Approaching Down Under

Our last day at sea before arriving in Fremantle, Western Australia. A very stiff wind today – 6/7 – and patchy sun/cloud. Not cold but not sitting out weather either.
I pitched myself in one of the lounges this morning with my kindle and read. So nice to look up from time to time and see the sea, white capped, rolling by. The ship is not remotely uncomfortable in these conditions. Had a look at the shop sales. Lots of perfumes, watches and jewellery. Nothing that tempted me though.
Bob had breakfast and dealt with some admin for our arrival on Tuesday in Busselton. We are booked on a dive boat and we need to ensure that we can get on the first tender boat in order to rendezvous with it. Queen Mary 2 stays about 3km offshore at Busselton because the waters are too shallow to go in further, so it is necessary to tDSC00234ake tenders ashore, a journey of about 30 minutes. Quite long. The tenders are specially adapted lifeboats, they generally have about 3 or 4 of the 20 or so, adapted for this role. As lifeboats they take 150 people, as tenders about 100. Even that is horribly crowded. I dread to imagine what it would be like to be in one under emergency conditions. Well… I suppose you’d be so grateful to BE in one….. but fairly soon I suspect it would become hideous. They are pretty much flat bottomed and not very kind in a swell, although they are apparently very buoyant. Still…. So, anyway, a bit of a rigmarole to arrange to be on the first tender as generally the deal is that the Cunard tour parties get the first tenders and then independent travellers are taken in parties by numbered ticket. We eventually got permission to just go down as soon as tendering begins and get aboard without queueing for a ticket.
This afternoon was the art exhibition for this segment and it was crowded as usual. Nice to see everyone’s work displayed. After that, we collected our paintings and went up to the afternoon tea dance in the Queen’s Ballroom. A lovely, atmospheric event and of course delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones.
Finally, took a brisk stroll around the promenade deck, enjoying the fresh air and the occasional bit of spray. Really delightful ocean conditions.
Tonight we had a really nice dinner, extended by the fact that there wasn’t a late show so no one was running off. Looking forward to being on land and hopefully seeing old friends tomorrow!