Anyone got a spare thrust bearing ?

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March 3rd 2009
Published: June 13th 2017
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Geo: -33.8671, 151.207

Sunday 01/03/09 Sydney - Australia Temps Air 28°C

As our intended berth at the cruise terminal was still occupied by the cruise ship Crystal Serenity we were moored just off Shark Island, not far away the Celebrity Cruises ship the "Millennium" was also moored, so with 3 ships in port we knew the city would be bustling. We were due to move into the Cruise Terminal in the evening after the departure of the Crystal Serenity. We were duly tendered off, with the journey to the cruise terminal by high powered catamaran only taking 15 mins, as we passed by the Opera House and approached the Harbour Bridge we were treated to spectacular shots of both iconic sites.

We had already decided to spend time most of our time around Botanical Gdns, Circular Quay and "Rocks" area taking in the week-end market which is adjacent to the terminal, on our last visit we left before the week-end so missed the opportunity. In addition I wanted to walk along the bridge to get some opportunistic shots of the ship with the Opera House in the background. We returned to the ship, in time to shower and have our evening meal which we wanted to do so we would be on board as we set course for our berth at the terminal in the evening.

What a fantastic sight it was with the whole city panorama unfurling along both sides all lit up, it was a truly momentous occasion. As we slowly set off, oh so slowly, manoeuvring along the waterway, busy with all sort of craft, from small local outboard boats, larger power boats, and the evening tourist boat rides, as well as the normal ferries, all jostling for position, both for the evening shots of the Bridge & Opera House as well as the trying to get shots of the ship with either of the icons in the same picture, it really was a night to remember. Having finally berthed we trotted off back up along the bridge to duplicate the shots taken earlier, but this time they were obviously nightscapes making an nice before and after edition of the photos, I hope.

Monday 02/03/09 Sydney - Australia Temps Air 28°C

We'd took the ferry from Circular Quay which is only 300 m from the ship, to Darling Harbour which is where we stayed last time, and then we intended to slowly spend the day making our way back to the ship through the parks, visiting the places we either missed or didn't have time to visit last time.

One of the places of interest was the Chinese Gdns which was only 500m from where we previously stayed but we never got around to visiting. What a surprise I've always enjoyed Chinese / Japanese Gdns and had anticipated spending around 1 ½ hrs here as the site wasn't very big. What it lacked in size it made up for in everything else (girls take note!) it was stunning, small but delicately proportioned, with each and every turn opening up to another beautiful sight, rock gardens, pools, pagoda's, bridges, and temples, as well as numerous lizards / goannas from 2ins to some larger ones at over 2 feet. The peacefulness of the gardens was a real oasis and it was all so easy to forget that outside the walls there was a bustling metropolis, so after nearly 3 hrs we eventually emerged, behind schedule already.

After a pleasant meander through the parks and Botanical Gdns we emerged back at Circular Quay, when we took the last opportunity to wander around the Opera House again, (it's strange that no matter how many times you've been to both the Opera House and Bridge you're still drawn back to them for a final visit). Taking advantage of the different lighting conditions we again went up onto the bridge for the last time to both view and take photos of the ship with the Opera house in the background.

Only 3 hrs after leaving Sydney we were all stopped at sea, after a short while the captain announced that we were experiencing difficulties with our port propulsion system and that attempts were being made to effect repairs, and as a result we would be travelling at approx. ½ speed whilst they ships engineers in collaboration with their agents both in Sydney & the UK work to diagnose and repair the fault; in my experience this doesn't bode well for the planned itinerary, anyway positive thoughts breed positive outcomes. (Yeah I know I'm trying to convince myself).

Tuesday 03/03/09 At Sea going slowly

Well the Captain's just announced that the fault has been traced to faulty thrust bearing which is not repairable at sea, so with that in mind the planned visits to both Wellington & Napier in New Zealand have been cancelled in an effort to reach Auckland in time to effect repairs. As Auckland is a transit port with passengers both embarking & disembarking it's essential we arrive on schedule. Hopefully when we arrive the necessary part, along with whatever other facilities and expertise are required will be available in order to quickly effect the necessary repairs so that no more of the holiday is aborted due to lengthy repairs, bugger, so much for positive thoughts. I had a bet around our dinner table that the repair would take a minimum of 2 days, which caused much consternation and speculation, that's reality, bugger positive thinking.

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