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February 20th 2009
Published: June 13th 2017
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Geo: -12.4613, 130.842

15-18/02/09 At Sea on route to Darwin Australia

I heard an interesting conversation today where one chap was saying he finds it cheaper to go cruising most of the year than pay residential home fees which set me thinking and he's right, dependant on the home in question and the level of service your expecting cruising is a viable option. Think of it, no bad weather as such, barring the odd storm, excellent food served where and when you want 24 hrs a day, plenty of varied and sometime stimulating conversation, as much entertainment as you can manage, and other than washing your clothes (unless your rich enough to be able to send it to the laundry daily) there's little work to be done. It's no wonder that some of the passengers think they own the ship, as well as the company.

We'd decided before we left that I'd take the opportunity to reduce my alcohol consumption and only have wine once a week and severely reduce my spirit consumption to more moderate measure, it felt like a good idea at the time. Anyway reducing the wine wasn't a great problem as the cheapest bottle of anything is £12 and the decent wines are in the range of £20+ it makes me wince knowing what I buy similar wine for in France.

Woke up on my birthday to find balloons plastered all over our cabin door, there's no hiding on ship. Most night's you'd hear the waiters sing happy birthday to someone somewhere in the restaurant, that's the last thing I wanted and made it known. At the evening dinner the table was expecting the waiters to sing to me, and they were all disappointed when it didn't happen, ha ha got away with it. That evening we all trotted up to the bar after the show and Norman mentioned to another passenger that it was my birthday and he immediately got up and requested the band to play happy birthday, to which they then all stood up and sang to me, embarrassed or what, eventually we all staggered out of the bar at 01:00 with me knowing I'd be up at 07:20 to go to the gym, oh hell, good job it's not every night.

Currently I'm going to the gym on sea days and Linda walks the plank prom deck, she manages around 4 mls before I return from the gym, then we have breakfast before she completes another 1-4 mls, I just can't walk the deck it's far to monotonous for me. I've just finished my 8th book, which as well as updating my blog, sorting emails, and monitoring my card usage on line takes up most of what I suppose is free time, oh and of course helping people with computer log in problems, filing methodology, and general PC advice.

Thursday 19/02/09 Darwin - Australia Temps air 33°C Sea 27°C

Arrived to glorious sunshine temperature of 29°C and very humid not bad for 08:00 we'd planned to go to Crocodylus Park & Zoo on our own rather than an organised excursion. Doing this way would give us the flexibility to do vas we pleased, ensure we saw the croc feeding, and still give sufficient time to browse Darwin as we intend to return at some later date to drive the leg from Darwin down the western coast to Perth.

Today was the anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Darwin, and there was a ceremony planned for the morning with enactment of the initial bombardment, so we'd been warned about the possibility of suddenly being subjected to very low flying fighter jets along with air raid sirens and the sounds of bombs being dropped and the resultant explosions, what a welcome.

We made our way to the bus terminus to catch the bus to the park and duly waited for the bus to arrive, when we boarded we discovered it was correct change only for the $2 fare, as we had only recently visited that wonder of our time, the ATM, the smallest note I had was $10, however the driver said not to bother because all the locals have passes so it was only the passengers from the ship who were paying and it didn't matter! I eventually managed to change a $10 for 2 $5 and again offered this for the fare as I wasn't bothered about the change, he was having none of it, "don't bother it's ok", came back the response "just sit down and enjoy the ride", oh well you all know me, without further a do I sat back and did as I was told, (for once).

The park was a great experience, there's also an interesting museum detailing their 38 years of experience with crocs and their related species. Although like all zoos it's depressing to see animals penned up rather than in their natural environment, however it was a great morning overall and with the temperature now at 33°C we decided to make our way back to town to do some souvenir hunting in the air conditioned malls.

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