Category Archives: Australia

Catch Up, Part 1: New Zealand to Northern Australia

I know, I know, I know. I have failed miserably to keep up with this blog for the past several months. All I can say is that it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, with very little time for contemplative writing.

The short / time lapse version of the past three months is this: Sailed Cheers to Tauranga, NZ and completely decommissioned her. I flew to NY for a week to train for my new job as Expedition Development Manager at Lindblad Expeditions. Then, I flew to Sydney, Australia, where I’ll be based for a few months in this job. Mark finished the decommission, put Cheers on a ship, then flew to Sydney to meet me. Together, we traveled to northern Australia to spend 2 weeks aboard Lindblad’s new ship Orion, in the Kimberley. Back to Sydney for a weekend, then Mark flew back east to spend some time with his family in Texas. I kept working. Mark then flew northwest, to Vancouver, B.C., to meet the ship carrying Cheers, reclaim and recommission our little floating home. He’s still there, hoping to sail south towards Seattle sometime next week. I stayed in Sydney, basing out of the Orion Expeditions offices, as we make the transition to Lindblad. Two weeks ago, I took off on a scouting trip to Cairns and then Palau, but that’s the subject of another post…

I’d hoped to write about our trip to the Kimberley, as it’s an amazingly beautiful part of the world, that very few Americans have even heard of. However, the steep learning curve of my new job, and the need to figure out housing, commuting, and all those various life logistics in a new city, have occupied me completely. I will say this, though, about the Kimberley…

Imagine the red rock country of the American Southwest. Stunning rock formations in every imaginable shade of ochre, rust, copper and yellow, lit up by early morning and late afternoon “golden hour” light, with brilliant blue skies during the day. Now inundate the scene, with tropical blue water off the outer coast, and muddy fingers of river and mangrove channels in the nearshore. Throw in some bright green mangroves and tropical vegetation, a very healthy population of saltwater crocodiles, giant barrel-like boab trees, tropical birds like jabirus and red-crested jacanas and a smattering of dugongs, and you’ve got the Kimberley. These are some of the most ancient rocks exposed anywhere on the planet, inhabited by ancient peoples who shared their stories with us.

Enjoy the photos, Michelle

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