Jan 26th, 2013
I was so looking forward for Australia Day, but at the end, I had mixed feelings about it, first of, because like Australia Day, there is Canada Day, and who knows how many other celebrations like this take place each year around the world from the so called Common Wealth nations, that were once part of the British Empire. These celebrations tend to be very flashy and spectacular, with fire works, flags all over, painted faces, flags on caps, t-shirts, you name it, and it denotes how proud the local citizens feel about their countries, which is just great as you can feel the energy of all these people, showing their joy and their proud. That part is great, but that also put me to think about how indigenous people, the original settlers of these lands, actually feel about it.
But going back to the Australia day, this was a 3day cruise which started on Friday 25th embarkation day. Right away you knew it would be a special cruise as most of the passengers who were boarding the Pacific Pearl were already wearing all kinds of Australian memorabilia; from hats, caps, t-shirts, shorts…you name it. They were definitely ready and looking forward for a very special weekend celebration.
That Friday we set sail as usual around 4:00pm, just after boat drill, and soon after, Australian music was starting to play in the sail away party. I wasn’t expecting to be a good cruise for my service in terms of revenue, as the cruise would not go too far from ashore and pax would most likely keep within range for their data and phone services meaning internet access from smart phones, tablets and other wireless devices would be limited. Time proof me right as I didn’t make much that day and the rest of the cruise wasn’t any different. However the cruise was perfect for having a good time, and has some time to go up on deck 15th and get together with other friends and crew and watch the harbour spectacle that was taking place for pretty much all day long. From military planes show to some regattas around the ship, it was nice.
At dusk, most of us were expecting to see some fireworks at the Opera House, Bridge, and Circular Quay, just as it happens in New Year’s and that makes Sydney very memorable each and each and every year and is the talk of the day around the world for its beauty. My friends and I were thinking Australia Day would be no different, but no one from us actually asked an Aussie what was really happening that night. Some of my fiends went directly to Circular Quay, where the Bridge is, expecting to see some spectacular fireworks, and what a surprise it came to then when, after not seeing too many people in the area they happen to ask a local business and were told that, there were no fireworks going on there!
In my case I stayed on the ship, I had a good view from there for possible firework spots across Circular or Darlin Harbours; besides, I wanted to avoid conglomerations as I tend to not like them too much. Well, in my case it just happens that I went to my cabin for some minutes of rest, just to make some time and be ready by the time I understood the fireworks were taking place, however I didn’t understand properly and left only minutes before the fireworks took place in DarlinHarbour, just in front of where we docked! Anyway, this is like always an experience to learn so next time an event like this is happening, to ask one, two or many locals what to expect on their celebrations and ovoid ending up believing just rumors or suppositions from non-locals.