Down Under - Winter/Spring 2009 travel blog

adult pool

crew pool

deck chairs

hot tub

pool deck


sun deck


wind deflectors abstract

We were due to visit Exmouth today. This tiny town of 2,400 didn’t exist until 1967 when it was built as a support town for the United States Naval Communications Center. Obviously a town this small doesn’t have a dock and really doesn’t have much to offer to a cruise ship. But Exmouth is on the edge of the Ningaloo Marine and Cape Range National Parks. Before every port we attend lectures given by an Australian woman who worked for Qantas for many years and knows her country well. She does a great job telling us what to expect and look for and has no agenda or anything to sell. Our hearts sank a bit when she said that visiting Exmouth only happens 50% of the time, because of high winds here. But we were excited about snorkeling the reef and seeing the colorful gorges in the national park.

The day dawned bright and sunny and the high humidity that has been an unpleasant symptom of the rainy season was gone. But the seas were choppy and while they didn’t look that bad to me from my vantage point eight decks above them, the captain felt it would not be safe to tender to shore. He said that most of us would be seasick by the time we reached the land. I would have given everyone a barf bag and made a go for it, but he’s the captain and I’m not. We sailed on. The Naval Communications Center towers were impressive when we sailed by them. They were each about 1,000 feet tall supported by a series of guy wires and antenna wires were strung between them. They were built to communicate with our submarines while they are submerged in the Indian Ocean.

We enjoy days at sea and are good at entertaining ourselves when the ship’s offerings are not to our liking, but it’s beginning to feel like we’re seeing Australia from afar. This was the last tender port and there are more stops on the south coast than there were on the north. Fingers crossed....

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