W1702 – Great Barrier Grief

In my last post, W1702 – ‘bane of my life, I described my visit to Brisbane, where once again my plans were changed due to the cold/flu like bug which had been affecting me greatly over the past week or so. After leaving Brisbane late that evening, we sailed north for two days before reaching our next port of call, Hamilton Island.

I decided to set my alarm early for the morning we were sailing into Hamilton Island so that I could also see and photograph the dawn. Staggering bleary-eyed out of bed and throwing on some clothes I went up on deck to see what there was to see. The sky was already looking amazing over the sea and some islands:


The actual moment of dawn was hidden behind a small island, but the rising sun soon appeared from behind it, looking stunning:


The skies ahead of the ship were looking more dramatic and threatening though, a portent of what was to come later:


Hamilton Island was an anchor port, and as we approached the island and dropped anchor, already the skies were clouding over and looking ominous – I was so glad I had made the effort to get up early enough to see the dawn and what was to be the best weather of the day:


I was booked on the main tour from Hamilton Island, a transfer directly onto a large catamaran, which would take passengers out to the Great Barrier Reef for several hours spent swimming, snorkelling or diving there, and/or viewing the reef from a semi-submersible vessel. However once again my health intervened, I simply did not feel well in strong enough to manage a full day out in the sun and heat of the location, and sadly not safe to go swimming or snorkelling as I had so dearly hoped. Regular readers might remember that in Bora-bora I wasn’t well enough to go swimming and snorkelling with sharks and stingrays there, now I was missing out on my other undersea experience too.

So once again I spent a port day in Australia just remaining on the ship. For much of the day the rain was pouring down too. Talking to passengers who had made it onto the Barrier Reef tour, while some very much enjoyed it, some were very fed up and put off by the constant rain, something I didn’t really understand as the main part of the tour was to get wet anyway going underwater!

Having rested quietly all day, my girlfriend Carol and I did venture back up onto deck shortly before we set sail to watch and take more photographs – at least by then the rain had ceased:


As I miss out on more and more of the places I planned to see on tours I planned to take in first the South Sea Islands and now Australia, it is making me more and more determined to come back to these lovely parts of the world one day.

Leaving Hamilton Island, we continued to sail north overnight to our next port of call, Townsville, where we would arrive the next morning. My adventures there, where I did leave the ship but not on the tour I originally planned, will be the subject of my next post.

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