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Published: February 19th 2019
arrived in australia early this morning. after leaving fiji we had a few very rough days at sea again. i guess we caught the tail end of the cyclone. arrived in noumea on the 16th, a day earlier. the cruise into noumea was sheltered by lots of small islands. very scenic and much calmer. the hills are reddish brown in colour because of the nickel. nickel mining is their main industry here. third in the world, canada being number 1. noumea is the capital of new caledonia, a french overseas territory. french is the spoken language here and they use french francs. i booked a tour to the local aquarium. it was small but nice. lots of colourful fish and sea turtles. all the turtles at the aquarium are rescued and rehabilitated there. then when they are well enough they are released back to the sea. there were only 4 turtles there that day.
that afternoon i was invited to a sail away party with some of the officers and other guests. we drank lots of gin and tonics. i chatted with the hotel manager of the ship. she has been cruising for 24 years. very young and still single.
heading into noumea
she is from liverpool. the captain announced we will be making a stop in newcastle, NSW australia because of the 2 ports we missed.
so the 2 days at sea were a bit rough still but manageable. i have a routine now for my days at sea. if i haven't been out too late dancing the night before i try to get up at 8:00. i have a fruit plate with yoghurt delivered to my room. i then go to an aquasize class at 9:00 at the mid ship pool. we do get sloshed around quite a bit. then back to my cabin to change. afterwards i head to the promenade deck on deck 3 for a walk. 3 laps around equals 1 mile. the problem is you are always being stopped by people you know to chat, so 1 mile takes about half an hour to complete. 😊 up to deck 9 or 10 to find a lounge chair where i will write in my journal about the previous day, and browse through the horizon letter which tells us all the going ons for the day on board the arcadia. i might circle a few things i would
like to attend. sit in the sun for a bit then to lunch at the belvedeere which is cafeteria style dining. i have met the canadians a couple of times for lunch in the dining room. after my tummy is full then off to a talk or a pub quiz or a dance lesson. by 3pm i am feeling tired so back to my cabin for a siesta. 2 hours later i am on my deck with a coffee. my dining table has met for afternoon tea a few times. lots of nice cakes and sandwiches. if i'm hot and sticky i will shower then dress for dinner. i had a nice soak in my tub for the first time the other day. before dinner i quite often will go to the crows nest lounge where i will have a drink with friends i have made. our dinner sitting is 8:30, quite late. at 10:30 it is off to the palladium theatre. last night the headliners theatre group did a show featuring the music of queen. it was excellent. then after the show i might head to the globe disco to do some dancing, or to the pub for kareokee.
the days have been flying by.
i am sitting in a cafe in newcastle next to the sea writing to you all. it is 24 degrees and a nice breeze. the perfect temperature. newcastle started producing coal back in the early 19th century and it is still their main export today. i didn't book a tour for today. i decided to just walk around the city and explore on my own. i took some pics of birds and bugs. we don't need to be back on the ship until 7pm today, so i will try to stay out as long as i can. it feels good to be on land. i went for a walk along the water to their sandy beach and dipped my toe in the sea. very warm.
last night we had our last formal night before any passengers that are booked to sydney get off the ship. all of my dining companions will be leaving me in sydney, so i will be getting 7 new guests at my table. all of the cooks and chefs marched around the dining room last night to a great round of applause. the food has been excellent. they
serve 12,000 meals a day! most of the waiters and cabin stewards are from mumbai, india or the phillipines. the officers and the entertainment crew are mostly from the uk. my cabin steward is celeste from the phillipines. she has been on the ships for 24 years. her husband is on the ship as well. at home she has a 15 year old and an 8 year old being looked after by a nanny. they work for 9 months at a time and are home for 3. but she said her younger child is having a hard time with it. our captain cook is leaving the ship in hong kong and we are getting a new captain from croatia. unfortunately they cancelled our stop in cyprus which i am quite disappointed about. my turkish father was born there and has a winter home there so i was excited to see the island. instead we are spending 2 days in haifa, israel.
well i think i will head back to the ship for a quick bite of lunch and a nap. my cabin is right across from the laundry room which is handy for me but when i am trying
to nap i can hear all the arcadia gossip. if you want to find out anything juicy, just go to the laundry room! and sometimes my neighbour lady from washington, dc plays her balalaika on her deck when i am trying to nap.
so we are off to sydney tonight and we will be there tomorrow for 2 days. i have booked a walking tour around sydney harbour. i am going to set my alarm for 5:30 am because the scenery coming into sydney harbour is supposed to be quite spectacular.
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