When nothing is beautiful

Before I left, I mentioned to at least 2 of my colleagues that they were welcome to join me on my trip west.

“What’s out there?” they asked.

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The trip by the numbers

1 New Jersey resident

4 flight segments (2 each way)

1 rental car Read more of this post

Closing the loop ( #wheresrory )

From Manitoba I am bound directly south, to North Dakota and the USA, with a brief stop in between at the International Peace Garden.
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Odd little duck

It occurs to that while Semi Random Flotsam is a highly accurate name for my largely themeless, topically-all-over-the-map blog – and indeed I am prone to being semi random in real life – I could also have named it Odd Little Duck.
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Only a few words

Three of the finest young men I know are or very shortly will be en route to places afar. Read more of this post

Fly away home

As with the night before when I had the disembarkment looming over me, I find it hard to sleep with the morning flight coming up. I’m up ahead of my alarm and the back-up wake-up call, and out on the shuttle bus to Melbourne airport with plenty of time to spare.

At home, we’re always told to get to the airport at least 3 hours before an international flight.

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Melbourne

MEL♦bin

My private tour will take me through the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley today.

The first stop in Dandenong is Puffing Billy, the preserved steam train that is a major tourist attraction. My tour guide, Jeff, puts me on the train in Belgrave just before it pulls out of the station, to meet me at the next stop in Menzies Creek. Read more of this post

Arrival in Australia

For the first time since my arrival, I sleep terribly.

We no sooner get close enough to port for my phone to have signal, but I get 2 notices from my office’s cellular carrier that I’ve exceeded my international data limit, and my access is being cut off. (I am able to call about it, and they let me know I can have someone in my office get this resolved for me/authorize further access. This is a nice theory, but it’s Saturday back home; nothing is going to get “resolved” on this issue until I’m back in the States and no longer in need of International access. But whatever.)

What all this means for the day is that I have been hoping to hear from my tour company about today’s plans, but that isn’t going to happen via email now.

Stress-inducing as all that may be — in any case, the first thing is just to get off the ship. Read more of this post

Across the Tasman

There isn’t much in the way of pictures for the next 2 days on board, because it’s largely windy and rainy on top of far-from-land, and thus for the most part, not much to see outside. I join Alan for the Captain’s Luncheon, as promised. It’s a private event for the 40 or so Most Cruised passengers (and a guest as desired, which is why I am there). For every 6 passengers, one of the senior staff joins the table. At ours, that’s Antonio, the senior Engineer, originally from Italy and scheduled to retire there next year. He and Alan talk “ship” and we cross-talk with the other passengers. Read more of this post

Scenic Cruising

There are no ports of call for the day; we are scenic cruising through Fiordlands National Park. This means that overnight we swung out into rougher seas (made worse by rough weather) to reach the entrance to Dusky Sound (which is actually a fjord).  Read more of this post