Long Haul

When I boarded the Explorer of the Seas last fall in Southampton a number of my fellow passengers were staying all the way through to Sydney; 56 days underway and a lot of ports later. A steady sailing speed from the engines, a chance to be a tourist along the way. Comfortable cabins, pleasant companions and one the highest risks of the journey would be eating or drinking too much.

Compare that to the first immigrants to Australia -100 days of sailing in a cabin if you were self-pay and had the money, steerage if you were government sponsored in the 1830s-40s.

Adventure, challenge, free passage to a new land

Adventure, challenge, free passage to a new land

Open seas, dependent on wind not engine with a significant risk of disease, boredom and issues with your fellow passengers.

The sea route options

The sea route options

Even after the Suez opened and cut days off the trip the best one could hope for would be 65 days. Port stops would only be for re-supply and not for education or entertainment. Over a quarter million traveled to South Australia alone;

I enjoy Maritime Museums with the stories they tell about fishing, shipping, exploring and immigration. At best they are sanitized versions of the reality; at worst they leave a completely false impressions. But then I don’t think school classes which are one of the main groups of weekday visitors to most such places would appreciate the dark, the dank and certainly not the actual smells of a realistic portrayal.

What the Port Adelaide/South Australian Maritime Museum didn’t cover was anything close to modern times except for a detour into Australian Naval history. It did cover a small bit on the early explorers,their tendency to kill, mount and bring home crates of samples, and the issues between the English, the Dutch and the French in their attempt to place their own unique spin on discovery.

Let's take a few samples home

Let’s take a few samples home

It could have had a completely different history

It could have had a completely different history

The other visit was to Tandanya – the Aboriginal Cultural Museum. The current exhibit is Boo – yes, the stories of the monsters and scary dreams. Interesting, but I just didn’t get it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.