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January 11th 2009
Published: June 13th 2017
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Geo: 50.8998, -1.39561

Sunday 11/01/09
The day's finally arrived; we left home by coach at 10:15 for the uneventful 3 ½ coach trip to Southampton docks. Onceat the berth there was as expected the snaking queue of hundreds of people all with the same thought on their minds; lets get this over with quickly, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised, the process from joining the queue to opening the cabin door was just under 30 minutes, not bad at all.

The cabin's fine with plenty of storage space (which we'll need for the next 3 months) it's positioned
amidships and on level 9 as originally booked which places us pretty much dead centre of the ship which I anticipate will lessen the impact of pitching and rolling in heavy seas. (I checked the weather forecast
for the Western approaches just before we left and it isn't good with strong winds forecast)

17:00 There was a champagne sailaway as we left the berth complete with brass band, ticker tape cannons, and a firework display, all in all a memorable farewell.

18:00 We've just been informed that the weather is forecast to be rough with winds force 7-8 and seas of 4-5m so it'll be interesting. Fortunately our only reservation has been allayed and we been blessed with good company at our dinner table, with 4 of the other 6 doing the whole journey whilst the other 2 disembark at Sydney. Our table's made up of 2 Scots, 2 Irish (but I shan't hold it against them) with the rest of us English, all bodes well!


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