March 28, 2017 – Perth, Western Australia, Australia
We had an early breakfast and caught the 8:15 a.m. train into Perth. We wanted to go to Kings Park which is Perth’s botanical garden. With the help of a very nice train station attendant we bought our tickets for Perth. The train filled up with kids who were on their way to Shenton College which is a prep school for grades 7-12. They were very nice young people who either quietly studied or talked with their friends on their way to school.
When we arrived in Perth about 40 minutes later, we caught the blue Cat bus and then changed to the green Cat bus to reach the park. Both of these buses are free. In fact, as we found out when we returned from the park to the train station, all of the downtown buses are free.
We got to the park about 10 a.m. and caught the guided tour of the gardens. After that we wandered around the park and saw quite a few birds. The botanical gardens feature native plants from all the states of Australia so it was great to find out what some of the plants we’ve been seeing are called. Did you know there 733 varieties of eucalyptus? We saw a tiny handful of them in the park with seed pods ranging from pea sized to a small pineapple. We also saw several birds which I will let Patsy tell you about. Of note bird wise was laughing kookaburra, red wattlebird, Australian ringneck, rainbow lorikeet, Pacific black duck, Willie wagtail, and more of the black and whites (i.e. magpies and magpie larks).
We visited the gift store, and I bought some more Christmas gifts. After we had lunch, we caught the bus back to the train station and caught the 2:15 p.m. train back to Fremantle. It was A$4.60 – about US$3.25 – each way. They use the British system here in that you show your ticket when you get off the train rather than when you board. At any rate, it sure beat the $99 bus which Oceania laid on for today for folks to do “Perth on your own”. It left at 9 and returned at 5.
We found out that Cyclone Debbie, a category 3 by our scale, a 4 by the Australian scale is hitting the Queensland coast quite hard today. Winds are up to 160 mph. Airlie Beachs which is where were on the 10th has been hard hit. They tried to evacuate everyone, but evidently some people either didn’t want to go or waited too long to leave so they were advised to shelter in place. They don’t know yet how much damage has been done to the Great Barrier Reef, but the storm is tracking right along it so there will probably be some damage, if not major damage. This should be the end of their cyclone season, but we seem to have been involved in 2 tropical depressions – one on the east coast and one on the west coast plus the Antarctica front which we ran into day before yesterday. Thank goodness we were out of the Queensland area before the cyclone blew up.
When we got back to Fremantle, we found an aborigine art shop, but it was closed Sunday-Tuesday. So, we opted instead to find a liquor store and buy a couple of bottles of champagne for A$15 – about US$10.50 – which is a lot cheaper than the $125 per bottle on board ship. We got a couple of Australian ones which included one made by Yellowtail. Will let you know how good we think they are.
We came back to the cabin and finished off the expensive bottle before Patsy went to Trivia. It will be interesting to see how well she played. Must have done okay because they finished 1st. Did you know that Engelbert Humperdinck’s real name in Arnold Dorsey?
We both put on our heaviest coats when we went to dinner in the Terrace Café. It was a little warmer in there tonight, but it was still too cold not to have on a fairly heavy coat. Just before we left for dinner, the Captain announced that we would be leaving as scheduled at 8 p.m. One Antarctica storm has passed by us while we were in port and is heading on north. He hopes to make it to Kangaroo Island before the next one which is forming now meets up with us.
Today’s Current lists the oceans of the world. In case you are interested, the largest ocean if the Pacific which covers 64,186,300 square miles and has and average depth of 12,925’. The 2d biggest is the Atlantic which covers 33,420,000 square miles and has an average depth of 11,730’ The 3d largest is the Indian Ocean which cover 5,105,700 square miles and has an average depth of 12,598’. The smallest ocean is the Bass Strait which covers 28,950 square miles and has an average depth of 230’.
The pressure at the deepest part of an ocean is close to 7 tons per square inch which almost a thousand times the atmospheric pressure on the earth’s surface. At a depth of 3,000’ the pressure of 1,350 pounds per square inch is sufficient to squeeze a block of wood to half its volume so that it will sink. At a depth of 25,000’, air will be compressed so much that it will be as dense as the surrounding water.
The estimated volume of the oceans vary from 317 to 330 million cubic miles with most reliable sources placing the volume at approximately 328 million cubic miles. Ocean waters comprise about 85% of the total water on the earth’s surface. The volume of all land above sea level is only 1/18 of the volume of the ocean. If the solid earth were perfectly level and round, the ocean would cover it to a depth of 12,000’