Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday – another day at sea relaxing and playing cards, computer, reading etc. Tuesday 5th April – We had a late arrival into the port of Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Not much here unless you are interested in the activities of the US during the 2nd WW. We chose not to do a tour but if it wasn’t so hot it would have been nice to go to one of the little beaches – no part of the tours. Instead we just took the shuttle into the town and were dropped off at an expensive shopping complex. No bargains to be found. Electrical/electronics outlets seem to be non-existent in this part of the world. We were interested in buying a small digital clock running on 60 megahertz (American) rather than 50megahertz (Australian) to use in our cabin when we go cruising. Maybe we’ll find one in Guam tomorrow. We like to know what time it is in the middle of the night when we need to take a little walk or if we are restless without putting a light on. We haven’t any tours planned for tomorrow either but I hope our docking port is more interesting than most of them have been on this cruise. We have booked a tour for Rabaul in New Guinea which should be interesting. Well we are about to go off for Sundowners and then dinner. Tuesday 5th – We had an interesting send of when we left Saipan. The Police vehicle was on the wharf sounding every siren available to him and driving up and down and playing loud music as well. The local customs were shouting Ozi Ozi Ozi to the usual response from the people on ship of Oi Oi Oi, over and over again till the ship was just about out of hearing range. One of the most tumultuous send offs we’ve experienced in all of our cruising. Wednesday 6th April – We docked in Guam about 7.30 then it was go slow till the US had checked us through thoroughly – getting sick of filling out forms for the paranoid US authorities. We weren’t able to do a tour in Guam as they were all booked out before we came ashore. They would only let 4 shuttle busses on the dock at any one time and no cabs. So you can imagine how long it took to process about 2000 passengers and get them to where they were going. We finally took the shuttle into town. Seems that it’s expected that passengers have plenty of money to burn because the shuttles always take us to the “Galleria” which only seems to sell upmarket clothes, handbags and jewellery. Well after we have been through our umpteenth “Galleria” (no bargains) we then took the shuttle to Kmart – yes you read right – to Kmart. We found the clock we have been looking for and had a tasty junk food lunch and the GD bought a couple of pairs of shorts and I bought some pants. We are finding that all of our clothes have shrunk – Ha Ha – must be the water we’ve been washing them in. We then made our way back they way we came. It appears from the bus window that Guam has a number of pretty beaches but nothing has been set up with the shuttles that allows for us to enjoy them at all. Seems this tour is geared to spending upmarket and war memorials. Posted 7th, 8th, 9th April – all sea days. Apart from eating, sleeping reading and being entertained, all we have done in the past few days is to attend a lecture on Volcanos. It was presented by a US vulcanologist. It’s rather surprising how many around the world have gone off in the past 10 years or so with some still spewing out lava. That said, we have booked a tour to go to a Volcano in Rabaul and to the beach where it’s bubbling and steaming out of the sand. It should be interesting. It also includes a visit to the volcano observatory. I don’t even have to worry about doing the laundry since we acquired Elite status on the ship. We’re enjoying our trivia and finding out how much we don’t know. Looking forward to that tour tomorrow and will post details in the next few days. Sunday 10th April. Last night was party night (Island theme) up on top deck. The music was good – we even got up and did a bit of a shuffle along with all the other old rockers. The tour in Rabaul was great. The buses however were just 12 seaters with only natural air conditioning, which worked well when we were moving. Otherwise, the temperature was a still 30 degrees plus with high humidity. We firstly went to a villages school where the children’s choir was out on the lawn singing Hymns while some of the locals accompanies them with guitars. We then drove through what once was part of Rabaul, now covered with a very thick layer of ash. Here and there was a barley visable rain water tank. A few brick posts once part of houses were sticking out of the ground. A lot of the vast area of ash was once the Rabaul air port though there is no evidence of it ever being so. Even where there was wash outs from the rain over the years there is no evidence of the runways or what lies under the meters of ash. Tuvurvur Volcano was puffing out smoke continuously. We then drove on to the beach where there were hot springs of sulphuric water running into the ocean. The palm trees are still all beheaded, just tall sticks standing up, from the eruption which occurred in 1994. The natives are making good use of the dead palm trees as firewood. Evidence of natures regrowth is just visible with some grasses and other plants starting to pollinate in the barren ash. I’d say it’s a place that would be unrecognisable to anyone who may have visited before that eruption. Our guide was very courteous and very quietly spoken. Seems that’s is typical of the locals. We then drove across the ashen desert to where there was a wreck of a Japanese war plane. It’s in a hole about 3 meters deep where they keep digging the ash away from the wreck. There is evidence everywhere of tar sealed roads going nowhere except to a mountain of ash and a dead end. Then it was off to the Earthquake observatory high up on a peak near Tovanumdatir Volcano. On the way up the very steep narrow road we passed holes in the mountainside where the Japanese had dug in during WW2 using local manual labour. We thought at one stage that we might have to get out and push the bus in front of us as it kept stopping and blowing out heaps of smoke. Fortunately it made it up the steep slope. This observatory monitors any movement around the Pacific rim and is linked up to Canberra monitoring station. One of the monitors was still indicating movement at Christchurch. There were 8 monitors in all. Back to the ship to shower and cool down before lunch. We then took a stroll along the street near the dock where the locals were out selling their wares. Like most ports we have visited, they too are aware of the value of their labours and bargains are not easy to come by. Nothing that could be taken back into Australia took our fancy anyway, though there were quite a lot of the carvings etc. which showed a lot of skill. We both enjoyed this port of call better than any of the others on the cruise. Monday 11th April. For the next three days we will be at sea before arriving in Brisbane on Thursday. By tonight we should be should be around the same latitude as the tip of Cape York. Activities should be much the same as previous sea days so unless there is something out of the ordinary to report this will be our last post till we meet again back on good old OZ soil.
cafe.mtnsat.com/GoogleSearchResults.aspx?q=cheese+making.+cooking&sa=Search&client=pub-1662431266590194&forid=1&channel=9928965587&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&safe=active&cof=GALT%3a%23008000%3bGL%3a1%3bDIV%3a%23336699%3bVLC%3a663399%3bAH%3acenter%3bBGC%3aFFFFFF%3bLBGC%3a336699%3bALC%3a0000FF%3bLC%3a0000FF%3bT%3a000000%3bGFNT%3a0000FF%3bGIMP%3a0000FF%3bFORID%3a11&hl=en



What left of the Air port Building


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Monday – another day at sea relaxing and playing cards, computer, reading etc. Tuesday 5th April – We had a late arrival into the port of Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Not much here unless you are interested in the activities of the US during the 2nd WW. We chose not to do a tour but if it wasn’t so hot it would have been nice to go to one of the little beaches – no part of the tours. Instead we just took the shuttle into the town and were dropped off at an expensive shopping complex. No bargains to be found. Electrical/electronics outlets seem to be non-existent in this part of the world. We were interested in buying a small digital clock running on 60 megahertz (American) rather than 50megahertz (Australian) to use in our cabin when we go cruising. Maybe we’ll find one in Guam tomorrow. We like to know what time it is in the middle of the night when we need to take a little walk or if we are restless without putting a light on. We haven’t any tours planned for tomorrow either but I hope our docking port is more interesting than most of them have been on this cruise. We have booked a tour for Rabaul in New Guinea which should be interesting. Well we are about to go off for Sundowners and then dinner. Tuesday 5th – We had an interesting send of when we left Saipan. The Police vehicle was on the wharf sounding every siren available to him and driving up and down and playing loud music as well. The local customs were shouting Ozi Ozi Ozi to the usual response from the people on ship of Oi Oi Oi, over and over again till the ship was just about out of hearing range. One of the most tumultuous send offs we’ve experienced in all of our cruising. Wednesday 6th April – We docked in Guam about 7.30 then it was go slow till the US had checked us through thoroughly – getting sick of filling out forms for the paranoid US authorities. We weren’t able to do a tour in Guam as they were all booked out before we came ashore. They would only let 4 shuttle busses on the dock at any one time and no cabs. So you can imagine how long it took to process about 2000 passengers and get them to where they were going. We finally took the shuttle into town. Seems that it’s expected that passengers have plenty of money to burn because the shuttles always take us to the “Galleria” which only seems to sell upmarket clothes, handbags and jewellery. Well after we have been through our umpteenth “Galleria” (no bargains) we then took the shuttle to Kmart – yes you read right – to Kmart. We found the clock we have been looking for and had a tasty junk food lunch and the GD bought a couple of pairs of shorts and I bought some pants. We are finding that all of our clothes have shrunk – Ha Ha – must be the water we’ve been washing them in. We then made our way back they way we came. It appears from the bus window that Guam has a number of pretty beaches but nothing has been set up with the shuttles that allows for us to enjoy them at all. Seems this tour is geared to spending upmarket and war memorials.
Monday – another day at sea relaxing and playing cards, computer, reading etc. Tuesday 5th April – We had a late arrival into the port of Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Not much here unless you are interested in the activities of the US during the 2nd WW. We chose not to do a tour but if it wasn’t so hot it would have been nice to go to one of the little beaches – no part of the tours. Instead we just took the shuttle into the town and were dropped off at an expensive shopping complex. No bargains to be found. Electrical/electronics outlets seem to be non-existent in this part of the world. We were interested in buying a small digital clock running on 60 megahertz (American) rather than 50megahertz (Australian) to use in our cabin when we go cruising. Maybe we’ll find one in Guam tomorrow. We like to know what time it is in the middle of the night when we need to take a little walk or if we are restless without putting a light on. We haven’t any tours planned for tomorrow either but I hope our docking port is more interesting than most of them have been on this cruise. We have booked a tour for Rabaul in New Guinea which should be interesting. Well we are about to go off for Sundowners and then dinner. Tuesday 5th – We had an interesting send of when we left Saipan. The Police vehicle was on the wharf sounding every siren available to him and driving up and down and playing loud music as well. The local customs were shouting Ozi Ozi Ozi to the usual response from the people on ship of Oi Oi Oi, over and over again till the ship was just about out of hearing range. One of the most tumultuous send offs we’ve experienced in all of our cruising. Wednesday 6th April – We docked in Guam about 7.30 then it was go slow till the US had checked us through thoroughly – getting sick of filling out forms for the paranoid US authorities. We weren’t able to do a tour in Guam as they were all booked out before we came ashore. They would only let 4 shuttle busses on the dock at any one time and no cabs. So you can imagine how long it took to process about 2000 passengers and get them to where they were going. We finally took the shuttle into town. Seems that it’s expected that passengers have plenty of money to burn because the shuttles always take us to the “Galleria” which only seems to sell upmarket clothes, handbags and jewellery. Well after we have been through our umpteenth “Galleria” (no bargains) we then took the shuttle to Kmart – yes you read right – to Kmart. We found the clock we have been looking for and had a tasty junk food lunch and the GD bought a couple of pairs of shorts and I bought some pants. We are finding that all of our clothes have shrunk – Ha Ha – must be the water we’ve been washing them in. We then made our way back they way we came. It appears from the bus window that Guam has a number of pretty beaches but nothing has been set up with the shuttles that allows for us to enjoy them at all. Seems this tour is geared to spending upmarket and war memorials.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd April Hi Emily, we were thinking of you on the 1st of April but we weren’t able to get an email out to you to wish you Happy Birthday. I’m sure you had a good one anyway. Busan, Korea was a half day tour as I mentioned. I didn’t make it all the way to the temple as the climb was too much for me. When one sees all the apartment blocks – one after the other – we realize how well of we are in Oz. These apartments cost around $250.000 US. Their wages are quite low in comparison to ours so you do the sums. The people here are well dressed on the whole. The air is much cleaner that Chinese cities. The roads are exceptional and all the vehicles are pretty new. The bus we were on was decorated rather like a gypsy wagon with curtains with tassels and pretty trimming every where but it was very modern with a big TV up the front to either view TV or to view the road ahead. After the temple in the mountain, we came back down to “Auntie’s Fish Market”. You may have seen it on one of Rick Steins Cooking shows. It’s quite interesting and all looks very fresh. Considering it was a fish market the smell wasn’t too bad. I’ve smelled worse in Woolworths fish section at home. We spent the rest of the time ashore wandering around the market place. Feeling a bit hungry we tried the most delicious and crunchy waffle at one of the street stalls. They speak little or no English. We have found throughout this cruise that there are very few bargains to be found. Not like it used to be. Saturday, a day at sea, part of it in Japanese waters. As such, all phone and all satellite communications were blocked till 3 pm when we entered the Pacific. I played cards in the morning and the GD went to a herbalist seminar. The usual Nana nap in the afternoon and then to dinner and a show. It was a formal night with the Captains cocktail party before dinner. Sunday, another day at sea filled much the same as yesterday except when I went and played cards the GD went to the church service. We are going to the “Sterling Steak House” for dinner tonight with the group from our table – 9 of us – a nice bunch of people. This restaurant is the only one that you have to pay $20 for a 3 course dinner, but we are told it’s exceptional, specialising of course, in steak. The weather is warming up considerably and we are just about up to present Queensland temperatures. We’ve packed away the woollies till we get home.
atellite glitch!!! Unable to post Dairy, will try later this after noon



Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday 25th March - We docked at, probably the busiest commercial port we have visited on any of our cruises. Big trucks of all ages queued up for miles. We couldn’t get to the cruise terminal on the river because of the draft of the ship. The air is cleaner than we expected – thank goodness. We took a tour which firstly took us to what is now the 2nd tallest building in Shanghai. The lift goes from the basement to the 88th floor in 19 seconds. You don’t feel any motion and only know you are going up because of ear squeeze and the indicator on the wall of the lift. From the 56th floor it’s hotel and you can look down through the middle from the 88th floor to the reception in the middle. From the windows you can see right across Shanghai – 360 degree views. It’s very flat and in ancient times was actually the sea. Next we went to the Yu Gardens. These were once a private family garden and you pay to go through them. They are not huge but a virtual mountain of rock has been transported to the site to set them out with little lakes full of huge gold fish - your typical Chinese garden with lots of garden rooms. We then had to spend 3 hours in the old town before taking our bus back to the ship. As a result of having to spend more time there than we expected we had to find somewhere to eat. Since they speak almost no English we opted to eat at a McDonalds we found where at least we knew what we were eating. We had no intention of making purchases though you are continually being offered Rolex watches by the street sellers, we did get a bargain on a battery for my camers. We wandered around the old town and found a tea house and had the most expensive cup of jasmine tea we’ve ever had – but hey, the atmosphere was worth it, it was quiet and warm. Shanghai is not an old city in itself and most of the city buildings are very modern and new. The population of Shanghai is almost the same as the whole of the population of Australia. That gives you some idea of the number of people around. Then back to the port. I have a cold so I was glad to have dinner and hop into bed.Saturday 26th March – We took another tour into the city to travel on the train which floats on an electromagnetic field – no wheels. It travels at 431 kilometres an hour from the city to the international airport and back. By any other means it takes about an hour but on this train it takes 9 minutes

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday 25th March - We docked at, probably the busiest commercial port we have visited on any of our cruises. Big trucks of all ages queued up for miles. We couldn’t get to the cruise terminal on the river because of the draft of the ship. The air is cleaner than we expected – thank goodness. We took a tour which firstly took us to what is now the 2nd tallest building in Shanghai. The lift goes from the basement to the 88th floor in 19 seconds. You don’t feel any motion and only know you are going up because of ear squeeze and the indicator on the wall of the lift. From the 56th floor it’s hotel and you can look down through the middle from the 88th floor to the reception in the middle. From the windows you can see right across Shanghai – 360 degree views. It’s very flat and in ancient times was actually the sea. Next we went to the Yu Gardens. These were once a private family garden and you pay to go through them. They are not huge but a virtual mountain of rock has been transported to the site to set them out with little lakes full of huge gold fish - your typical Chinese garden with lots of garden rooms. We then had to spend 3 hours in the old town before taking our bus back to the ship. As a result of having to spend more time there than we expected we had to find somewhere to eat.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sun princess Cruise March 2010 Cherry Blossom
Sunday 20th March.
After a long, uneventful flight to Singapore, we wandered around the airport. We didn’t do any shopping as it seems there are no bargains to be obtained and we were bu##’’’**d after 8 or so hours of flying and airline food. We met a couple who had come from the cruise and were headed back to the US who informed us that we would not be going to Japan and that there were flue and gastric diseases on board. Not a good start to our adventure.
The flight to Hong Kong seemed to go fairly quickly with more horrible airline food but the wine and the Singapore sling was pretty good. We spent quite a while getting through immigration and customs when we landed. Then it took forever to find our luggage which had been booked through to Hong Kong from Australia. We were getting a bit worried until we learned that our luggage had been put aside near the carousel. Then it took a while to find out where our transfere station for our journey to our hotel was located. They looked like they hadn’t heard of us but fortunately we had our documentation with us for the trip. We had an upgrade in the Hotel with a view of the harbour through the buildings. Jorgen saw our ship come in. The upgrade was not quite what we expected. It was clean Spartan and very small but everything one needed for an overnight stay. After our free excellent breakfast we wandered around the foreshore, got our bearings and found the ship. We did a small purchase (NOT) or a Digital SLR camera and some attachments. Then back to our hotel to check out and get a taxi back to the ship to embark. After a nice lunch we headed for our cabin to finish unpacking and to put our head down for a couple of hours before dressing for dinner. There’s a few nice people at our table but the two nights we have been on board we’ve had a few changes of people our designated table. We watched a good local show in the theatre
It’s now Tuesday 22nd and after inquiring about one of the tours that looked interesting we realized that there were far too many steps involved for me. We decided last night that we might take a ferry and go up the mountain on the cable car but alas it’s all smoggy so it’s not worth doing that. Instead we went back to the camera shop and made additional purchased a filters etc. I’m going to have to do a photography course when I get home to learn how to us it all. We’ve also been informed officially that there will be no ports of call in Japan. We found a back street after weaving our way upstairs and downstairs, underground and above ground with wall to wall designer items. We couldn’t find a computer program shop with what we were looking for, nor could we find anywhere that had any talcum powder that Jorgen wanted. There were plenty of creams and lotions but they apparently don’t use powder at all. We sailed away to a light show which was rather poor according to some passengers that have seen it at it’s best.
Wednesday 23rd March – After a pretty good nights sleep we awoke to gale force winds and high seas – and we love it. It’s a sea day today and tomorrow before we are scheduled to arrive in Shanghai at 8.00 am on Friday 25th.

Friday, March 11, 2011

11 days of planting by the moon started last Monday.
the weekend was spent fertilising and preparing the garden for sawing and planting Monday and Tuesday, being the big session this time for the autumn and winter crops.
finally the weather has cooled dawn a bit and evening showers of rain has help immensely, to day is Friday and already some of the seeds has germinated and the garden is showing new life after a very wet and hot summer.
I purchased some Kiwi fruit vines from Bunnings at Capalaba on the weekend, first time that i have seen them here in Brisbane, they are fast growers and we should be picking fruit late autumn or early winter.
there is no pictures this time as my camera is packed for our forth coming cruise trip

Tuesday, January 18, 2011



My first Cheese making in 2011 is a slab of Feta divided in to 10 small parcels.
it is easy and ready in about 5-8 days and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months and still maturing to quiet a strong Feta.
The first lot I made last year was so good it didn't last very long at all.