March 12-14, 2010 (At Sea & Fremantle, Australia)

MARCH 12 & 13 – AT SEA

After leaving Adelaide we headed west and then north to our next stop.

MARCH 14TH – FREMANTLE, AUSTRALIA (Maiden Call)

Fremantle has a population of 27,000. Perth, just up the road, about 1.2 million. Here’s a good one for “Trivial Pursuit”…

Perth is the most isolated city on the face of the planet. Adelaide (over 1,300 miles to the southeast) is the closest area with a significant population. Indonesia is closer to Perth then Sydney. Get the picture? Tourism is limited to a handful of cruise ships that come each year.

We really weren’t interested in going to Perth (we’ve seen enough cities) and decided to rent a car and head south. We were forewarned to leave plenty of time on the back end for “ship ogling” traffic. Once again, a maiden call, which means that everyone who lives within a 40 mile radius will be there to watch us leave. My guess on the number of 6 AM spectators when we berthed was about 6,000. I know, unbelievable.

We picked up the car and Steve threatened to make me drive if I harp on  his blinker deficiency again, so I won’t. I’m quite sure we needed to refill the wiper fluid midday because it was nearly empty when we picked up the car…

We headed 30 miles south to the coastal town of Mandurah. The guide books told us it was charming and it was, in a sleepy kind of way… for now. Surprisingly, it is the fastest growing town in the entire country and caters to the retiring baby boomers from Perth. The topography is similar to south Florida and new construction was everywhere. Houses were packed together in endless subdivisions. It felt claustrophobic and forlorn. Our plan was to meander back up the coast and enjoy water views on a scenic road. This became a futile enterprise. The coast road was mostly blocked by rows and rows of featureless abodes. We enjoyed small stretches of scenery, but the frustration wasn’t worth it. Further up the coast was a 10 mile stretch of “Industry” that further blocked the view. Live and learn.

About 5 miles out of Fremantle the traffic crawled. We were going to explore some more, but decided to play it safe with the time. Our next stop was 6 days away and we didn’t have our passports.

On hindsight, we should have just hung out in Fremantle. We had a few hours before “all aboard” and enjoyed our time walking around the town. Many of the buildings from the early 1900‘s are still there and well preserved.

The most exciting part of the day was our send off. Everyone who owns a boat must have been in the water with us. It was awesome. See the photo below of our aquatic escorts.

Escorts leaving Fremantle, Australia
Fremantle townspeople assemble to see us off
Awesome!

Our “sampling” of Australia left us wanting more. We will be back!

5 days at sea (heading west) coming up before spending the day on the island of Mauritius to stretch our legs. You will need to use a magnifying glass to see it on the atlas.

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