Day 36

After continuous excursion days in New Zealand, it feels really good to have a few sea days to relax a little, or as much as Pat would allow. After a slow start, the morning was filled with enrichment lectures. The first was by best-selling author, Warren Fahey, on “Australian Aborigines and Islanders- An Ancient History.” The indigenous people arrived from Southeast Asia over land bridges when the oceans were much lower along with a wide variety of strange animals that evolved differently as they became isolated on the new continent. The Aborignal population could have been up to 800,000 spread over 100’s of tribes or clans across the entire continent. When the first English arrived, there was no resistance. The new arrivals immediately took their land and began mistreating them as sub-human. The population, like our Native Americans, was decimated by disease and murders. This type of treatment continued into the mid-20th century. There have been efforts by the government to rectify and acknowledge the past errors and design policies for restitution.

The second lecture was by Proffessor George Losey on “Down Under: The Biota and Geology of Australia.” There were interesting slides of the continental drift that formed Australia and lifted the land. He illustrated evolutionary patterns among the pre-historic animals that ultimately lead to the strange species we associate with Australia.

Naturally, we recessed from the lecture right into Noontime Games where we played a quick card game called “Love thy Neighbor,” because we can’t say screw. Pat came in second in our group earning two Regent points. After lunch, I set-up my laptop in the internet lounge to perform a few hours of tax business and send emails to my clients. Pat went off to play some deck games and came away with a winning number of 3 Regent points from a corn-hole game. I finished my business in time to join trivia at 4:30 p.m. and our team tied for second earning 2 more Regent points. Seems to be a good day for us. We returned to our room and for the first time actually vegged and watched a television movie, Wind River. Before we knew it, supper time arrived.

We ate at a table for 2 tonight, so we could be finished a bit earlier in plenty of time for this evening’s entertainment, Annie Francis, celebrating “Music from the 1970’s.” She sang many of our favorites from that time period, including Linda Ronstadt, Helen Reddy, Credence Clearwater Revival, Carole King, and others. She had a beautiful voice.

Tonight, we set our clocks back another hour so we will be 16 hours ahead of east coast time when we get to Australia. Tomorrow is another sea day.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac