Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Half-way through the cruise – Freemantle WA

Today is Day 41-42 out of 82 (depending on how you count the day missed in crossing the Date Line); we are on the back-end of our lovely cruise. Spent the day in Perth / Freemantle WA (=Western Australia)

I may have mentioned that Western Australia is the Western third of the continent. It is huge and empty of people. It is however remarkably rich in mineral wealth and because of this – got to love China – has allowed Australia to escape the global recession. Like Canada (similar case in point) their dollar has escalated in value vs the US $. Western Australia also has a long and beautiful coastline with a beautiful barrier reef and a huge oyster and cultivated pearl industry. It is very wild though. Inland it is predominantly arid and HOT. In the South ie Perth, the climate is Mediterranean and the ocean beautiful, great wine country.

Docked this morning in Freemantle and very soon was joined by the Queen Elizabeth. Another large ship – the Bader III was docked in front of the QE. Look carefully at the way this ship is structured and answer me two questions
1.    What is this ships cargo?
2.    What are the stacks for?

Perth is a big city. I was keen on seeing Perth. Merle less so. We took the train in this morning from the port after disembarking – where is Waldo? Look above the word “welcome..”

Perth is a big city – so we wandered around looking at the sights and the shops. Drifted into this pseudo-Olde English shopping arcade. 

Some nice stores. Wanted a coffee to start my day – went into a café. Lovely couple serving – I ask for a flat white. They have a South African accent – from Jo’burg. Portuguese extraction. He was so proud of his compulsory service in the Army he showed us his ID from 1977 – Soweto Riot time – not a good time to be in the Army. They came to Perth after three members of their family were shot dead in Joburg robberies. Very happy here running their café

I had arranged to meet Dennis and Susan Thal today – had had a job this morning and came after work – he’s working here doing renovation / building.
Interesting fact – many of the houses here (circa 1940s) have outside toilet facilities – dunnies. He actually renovated the plumbing in his own home.

I had a great time with them – they took me to a beautiful Park – King’s Park overlooking the city. Has a huge War Memorial / Cenotaph / eternal flame and a plaque at the base of every tree in the park listing a Soldier from here Killed in Action. A lot of trees. Dennis took pics – he’ll send them to me and I’ll post them. They then drove me to the ship.

In the meantime Merle had made her own way back to Freemantle by train and wandered around solo. This is the original settled area of WA and is very picturesque. She took a pic of this lovely Victorian Hotel and these Elizabethan buskers. How do you spell digeridoo?

As I arrived back at the gangplank with the Thals a woman comes up to us. South African? She says – yes say I and she introduces herself and her husband – a Rabbi in Perth. She’s from Cape Town. He (Larry Brown) is from Salisbury (so are Dennis and I)

Strange world we live in…….more on that odd ship. Why are the Pakistani crew locked up on board? And who owns it? Answers tomorrow


  1. It sure seems like time is flying by. Hope you're having fun.

  2. It sure is a small world! I love the pictures....