Sydney, Australia.

Sydney harbour - 3

An unmistakable cityscape at morning twilight

Sydney harbour - 2

The iconic opera house.

We have arrived into Port Jackson and berthed in Sydney at the White bay Cruise terminal.

Outside my window the hustle and bustle of people and luggage can be heard. Taxis and buses ferry people away to hotels and airports. Those with friends and family here are met with hugs and kisses. Who said there is little love in the world? Looking down at the arrivals hall from my balcony I would say there was plenty. All but 2 of our guests will leave us today. There is much to do before the new guests arrive in a few hours time.

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Leo and his trivia team, The Crusaders, get busy. They came second overall.

I had to say goodbye to my son Leo. He was picked up by my brother in law David to spend the next 8 days with the family here in Sydney before he flies home at the end of the month to England. I am sure he will be kept busy and have a great time. I miss him already. He has been part of my life onboard for 6 weeks and suddenly he has gone. Even for me it takes time to adjust.

The business of getting the ship ready for the next voyage has begun. There are stores trucks on the quay discharging their cargoes ready to be taken onboard and distributed into the fridges and storerooms. I can see everything from food and drinks to engine spares, paint and polishes, toilet rolls to soaps and paper for the printers. The list goes on and on.

On the bridge the navigators are resetting the instruments and feeding in the data for the next voyage in preparation to sail this afternoon. Tides and weather are being uploaded. Passage plans are being checked and rechecked. Port data for Sydney and Melbourne must be received and cross checked and fed into the computers. The voyage back will be 600 miles long and take around 39 hours. The engineers will be inspecting the machinery. Tweaking this and that to keep it in top condition and efficiency.

Our agent has just popped in with a local paper for me to read. There is a little bit about cricket in among the soccer and horse racing. I will read that bit later. I now have a passage plan briefing with the navigation officers. Then it is time to grab a bite of lunch. This afternoon will give me a chance to grab an hour of rest. I was called at 4:30 am this morning. I need my snooze! Then it will be time to conduct our passenger drill before we slip away at 4PM to return across this magnificent harbour, pass under the harbour bridge, pass the opera house and enter the ocean once more to head south to Melbourne.

Mark Dexter 2015