|In a few short days we're off.
But first, who are the "we"?
"We" includes Barb and Gary Miller, good friends of our family since daughter Sarah first started high school. Barb was in the "band parents" committee with Sandy. They became good friends, and for Sandy's last several years one of Sandy's closest companions as they both enjoyed daily walks through the streets adjacent to our neighbourhood. Our families have enjoyed many terrific hours together, including trips to Whistler, restaurant dinners, plays, and barbecues and pool-side beers. So when they invited me to join them on a trip to Australia it was tough to pass up. I'd not been to that part of the globe before, and it was a destination Sandy and I had talked about many times.
"We" also includes Jim and Kathy, friends of the Millers from Winnipeg, who are also the organizers of this excursion. They run a travel agency that specializes in cruises and have been organizing guided excursions for a number of years, and Barb & Gary have become routine customers. Although I've not yet met them, based on the Miller reviews, I'm quite looking forward to doing so.
We're off to the South Pacific!
Our travels will take us to Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand before heading back home to Vancouver. In preparation, Gary and I completed our PADI Open Water scuba course, in November which included 4 dives in nearly gale force storm conditions in cold water near the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. We were so pleased with ourselves we managed to talk ourselves into signing up for the Advanced Course which we completed over the second week in January (and we thought it was cold in November). We're now qualified to dive to 100 feet, and to use both dry suits and oxygen/nitrogen mix gas often simply called Nitrox. For this trip I'm probably most excited about the prospect of taking several dives in warm water, and we have dives pre-booked for Tahiti (the first day we're on the ground there), and of course for the Great Barrier Reef. I'm hoping we'll get a third dive during our second stay in Sydney prior to boarding our cruise ship, the Sapphire Princess.
It's time to get back to organizing and packing. My next entry will post our departure, scheduled for 6:30 a.m. from Vancouver, Saturday morning.