Meeting a guest with an amazing story…Last full day on the ship…Emergency evacuation photos…

Emergency evacuation helicopter approaching the ship to pick up the ailing passenger.

At the moment I’m sitting on the starboard side of the ship. A helicopter is due to arrive within a few minutes to drop a basket down to pick up an ill passenger that needs to get to Sydney quicker than this ship will by 4:30 am this coming morning. It’s sad to think that someone is so ill that they have to be evacuated off the ship under these circumstances. We can only hope for their recovery and health.

Helicopter preparing to pick up a passenger.

After 17 days at sea and loads of fun, we’re ready to move along to our next location, a flight from Sydney to Cairns and then a short drive to our new home in Trinity Beach Australia.

Approaching ship…

Actually, we anxious to get the upcoming travel day behind us as we expect a rather lengthy line at customs and immigration in Sydney from what we’ve been told by Australians can be slow and cumbersome. 

Passenger wrapped in the exterior covering over the basket with the paramedic holding the passenger.

Luckily, our scheduled flight isn’t until 1:30 pm. We expect to be “herded’ off the ship by 9:00 am, based on reports we’ve heard. We don’t like this part but we’re grateful we headed off to more adventures in our lives making the transit all the more tolerable.

Tonight, we took our two favorite passengers, Reene and Jeff to dinner at the Chop’s specialty restaurant to celebrate their 51st anniversary and Jeff’s birthday all of which occurred yesterday. It will be fun to spend our last night with this delightful couple with whom we’ve spent considerable time.

This morning we met another wonderful couple. Anne and Glenn Watkins. In a future post over the next several weeks, I may be posting a story about Anne’s adventure from the 1960s of traveling the world in a 30-foot sailboat, if time allows. It’s an amazing story we’re excited to post soon with details of her journey. 

We had so much to share, that it was necessary to postpone the story to a future date when we have more time to prepare the story. Now at 1:00 pm, we need to retire to our cabin to pack our bags to leave them outside the door for tonight’s planned luggage pickup, leaving only our carry on baggage with us overnight. 

We’ll have to be careful in packing anything over three ounces that will be appropriate for tomorrow’s flight. An hour ago since writing the above comment regarding immigration, the captain announced that immigration will in fact be boarding the ship at 6 am tomorrow morning which will speed up the process of getting into Australia.  We’re thrilled with this news.

With little time today, we’re off now to pack. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with our final bill on board the ship including all of our expenses, the cruise fare, and miscellaneous additional gratuities.

Back at you soon from Australia!

                                               Photo from one year ago today, June 10, 2014:

The view from our veranda in Madeira never failed to inspire us.For more photos and details, please click here.