (DAY 2)

At 8:15AM Peter knocks on our door carrying a lovely breakfast and at 9:00AM Malcolm brings the land cruiser around. Our first stop is Pennington Bay, a nice bay not far from The Outlook. It faces on the Southern Ocean, but the water is not rough so it is good for swimming. We then drive over to the Little Sahara, a collection of high sand dunes that look every bit like a desert. We climb the first dune, only to see two more, taller ones. Carolyn stops at this point but Dick is game for the next dune. He gets about two thirds of the way up and chickens out. Seems as how it has a crest like a wave and he figures he might just go swimming in the sand if he continues. Dick is the tiny black spot in spot in the middle of the picture near the top of the tall dune. Back at the car we shake the sand out of our shoes and head to Vivonne Bay for morning tea!

It is still a bit over cast, but the sand is white and the water very blue. This is a safe anchorage for a number of fishing boats, but most are out to sea this morning. While Malcolm sets up tea, Carolyn can’t resist the call of the beach and goes shelling.

The next stop is The Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase Park. This is a granite outcropping right on the edge of the ocean. Nature’s hand has created a very impressive massive sculpture! Parts of it look like the setting for The Flintstones.
The sun is coming out in force now which is great since our next stop in the park is Cape du Couedic for the 1909 lighthouse and Admiralty Arch.
The area around the Arch is home to a large colony of New Zealand Fur Seals. After a long walk down a board walk, that seems to go right off the cliff face into the ocean, then a trip down a number of steps, (Carolyn doesn’t want to know how many since she will have to climb up them again) we see the prize, the arch! The is a spectacular rock arch that forms the tip of the Cape. The ocean's wave action has formed a shallow pool under the arch and the fur seals use it as their own private swimming pool. We spend a long time watching them play in the shallow, clear water. Walking back up to the car we see a Black Tiger snake, one of the two, very deadly, Australian snakes.Malcolm drops us at the Flinders Chase Visitor’s center to check out the little interpretive center while he sets up lunch in the picnic area. Again we have a very nice lunch with wine offered, but Dick passes as he had a hard time staying awake after indulging yesterday! The birds, brightly colored parrots, are raising cane in the trees as we eat.

Now it is time to see what we really came for...Kangaroos and Koalas. We drive back over to the Hanson Bay Sanctuary area to a place called Koala Walk. As we stroll down an old lane bordered on both sides by Eucalyptus trees we spot at least seven koalas up in the forks of the trees. Then Malcolm takes us out into an orchard like area of Eucalyptus trees and we see a mother and her cub and then a mating pair!
A little further down the road is a 1900's old homestead that has been turned over to the government. It is open to guides with four wheel drive cars and to others for hiking. We drive down a very rough road and park under some trees. Malcolm guides us on a walk around the edge of a large open area. As we walk, looking for kangaroos, he gives us some history of the property and points out interesting plant and bird life. We really enjoy this walk, seeing many kangaroos. They watch us very closely, but most stay put and we get our fill of pictures. It has been another great day! Back at The Outlook, Peter has another good meal ready for us. What a wonderful way to end our time exploring Australia.

Carolyn read a lot of conflicting reports on going to Kangaroo Island as she planned this trip. We both agree that Kangaroo Island is a must if you want to see great wild life outside of the zoos and great scenery too! Of all the nice, cottage B&B’s we have stayed in, The Outlook is the best! There has been great attention to detail both in the touring and the accommodations. The hosts are first rate and it has been a pleasure meet them.