Day 16...Circumventing the Australian continent...Consecutive cruising instructions...Super Moon from sea...

Tom's last night's shot of the sunset as we set sail to our next destination.
"Sighting on the Ship in Australia"
This artists rendition in the ship's art gallery reminded us of Halloween, the day we
this ship in Sydney, our four year anniversary of traveling the world.
Yesterday at 1 pm a special meeting was held for the under 500 passengers on this 2500 capacity ship who are continuing on the back-to-back portion of the 33 night circumvention of the Australian continent. 

Although it may seem staying on the ship may be as simple a process of receiving a new SeaPass card, its much more complicated for both security and immigration purposes.

In parts, hot Port Hedland felt the Mohave desert in the US.
Luckily, we don't have to change cabins as some passengers do when they booked too late to stay in the same cabin.  However, we either have to be off the ship by 9 am to be out of the way of the final disembarkation of the remaining 2000 passengers, or, we have to stay onboard tucked away in a lounge until the ship is cleared several hours later. 

The Woolworth's grocery in Port Hedland could have been a market anywhere in the world.  We noticed Christmas products already for sale.
We understand and appreciate the need for these strict regulations to ensure no one gets onto the ship that shouldn't be doing so.  Plus, the ship's immigration staff has made the immigration process easy for those of us continuing on this second leg ending in Sydney on December 3rd.

Once again, safari luck prevails, and new friends, Michelle and Carlo, whom we met on RC Voyager of the Seas this past April are picking us up tomorrow to spend the day with them in Perth/Fremantle.  We're so appreciative and excited to spend the day with this lovely couple in their beloved home city.

Industrial salt mining in Port Hedland.
When we return to the ship in the afternoon, we'll be able to avoid the usual checking in process for the cruise or in going through customs or immigration, other than to pick up our new SeaPass cards awaiting us at a designated area for those on the consecutive cruises. 

Huge freighters at the port soon to depart.
Our new friends aboard this ship, Lois and Tom and Cheryl and Stan, are also continuing on to Sydney with us.  The nightly activities will continue.  And, although there will be a totally new group of 2000 passengers boarding in Perth, all of us have agreed we want to continue to enjoy our evenings together both at happy hour in the Diamond Club lounge where we partake of the free cocktails nightly and later at dinner in the Cascades dining room.

With two empty dining room seats opening up at our standing table for eight, after Kat and John disembark in Perth tomorrow, and with the addition of all these new people, we've agreed to find two new table mates, if possible, for this remaining 17 days. 

More enormous freighters.
It won't be easy to replace Kat, John and little William but we'll see how it goes.  We plan to see them when we spend the upcoming 40 days in Sydney beginning on March 13, 2017.  Here again, it adds so much to the upcoming stay knowing we have new friends nearby.

Equipment at the port used in the mining business.
Recently, we'd both read dozens of reviews written by Amazon readers regarding a book written by temporary world travelers.  A comment made over and over again by the readers was how annoyed they were when the authors constantly described their gatherings with friends they met in their travels or, had previously known.

Many tugboats were ready to assist.
We apologize if we've been a bit "overly bubbly" about our new friends.  After four years of travel, most of it has been spent blissfully alone together. However, without access to friends with whom we may have some common interests, cruises have proven to be a refreshing adjunct to our lives on the move. 

Please bear with us.  Within 18 days we'll be in Tasmania, setting up housekeeping once again in two separate locations at six weeks each, and living life on our terms, always hopeful of making new friends but often not in an ideal scenario to do so.  We've easily become adapted to "just the two of us" but its certainly enhances our experiences when we make friends along the way
Sunlight reflecting on the sea.
We've arrived in Geraldton, Australia.  The queues to board the tender boats appear to require a four hour wait.  Based on the few sites in the small town of under 30,000, we may stay on the ship today knowing tomorrow will be a busy day in Perth.

Have a busy day doing that which brings you bliss! 👫

Photo from one year ago today, November 15, 2015:
Beautiful tree hanging over the inlet, we spotted when we visited the village of Vuodomo in Fiji.  For more photos, please click here.


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