One more day at sea then our first and very historic port Norfolk Island…
Day 3 11th October
Got up and dressed in gym gear and went up to top deck, did 20 laps of the deck. Clive chatted to fellow Collingwood supporter as we walked. We went back to our cabin and got changed into day clothes shorts and tops, headed to Plantations for breakfast. Met another nice couple Lyn and Rod. Had a lovely meal.
Then went for a walk around the pool deck, had a bit of a sit in the sun. About 9.30 am we headed into the Marquee room to see the Virtual Bridge Tour, which was really interesting. Facts about the ship and the Bridge set up, the depth of the sea approx 3000 meters under the ship, and the Tenders (life boats to run passengers from boat to shore) and the only 25% likely hood of us actually getting to Norfolk Island due to the swell, ship will reach Norfolk about 7am tomorrow, if conditions too rough will life anchor and move on. We really hope conditions allow us to go ashore. The time zone is changing as we go further east, we are already struggling with our Queensland vs NSW time, now this. I guess we’ll manage.
After this headed back out on deck, bit warmer and less blowy so soaked up the sun. Got lunch in Plantations, met another nice couple Lyn and Rod from Townsville, and finding it a bit cold. The are also from Level 11 but in a Mini Suite, they get morning and afternoon tea delivered to their cabin. Clearly an on top treat.
Moved out of sun deck chair as Clive felt his feet were a little burnt. Met Alan and Sharon, had a lovely chat by the side of the pool deck on the wooden seats, beside the side rails covered windbreak, great. After being told we could check how much we’d spent at Reception, we headed there, got a print out of our current charges which include the tours. If Norfolk is cancelled we’ll be refunded.
Went back to the cabin, Clive had a nap, I went down to the little shop near reception to get some supplies. Then I went across to the Tour desk to ask about the Tenders for Norfolk, she said they will be available from 7am connections and it will be in the Pacific Daily. She also suggested we catch the boat to shore, then the free shuttle bus to town, have lunch there and meet up with the tour in town.
We got dressed ready for dinner, as we decided to go to Plantations for a change, we did get into a dress that could pass as a 50s style, Clive wore his long pants and polo. Nice meal and good company again another nice couple from WA. Then off to the Dome for the 50’s 60’s music, enjoying the songs and even danced to The Twist. Met up with Fiona and Michael who were going down to the show, we went with them but it was the banjo guy and pretty ordinary. Clive would rather have stayed in the freezing ‘Dome’ listening to the old rockers but I was glad to go somewhere warmer. After the show we went back to the ‘Dome’, no there was a hula hoop competition happening, so we moved on, back to connections which was karaoke, and not our thing either. We decided as we have to be up very early to go back to the cabin and hit the sack.
Turned Clive’s watch to correct time, 1 hour ahead for NSW time and further half hour for the eastward travel zone, kept my watch on QLD time.
Day 4 Norfolk Island 12th October
Woke up at 6am to the awesome Norfolk Island just outside our balcony window. We quickly dressed and went upstairs to see the final anchoring. We walked around the deck 5 laps while we took up position. The announcement came that the tender tickets could be collected, we went to Connections and got Green ticket 1 but said to the yank our tour was 2 pm he suggested we come back later and I gave the ticks back. I would regret that later.
After breakfast in Plantations we went back to get our tender tickets and got Green 14. This proved to be a several hour wait away from boarding after the on again off again torture of watching the Pacific Pearl lifeboats struggling to get safely attached to the pontoon. In the end we did get ashore and had time to walk around the town, to shop (I got a lovely hoodie) as I was so cold last night decided to get a warm top, T-shirts for girls, and to have a sandwich and cuppa.
The Convict Settlement Tour was rescheduled, from 2pm to 3pm, so we had plenty of time to check out the shops in the quaint little town centre. The tour itself was fascinating with our tour guide being very knowledgeable, Kingston prison ruin clearly explained with diagrams of archaeological excavations, photos of what the original prison looked like. I took lots of video I hope comes out, will need to edit it though as still had leave the lid on moments. The bus ended back at the dock which was a temporary pier, the tenders collecting the last lot of passengers.
We arrived back on board with only one more tender to come. Up in our cabin we took a pit stop then quickly went back up to the top deck to see the ship pull out. Met up with Fiona and Michael again who had just got back from Norfolk too. Then after taking more video, saying goodbye to Norfolk, we headed to the cabin to get warm clothes on as it got a bit cooler.
After a very enjoyable meal in Plantations we made our way to find a seat in the atrium, met up with Craig his wife, daughter and son in law and really cute grand daughter, this ends a magic day with a circus show that was amazing, La Vignette had acrobats who totally pushed their bodies beyond what is humanly possible. Went quickly to the ‘Dome’ but it was too cold so decided to go back to our cabin and call it a night.