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Published: November 4th 2016
Well it’s been some time since I posted – mostly because I’ve been extremely busy on the Radiance. But I have managed to get off the ship a few times and both see the sights and spend some time with some friends.
One of the most exciting things on the Radiance is that nearly every cruise is different – it is also the reason why I as the nav officer am so busy. Our first 2 cruises took us to New Caledonia, some place I had never heard of. It’s a group of French islands 600 miles due east of Australia. The 2 cruises were both chartered – one being a rock music charter, the other directed to some older clientele (ancient) and focusing on classical music. The group of islands has 1 port with an actual pier but the other ports we were at anchor and tendering the guests ashore. The beaches are perfect. White sand, blue water, and palm trees. The only downside – like any island which is isolated is that they’re very expensive but you overlook those kind of things. The islands – like much of the area we are currently sailing in were “Discovered” by
Captain Cook. I say discovered because there were natives living there when he showed up. But he gave it the name New Caledonia because it apparently reminded him of the actual Caledonia which isn’t French – but in Scotland.
Following those 2 charters we headed south from Sydney to Melbourne and Hobart. Heading down to Melbourne the sea is open to the southern ocean. It allows for some really rough weather to come up. We ended up dunking the bow into some large waves and washed a bunch of benches off the forward heli deck. I didn’t get off in Melbourne due to the fact that sometimes having a nap is a better idea, and I had spent a week there a few years ago. But Hobart was somewhere I was eager to see as we were only making 1 stop in Tasmania this contract. Firstly, Hobart is a very long way south. Almost as far south as Vancouver is north so it was a brisk 7 degrees when we rolled on in in the morning. Hobart serves as the base for all Australian Antarctic Expeditions which is really cool and the local museum has a bunch of stuff
about Antarctica. Which if you’re a dork like me is super exciting. It’s also not a super big town and was really walkable and enjoyable.
We are now 4 days into our circumnavigation of Australia. Our first stop was Brisbane and then we continued north to Cairns where we will be tomorrow. We are currently sailing in the Great Barrier Reef which is without a doubt the most heavily regulated area I’ve ever sailed in. We will have a specialized reef pilot onboard for 6 days until we reach Darwin on the north coast of Australia and are officially clear from all the shallow water. Something which has continuously surprised me with the area is that all the little islands are not sand bars like they are in the Caribbean. In both New Caledonia and just south of the Great Barrier Reef we were sailing past areas which wouldn’t have looked out of place on the BC coast.
That’s all for now! By next time I blog I’ll have been to a couple more countries as we will be going to Bali and New Zealand before making our way back to Sydney.
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