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Today has been our very last day at sea and on the good ship Columbus.

Packing started immediately after breakfast, and was more or less completed by lunchtime, with just a few minor refinements required.

The Tasman sea has been much calmer today, and temperatures have been steadily rising too. We took some time to walk around the top deck and ponder our good fortune to be where we are. The nine sea days were tough, but the ports we’ve visited since then have more than made up for them; cruising is still an interesting way to see the world, and I hope I never take it too much for granted, despite the occasion challenges it might throw in the way.

It’s also been a day of saying goodbye to folks, who we might not get a chance to speak to on our way off the vessel in the morning.

This afternoon, we sat in on Paul’s lecture on things to see and do in Sydney, which was very helpful, but it also gave us lots more ideas than we’ll have time to do in the two days we have booked; naturally, we’ll be wanting to take a good look at Sydney Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House, but Paul’s talk proved that there is so much more to Sydney than just those two locations… it’s going to be a busy two days…

After dinner, went to the show. After that, we met up with Paul and Jos, Chrissie and Carol, and Sue for and informal drink in Raffles Bar.

Tomorrow morning, we will be disembarking the ship and stepping onto Australian soil for the very first time.

Peter Woolley

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