I guess I was just too wound up to sleep last night. I ended up sitting on the verandah until around 2 am. I was tempted to go out to the aft deck in my bathrobe (for a wider perspective), but thought better of it. The starboard side corridor of deck 8 appears to be less densely populated on this segment; & it gives you the feeling that that special area back there is private. I suppose some would take offense if I made myself at home out there in my ‘lounging attire’.
There is a bell tower on the next street over that peals on the top of every hour. I woke up as it struck 10; & it was nice to just wallow a little while longer. For the first time in 3 weeks, I didn’t ‘have’ to be somewhere. And for the first time, I just walked out the door without giving any thought to putting on my ‘face’. I just left. I hadn’t been to the Bistro for my morning capp in 3 days! It’s another grey day out there; but at least not raining yet.
Walking forward on deck 6, I encountered 3 different groups of ‘visitors’ touring the ship (in wide eyed wonder). I would bet that a lot of travel agents (specifically) have wandered through Serenity these last 2 days, admiring the work done during the recent ‘refit’. She does look magnificent; & one would never believe what can be done during a 14 day dry dock.
Bridge Walkers waving goodbye
As soon as I entered the Bistro, I spotted Celeste & Bill. I had to hear about their ‘night at the opera’ (Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’ in English). Bill (being a rock & roll kinda guy) wasn’t looking forward to it quite as much as Celeste; but he admitted that it was very ‘tolerable’. They had to leave the ship about 5:30 (therefore missing dinner); & they were impressed to find the Bistro open & offering meal service when they returned after 10:30. I also spotted what must have been the Discovery Channel film crew having a morning powwow (who else would have multiple huge cameras & telescopic tripods by their side). I settled in with some muesli & Portuguese custard tarts & read for about an hour.
We ducked in & out of several more bays where the really expensive homes are; Elizabeth Bay, Double Bay & Rose Bay. The narrator pointed out several mega mansions in the Point Piper area. One very pretty pink one is owned by the Disney Corp. for the use of their executives. One quirky thing about the property is a large colorful statue of a cow in the back ‘yard’.
The most expensive home they said was a 10 bedroom waterfront mansion, $90 million AUS.
This 'skinny' mansion caught my attention. Makes you wonder how & why they subdivided the lot.
Lots of sailboats out today. One in particular was pointed out to us because it had the America’s cup emblem on its sail. Although it sails under a different name now, it was the former Kookaburra III. Celebrity’s Century was still at anchor this afternoon.
By this time, EVERYONE, realized how good our 'seats' were at the bow. And it soon became standing room only.
We sailed as far as Shark Island where we turned & headed back westerly. Points of interest in this area were the Taronga Zoo & Robertson’s Point Lighthouse. We sailed back under the Harbour Bridge. The narrator pointed out a beautiful off white house high up on a bluff where Queen Elizabeth stays when she visits Sydney.
I stopped by the Bistro to pick up a snack (some prosciutto, salami & fruit) to tide me over until dinner. I went right to work on the photos. We were to set sail at 6; but we were bunkering additional fuel, so it was closer to 7 when we pulled away from the pier. BTW, lifeboat drill was held at 5:30; & I did not attend. I haven’t usually attended a 2nd drill on a back-to-back; & didn’t think it was necessary to do so today. Well, I was wrong; & fully expect a letter of reprimand tomorrow. They made today’s drill ‘mandatory’ for all guests (not just those who embarked yesterday). I have since learned that they have set new standards for ‘in transit’ guests since the Costa Concordia ‘incident’. They used to require that you attend lifeboat drill at least once a month; now you have to go every segment.
I started with a Caesar salad; Bill had minestrone & Celeste had an appetizer portion of the gnocchi.
They had a new dessert special “Lemoncello Cloud”; a very light fluff made of egg whites with lemoncello liquor flavoring drizzled with a raspberry coulee. It was good; but I’m not a lemon lover. So I went out on a limb & made another special request. Do you think it was tacky of me to ask for a scoop of lychee sorbet from the Japanese restaurant next door? I really just wanted something light & sweet; & the head waiter was a doll & said ‘no problem, as long as you don’t tell anybody’. Oops…..but I just told you. It was the perfect ending to a perfect evening; & we were the last to leave the restaurant at 10:30.
I haven’t had this much excitement in one day since I boarded the ship 3 weeks ago. It was a great day; but an exhausting one. Tomorrow is a sea day; so it’s back to setting the alarm so I’m not late for bridge class. It’s now almost 1 am; & I’m more than ready to call it a night. I felt very melancholy when we were sailing away from Sydney. I grew attached after only 2 days; but there is so much more ahead. A day to rest up; & then tackle Melbourne on Friday.