long time no sea

Our Sea Days have been very short, usually just overnight to the next port and tour. Kaleidoscopic! I seem to have been very busy. Add to my busy-ness increasing pressure and less Wifi time on the ship. I have to get up early again - as I have done this morning - to get a run at a decent blog. It's cold in the library at 5 in the morning but I have my security blanket. Not swimming for a while; the low last night was 46F with a predicted high of 61F.  Brrr.  We're on the Tasman Sea now, heading for Hobart, Tasmania. We'll dock at 8 a.m. and depart at 6 p.m. I'm going for an oysters and wine-tasting excursion. 

Yes, I'm halfway through this voyage now. It seems forever since I left Toronto and yet the days zip by.  I was hoping for enough time to get caught up last weekend when we had a little more sea-time but we encountered the roughest seas yet and everyone was seasick. Almost everyone, staff included.  I wasn't sick but I was a mite queasy and didn't want to focus too closely on a printed page to read or to write.  Recovered in time to enjoy Sydney which meant a lot to me.

The Sydney Opera House was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth II in July of 1973 after years of planning and building and huge amounts of money and care.  Bill Wylie, whose mandate  had been from the first, to put Stratford on the world theatre stage, booked the Festival in to the Opera House in January 1974. Plans were going ahead well in advance of the opening and people in Stratford signed up for a special theatre tour to cheer on our home team. Board members and theatre lovers and Stratford supporters were signed up, including us.  

Bill died in April, 1973. 

So we never got there.  By January, 1974 I was fighting for my life and that of my children, wondering where the money was going to come from to enable us to live.  No way was I going to Australia. So now, this past weekend, I realized our dream. The tour guide was fine and so was the Opera House guide, a voice teacher by profession and very clear and informative. Bill was with me every step of the way. 

Sydney is beautiful, about twice the size of Toronto with an enormous, magnificent harbour and a living history on its shore.  The trouble with my Bucket List is that I'm not knocking everything off, rather adding to it and wanting to return to some places for more time. - Australia, for example. I love it. I loved Darwin; Cairns was wonderful; the cruise at Whitsunday Island was sun-filled;Brisbane was delightful, and Sydney the fulfilment of a dream. I'll go into detail on those places soon but I had to summarize a bit to get caught up.