As you may have read earlier in these tales, one of my best friends is a professional tennis coach. He taught in a club in Lakewood, Washington for years. He is now retired.
We travel together with our wives now and then. In 2001 we went to Australia. We all wanted to experience Australia, and he and his wife were also going for the Australia Open Tennis Championships. It worked out nicely for everyone.
We used Sydney as our base of operations and took several internal flights out to the distant points of interest. More on that latter.
We were just lucky enough to arrive in Sydney when one of the airlines that we intended to use, went on strike or filled for bankruptcy. So rather than making a big circle by flying to each location that we wanted to see and then on to the next one, we had to go out to our destination and then return to Sydney. The map of our trip in Australia ended up looking like the spokes of a wheel with Sydney being the center or the hub. It did make the trip more interesting.
At one point the x-ray equipment broke down at the airport as we were trying to leave on one of these trips. The people in the airport had no idea how long we would be stranded and could give us little information.
Instead of complaining, we set up a lottery and we all picked a time that we thought we might get on the plane.
Some of our traveling companions went for food and drink while the rest of us settled in for the wait as best we could. The delay gave us a chance to visit among our fellow travelers and learn a little about each other.
Just before leaving, the slip of paper was pulled from a small paper bag. One of us, that lucky so and so, had won the lottery and the gifts that came with the winning ticket.
She received cookies and another drink. I really had my eye on those cookies. We all laughed about the situation and were happy for her good fortune as we loaded the plane. It could have been a whole lot worse.
We also went out to the Barrier Reef for snorkeling. The ship was stainless steel and carried about one hundred and fifty people. The ride was a long one.
When we arrived at the reef, it was enormous. We could see it down below us just a few feet under the surface.
We tried to take a scuba lesson on the ship, but the masks weren’t quite right and so we just snorkeled.
The ship had a land and tied up to a large floating building. It was a giant cafeteria. I was glad about that. I am always ready to eat.
We finally jumped in and had a wonderful time. There were many different types of fish and corral and a good time was had by all.
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