Wineglass Bay – Tasmania

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I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

John Masefield – second verse of Sea Fever.

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Approaching Wineglass Bay, Tasmania.

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

The Secret of the Sea – verse one – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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Entering the Bay

“Wouldst thou,”–so the helmsman answered,
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!”
The Secret of the Sea – verse eight – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DSC09755rClose enough for me . . .

DSC09757rPeaceful and calm as we enter the Bay.

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Clean, clear water – ‘civilisation’ has yet to arrive.

DSC09759rVirgin beaches

Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;–
The Secret of the Sea – verse four – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DSC09760rThe entrance through which we passed to enter Wineglass Bay.

DSC09761rBlue on Blue with our wake drifting astern.

DSC09762rAt peace with the world – our ship is hardly moving.

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We curved through Wineglass Bay, followed by Oyster Bay, and exited via another gap in the coastline.

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 White caps can be seen as we leave the shelter of the Bay and head out to sea.

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Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

The Secret of the Sea – verse ten – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 – 1882

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

The final verse of Sea Fever – John Masefield, 1878 – 1967

‘the long trick’s over’ – at sea your watch (time on duty), was sometimes referred to as a ‘trick’. I liked the ‘graveyard’ watch, which was Midnight to 4.00 am and noon to 4.00 pm.

Nice and quiet at night in the middle of an ocean, when you touch the stars, because they were so clear, and so close.

Queen Victoria Market

C_Class_Tram,_Melbourne_-_Jan_2008The light rail from Port Melbourne to the city takes about fifteen minutes, and costs $7.50 return, if you are a pensioner or $15.00 full fare.
After the Golden Princess docked in Melbourne, we caught the light rail to the city centre. The cost includes a reusable card that can be ‘topped up’ over the internet, so we didn’t throw the card away on leaving Melbourne – just in case we return, because it still has credit on the card!

DSC09675r  Sunrise over Melbourne as we crept alongside the wharf.

Maureen and I lived in Melbourne for five years before moving to Sydney. The Golden Princess would be alongside for about eight hours so where to go and what to see – for me the answer was a ‘no brainer’, Maureen likes shopping, so for something different how about Queen Victoria Market. It had been a long time since we visited this market, and our day of arrival would be Friday, so the market would be open.

Queen_Victoria_Market_201708The market is a hundred and forty years old (opened in 1878), and is open five days a week – Thursday to Sunday and Tuesday.
It is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, and with over 600 stalls covering seven hectares (17 acres) it would take us most of the morning to see them all. After the market we planned to return to the ship for a late lunch, which would also make sure that we would not miss the sailing time.

With hindsight I think we arrived a little too early, because many of the non-food stalls were only just setting out their goods. Two friends, Viv & Lorrain, from our small ‘cruising’ group had joined Maureen & I, so the ladies could please themselves as to what they wished to see, as I could, because I was not all that keen on checking out lady’s jackets for more than fifteen seconds.

I wondered around with my trusty point and click to record a few colourful stalls. Fortunately the more colourful stalls appeared to be set up earlier than the ‘run of the mill’ stalls.

DSC09682rThis was an interesting stall – all the individual flowers are made from recycled wood!

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DSC09680rI don’t know how many I touched, just to satisfy my curiosity and to make sure that the flowers were not real!

DSC09685r$5 ‘T’ shirts – I didn’t buy any, but the display was colourful.

DSC09688rSupposedly Australian roads signs, but as I don’t have a bar or ‘den’ I didn’t buy any.

DSC09689rBecause our destination was Tasmania I considered buying the Tasmanian Devil sign, but where to hang it at home – all too hard, so didn’t buy anything. I’m a great shopper.

DSC09678rBoomerangs – I think they were made in China. . . not sure if they were supposed to work (which I doubt), or if they are just for collecting dust in forgotten drawers at home.

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Not sure where the ships came from, but I don’t think it was Australia. I fancied one of them, but was bothered about getting it home in one piece. They looked very delicate.

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The card stall was ‘different’ – all pop-up three ‘D’ cards – five for $20.

DSC09693rGlitter and more glitter, reminded me of various stalls that I ‘d seen in Asia & India.

DSC09695rThis stall had the feel of Japanese cartoon characters – another stall offered Japanese crockery – mainly every day crockery. When I was at sea we used to call in to Nagoya (east coast of Japan), to pick up a cargo of everyday crockery, as well as expensively created porcelain.

800px-NoritakeThe above is a sample of Noritake porcelain of Nagoya, from the 1920’s.

We walked up and down each aisle and eventually came out of the covered area to find an unusual sculpture in String Bean Alley.

DSC09697rCheck the hanging item at the centre right of the above picture. Melbourne seems to be big into recycling packing cases or wooden pallets.

DSC09696rA close-up of the sculpture . . . unusual, but not to my taste.

DSC09698rWalking down the alley we came to the organic market, which is more my taste.

DSC09700rI do like chillies – and I was pleased that I’d found something that was ‘made in Australia’ !

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DSC09701rSay cheese!

DSC09702r Stuff this stuff that  . . .!

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DSC09703rThe indoor area of the market, was mainly for the sale of fresh food – wine, fish, meat, bread, everything that you could possibly want, such a shame that this market it is about a thousand kilometres from where Maureen & I live. The colours and the smell of the fresh fruit was a ‘feast’ to the senses.

fruitNectarines & peaches.

 

meatSmoked meat, cold cooked meat, olive oils and more.

wild meat

Wild meat – It’s years since I last had rabbit, I think it was just after the war when meat was still rationed in the UK.
Kangaroo meat is very lean and tasty.
Venison is ‘common’ and wild boar expensive.
A wallaby is a small to mid-size animal of the kangaroo family, and is a native of Australia and Papua New Guinea – I’ve not tasted wallaby, and didn’t know that it was available as food for humans.

When visiting markets, I try and remember to take my ‘book lists’, just in case I find a second-hand book stall – which I didn’t this time.
After finishing our tour of the market we decided to walk back to the city centre via Elizabeth Street, because years ago there used to be a second-hand book shop just off this street.
It is no longer where it used to be, but I did find a shop called The Book Grocer , which seems to specialise in ‘end of line’ books – nothing over $10!
Like the addict that I am, I couldn’t pass a book shop offering discount books.

As many of us do I couldn’t help but check to see if my own book was on offer . . . it wasn’t.

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Triangle TradeFor the newer followers I’ve written one book, but it has been published twice. The above two books are the same story – I wrote Ice King and self published, which was picked up by a UK publisher and reissued as Triangle Trade in hardback. Ice King is cheaper and is still available as an e-book from Amazon.

The point of the above explanation is that I am writing the sequel and I’d written about the Fishing Fleet of India during the early 1800’s.

What did I find in the Book Grocer, but

Fishing FleetI had to buy it, for further background research for my sequel. I’m half way through reading The Fishing Fleet and have forgotten that I should read it for research, because it is such an interesting and entertaining book.

The best laid plans etc  . . .

Duck Apple Night

Duck appleThose of us who were brought up in the ’40’s and 50’s in the UK, always looked forward to Duck Apple night, which was well before Dad hired a TV.

Duck Apple was a simple game on the last night of October. We had to try and grab an apple with our teeth. We were not allowed to use our hands, and sometimes we had our hands tied behind our back to make sure that we didn’t cheat.
An evening of fun with family, friends and plenty of laughter, and you didn’t get in to trouble if you ended the evening with your shirt soaking wet. Shock horror, even the adults were soaked.
The tradition goes back to the Roman invasion of Britain (55 BC) when the Romans merged their religious celebrations with Celtic Britain. The apple tree, which was a Roman symbol of plenty (Pomona) was introduced in to Britain and the apple floating in water was used to see if an unmarried person was due to be married.
The first person to bite in to the apple would be the next person to be married. Girls who ‘bobbed’ i.e bit in to a floating apple, would place the bitten apple under their pillow to dream of their future lover. Odd how the apple was held in such high regard by the Romans, considering how important it was in the Garden of Eden.

A variation, in the 18th century, was to suspend the apple in the air, rather than float in a barrel or bath, perhaps they didn’t like getting wet.
All Saints Eve (31st October), according the old writings in Cheshire (the county where I was born), required a hollowed out turnip, in which a candle would be placed to frighten people. This ‘lamp’ being a jack-o-lantern, (will-o’- the-wisp) which later grew in size (we all put weight on with age), when pumpkins replaced the turnip. We used to eat turnips, but pumpkin was only given to the pigs, so I suppose in the early days they changed the vegetable to save money.
Even though the Golden Princess was technically a British vessel (she is registered in London), they celebrated the American idea of duck apple night.
Considering the link between old England and the Romans, and that the Captain and some of his officers were Italian, perhaps they should have had Duck Apple night around the swimming pool. I’ll drop Princess Cruises a line before next year.

DSC00010rI found it ironic that a thousand-year-old ceremony for the souls of the dead in purgatory, should generate a Happy Halloween sign. What’s with the spiders?

DSC09894rI’ve never been winked at by an overweight turnip.

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DSC09893rWas this supposed to be a cowboy?

DSC09902rWe had company in the dining room. I wasn’t sure if he was a passenger from the last cruise still waiting for his first course.

DSC09903rHe was still hanging around when we left.

DSC09991rcOn entering the dining room, we were greeted by, who I thought, was Bat Man, until I realised he was a vampire. At least steak was on the menu!

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I couldn’t see the connection between the dead and a pirate. . . until it was explained to me about the Pirates of the Caribbean – I’ve been told that there are six films in the series – I’ve not seen any, I should get out more . . .

DSC09994rAnother odd connection, unless this steward was a Fred Astaire fan or perhaps a

White Heat 3James Cagney  fan – he never did say ‘You dirty rat’ 1932 film Taxi. The photograph is from White Heat (1949), but he did define why we all go to a bar, what a philosopher . . . Come fill the cup, (1951).

DSC00005rcThankfully, this steward was not attending our table.

DSC00002crDrop your napkin and you meet the strangest people.

DSC00006rcHe curdled by cream caramel !

DSC00007rcAll’s well that ends well.

I can’t remember the last time anyone knocked on our door ‘souling’, and offering prayers for the dead, in exchange for ‘soul cakes’.

Nowadays it is called ‘trick ‘n’ treat’, which is not much different than the insurance (protection for money) offered by Al Capone. Today it is pay up (in sweets), or we egg your car.

Fortunately I have two large gates, which are locked from 3.00 pm on the 31st October – bah humbug!

Wychwood's Bah Humbug!

Dieting ? Then don’t cruise . . .

When cruising, food is a major consideration – after all good food, which is pleasing to the eye, as well as being tasty, is part of the holiday.
On sea days Maureen & I normally visit the dining room for breakfast, rather than the buffet area, because you can meet some interesting passengers over breakfast.

The table, covered in a cream coloured tablecloth, is always a welcome site.

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And then we have the menu – which changes every day.

DSC09649rThe right-hand side lists the day’s specials – the left-hand side lists the standard offerings.

DSC09649cI hope this picture, which has been enlarged, is clear enough for it to be read.

Our routine was to have breakfast about 8.00 am, which would take about an hour. Not that the staff were slow, but who wants to rush breakfast when on holiday, it’s not as if we had a bus to catch.
The portions can be as large as you wish, it’s your choice, but most people seemed to stick to the meal size that they have at home, after-all lunch starts at Noon, which is only three hours away!

DSC09652rLunch on the Golden Princess was civilised – the menu changes daily.

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DSC00035rOr you could visit the buffet area, which has a wide choice of food. The above two pictures were taken just before noon on a sea day – the buffet opened for lunch at 11.30 am. The pictures show just a small part of the sitting area .
If you don’t fancy the dinning-room or the buffet area, you could sit outside and have lunch from a take-away, which we did for one lunch.

DSC09880rA choice of fish and chip (with salad), or beef burgers, chips & salad – with egg or cheese on the burger, or you could have it just plain. There were various other choices of take away dishes, but the burger & fish are all I can remember. Another ‘stall’ (not shown) offered pizzas, whole or by the slice.

DSC09879rTo the left of the take away area you can see a bar, so you wouldn’t have far to go to include a beer with the burger & chips – waiter service of course, one is not expected to exert themselves when at sea!

Just a few examples of various dishes in the dining room.

DSC09653rAppetiser

DSC09881rMain course

DSC09654rPudding

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Do you fancy something else ?

DSC00044rMaureen, being a coeliac, receives gluten free meals at lunch and dinner. Each evening during dinner, the Maître d’ would present the following day’s lunch and dinner menus so that Maureen could pick her dishes and they would be produced gluten free.

At breakfast there were enough gluten free choices that Maureen didn’t have to pre-order, she just asked for gluten free toast ‘well done’, because gluten free toast doesn’t brown as well as ordinary toast.

At lunch and dinner the stewards would offer a menu to each of us, and to Maureen, who would indicate that her meal had been pre-ordered. The steward would ask for our cabin number and from then on all went well.

Maureen’s advance notice of the following day’s meals came in handy for the rest of us, because we would not over eat at lunchtime if we knew of a particular dish was on the dinner menu.  . . .  I do enjoy cruising.

Golden Princess

Golden Princess, a sixteen-year-old ship, which has managed to maintain her grace.

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 The Golden Princess is registered in London.

The above photo clearly illustrates the historical link between Australia and the UK. The flag on the left is the Princess company flag.

We did notice a few things different from the more modern vessels.

DSC09645rThe balcony was smaller than those that we have experienced on other Princess ships, but as the weather was not ‘sitting out’ weather this was not a problem.
Our shower cubical was smaller than on previous ships – just don’t drop the soap because I had to step out of the shower to pick it up . . . perhaps this is why the liquid soap bottle is bolted to the bulkhead in the shower – due to a skin reaction to perfumed soap I use basic unperfumed soap, which is why I make an effort not to drop the soap!

DSC09630rThe view from our cabin before we sailed.

DSC09632rAlso Circular Quay ferry terminal from our cabin.

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The cruise has started – ‘sail away’, with the traditional dance music and passengers trying to secure the best photographic position as we sail Sydney Harbour towards the open sea.

DSC09635rA blast form the past, perhaps the last arrival from the 1st Fleet in 1787.

EducationalTours_TheFirstFleetWhat is now Circular Quay, in 1788.

DSC09639rA piece of history, the Sydney ferry passes the top mast of ‘HMAS Sydney’, the Australian light cruiser that fought and beat the German light cruiser ‘Emden‘ off the Cocos Islands in November, 1914, during WW1.

HMAS_Sydney_I_Memorial_Mast-23080-94736 - CopyIf you wish to know more of ‘HMAS Sydney’ and the ‘Emdencheck this link.

DSC09646rThe view from our balcony, after leaving Sydney harbour. I could spend hours just watching the sky change shape – who needs TV?

 

 

Devil’s Island

princess-cruises-golden-princess-exterior-02-galleryGolden Princess

Seven of us are off on a short cruise next week to Tasmania, a place that neither Maureen or I have visited. The cruise is just a week, and for us it is a taste of the Apple Isle, which might convince us to return later for a driving holiday.

1280px-Coat_of_arms_of_Tasmania.svgTasmania’s coat of arms, and the meaning of the moto being, Fertility and Faithfulness.

TassieYou must have heard of the Tasmanian Devil according to Bugs Bunny’s Devil

And now for a real Devil.

The first European to visit the island was Abel Tasman in 1642. The French arrived in 1772, and the first Englishman to set foot on the island was Tobias Furneaux in 1773. Captain Cook arrived in 1777. It was a popular place.

In 1803 a small detachment was sent from Sydney to the island, because French explorers were investigating the southern coast of Australia, during the time when Great Britain was at war with Napoleon. The British, in Sydney, wanted to make sure that the French did not lay claim to the island. At that time the island was considered as part of New South Wales.

In 1642 the island was been named Van Diemen’s Land by Abel Tasman. This naming was in honour of Anthony Van Diemen who was the Governor General of the Dutch East Indies, who had sent Tasman on his voyage of discovery. The island did not become Tasmania until 1856, after petitioning Queen Victoria for the name to be changed.

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Golden Princess was built in Italy and was launched in 2001, she is 108,865 gt and has accommodation for 2,600 passengers. She is registered in London, UK.
Her last refurbishment was in May 2015, so the smell of paint should no longer be around.
I have read that it is planned for the Golden Princess to be transferred to P & O Australia in 2020. One has the feeling that it is my fault that ships, in which Maureen & I sail, don’t stay long after our cruise before Princess Cruises move them over to P & O.
Dawn Princess, in which we sailed last February is now Pacific Explorer under the P & O Australia house flag, and now I read that Golden Princess will follow.

We sail from Sydney and return to Sydney exactly a week later. Our first port of call will be Melbourne, and as we have all either lived in Melbourne or visited the city, I doubt that we will do anything more exciting than to visit Queen Victoria Market.

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We sail at 4.00 pm from Melbourne for Wineglass Bay on the east coast of Tasmania, to cruise Wineglass Bay and Oyster Bay.

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Wineglass_Bay_2_940x350Wineglass Bay

followed by

Oyster BayOyster Bay

With a bit of luck, we might be able to share Oyster Bay, New Zealand with Oyster Bay, Tasmania.

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We then cruise to Port Arthur, which used to be a 19th century penal settlement. We will anchor off and go ashore by tender.

PortArthurPenitentiary

Port Arthur

Next stop is Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. Originally called Hobart Town, or Hobarton, so named after Lord Hobart, who was the British secretary of state for war and the colonies.

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Hobart5We stay overnight and then sail for Sydney the following evening.

Arriving Sydney at 7.00 am on Wednesday 01 November.

Orchard Road & Gardens

 

orchard-road-620x400Orchard Road Singapore – nothing but shops & more shops.

There is a different kind of Singapore, the Botanical Gardens.

DSC09539rA beautiful peaceful park area, which concentrates on orchids.

DSC09541rMy knowledge of gardening and plants is very limited, so I’ll just post the pictures . . .

DSC09537r Getting to the Botanical Gardens from the city is very easy, because the gardens are on the metro system. You don’t have to take a taxi.

DSC09545rI couldn’t stop clicking the camera the colours of the plants are fabulous.

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The first botanical garden in Singapore was created by Sir Thomas Raffles in 1822. After his death the authorities lost interest in gardens.

The present garden was started in 1859 and many features such as the swan lake, main entrance and the ring road are still in use today.
Lawrence Niven was hired as Superintendent and he oversaw the layout and landscaping. A small hill was reduced to a flat area in the early 1860’s so that regimental bands could play for the public. In 1930 the band stand was created and can still be seen today.

unesco nom pic 1 bandstandBandstand Hill

Over the years the garden grew (excuse the pun) in size and is now 82 hectares in size.

In 1928 the gardens started orchid breeding, which is still carried on today.

2015 saw the current Singapore Botanical Gardens being inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the first and only tropical garden on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

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DSC09559rMany of the plants in the celebrity area have links to world famous people  –

Queen Elizabeth, Andrea Bocelli, Margaret Thatcher, Jackie Chan, etc over one hundred different orchids linked to the same number of famous people.

DSC09562rPeace and quiet where ever you go . . .

stock-photo-singapore-orchids-park-367509014

DSC09563rThe occasional problem if you are an insect.

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If you decide to visit the gardens may I suggest that you make it early morning before the heat of the day – we walked all over the gardens and as the morning progressed it became more humid (monsoon season), but it was well worth the effort.

In the evening I took some photographs of Singapore river –

2716362184_a7a57228c6_zThis is how I remember Singapore River in the mid 60’s.

DSC09522rAs it is today

DSC09535r The river at night today.

Singapore has changes so much in the last forty odd years.

In an earlier blog I posted this picture of Clifford Pier in the 1960’s.

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Clifford pier

Clifford Pier  today . . .

I think Joseph Conrad would have recognised the early 1960 version, but not today’s.

3345Joseph Conrad

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