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Published: March 2nd 2018
SS SILVER WHISPER
Launched in 2001 in Genoa, Italy. A classic small vessel in today's world of large cruise ships.
In late January we received confirmation for a 43 day cruise on Silversea Whisper going to some of our favorite places…Australia and Asia. We did a quick pack job, closed up the house and began our journey on Kevin’s birthday. First stop was in Ft Myers to celebrate with Kevin’s brother Mike and his wife Susan. Brother Arnie and his friend Penny joined in the festivities. After a hot bocce ball match we had a birthday celebration dinner courtesy of Mike and Susan.
The next day we began our 24 hour odyssey to Sydney. United has a new business class service called Polaris which is very nice and it made the 18 hour flight from Houston to Sydney fly by...so to speak. We were rested and ready to go when we landed and no jet lag. We picked up our rental car and drove several hours to Toronto which is a small hamlet on the banks of Lake Macquarie. We even managed to stay on the right side of the road which is actually the left side in Australia. Our friend Ilse has a B&B there and this is our fourth visit to her place. We stayed in a comfortable
ROBERTA VISITING FROM ARIZONA
In front of our new home in the Sunshine State.
Roberta is the oldest of 9 Atkins sisters.
studio and took many swims in her pool and had several bbq dinners on the lanai. Ilse is the consummate host and we have become close friends over the years. We even met up with her one night in Bangkok (sounds like a song I know) in 2015. She invited us to a dinner party and served up her Austrian special, Wiener Schnitzel and strudel. There were seven of us at the table including an interesting couple from South Africa who recently emigrated to New Zealand and now split their time between Kiwiland and Oz. Ilse's daughter Martina is her able sous chef and also makes beautiful handcrafted greeting cards as a hobby.
We spent one day driving around Lake Macquarie, the largest salt water estuary in Australia. When we didn’t see any swimmers in the lake we asked if it was a good idea. The occasional appearance of sharks, crocodiles and sea lice seems to be enough to dissuade even the most avid swimmer. But it is a great boating lake, just don’t fall in! There was a large wild fire burning in the Hunter Valley, so we weren't able to visit the fine wineries in this noted
We cut a new pool cover before we left Florida.
On Sunday we drove back to Sydney to visit with Dawn, whom we met in 1997 on a cruise from England to Hawaii. We have shared many lovely times with Dawn and her late husband John, both in Australia and the U.S.
Sydney was alive with parades celebrating Chinese New Year and Gay Pride Week. It is an amazing city to drive around. Overall, we much prefer transport by the magnificent ferry system as it is less stressful and the views are better.
We took Uber to White Bay Cruise Terminal to board the Silver Whisper. Docked directly in front of us was the Regent Voyager. After having done nine world cruises on her, it was very nostalgic to see this beautiful vessel alongside. We followed in the Voyager’s wake as we cruised under the Sydney bridge, past the iconic Opera House and out the Heads to the Pacific Ocean. Off we go on another exciting adventure afloat!
Tot: 1.611s; Tpl: 0.1s; cc: 17; qc: 37; dbt: 0.0963s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb