Watching The Ships Roll In

As the afternoon reaches its zenith, it is traditional for holiday makers, local residents and sunset chasers to drag their chairs down to the white sandy shores of Port Phillip Bay, and waste time in the loveliest way, ‘Watching the ships roll in, And then I watch ’em roll away again.’ As time gently floats by, the moody sunset spectacle begins, all the more dazzling for its reflected glory in the gentle waters of the laguna: pink shifts to orange then purple and black bands ribbon the twilight.

There goes Green Toll again.

From our comfortable perspective, we imagine what life might be like atop one of these vessels. I have no interest in going on a cruise but I wouldn’t mind travelling in one of these ships as it makes its way from the Port of Melbourne to the heads at Queenscliff and Portsea. A working boat perhaps, a container ship or rig.

The Queen Mary 2. More chairs arrived on the sands to watch her progress through the Bay.
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

21 thoughts on “Watching The Ships Roll In”

  1. I went on a cargo ship from Cairns to the Torres Strait islands. There were about 10 passengers, and we got to know the crew very well. It was a good experience, I wouldn’t want to go on a big cruise liner though!

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  2. Now, let’s go way back! To the day I first arrived as a small immigrant child on a barely floating Panamanian tub from Europe a long, long time ago . . . . we had almost docked when news of a violent ‘change’ reached the Captain: our ‘ship’ actually returned to the middle of Port Phillip Bay [Lord knows what the problem was!!] , dropped anchor and we might as well have been in Luna Park for the next 4-5 hours before we were allowed to redock to catch a very uncomfortable two-stage train trip north to Sydney! [One changed trains in Albury in those days] I hark back my dislike of cruising to that day . . . .

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    1. What a long journey, followed by all sorts of imaginings and fears as a child, approaching your new country, That train trip too- some of my friends have talked about that too, especially those who landed in the Bonegilla camp near Albury after the long sea voyage.
      Thanks Eha.

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      1. OK! Off ship – on train – At the Albury rail caf at about 5 am: tired server: ‘Whatcha want on your corn flakes, lovey: hot or cold milk’? So you think I knew what ‘corn flakes’ were: they just looked horrid!!!! ‘Wanna milk in ya’ tea??’ I had never had a cup of tea!! And I was the only in the family who ‘spoke’ English and SO tried to be polite!! Oh, Bonegilla and Greta etc saw a lot of us: thankfully Mom had a greatuncle in Sydney who had vouched for us ! No camps!! Coming as ‘early’ as we did, I was a funny ‘monkey in the zoo’ for a long, long time 🙂 !! Port Phillip Bay has brought up a lot of thoughts today 🙂 !

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        1. It would have been so foreign and peculiar. Cornflakes and crap. Lucky to be spared the camp experience where boiled mutton was the flavour of the day. Time to write your memoirs Eha?

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          1. Last one for the day . . . and my humble apologies, Fran!!!! Actually have been printed, but just in ‘chapters’, in five beautiful books over the past decade: does not help if they are in Estonian or German or just part of a 800-page tome in English 🙂 ? Thank you SO much for putting up with this . . .

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  3. And at night the show is more spectacular with the twinkling lights. I’d love to see the Queen Mary 2 gliding along the horizon from little chairs in the sand. I almost went on this ship 2 years ago around England and Europe but chose `Marina’ cruise ship instead on a Baltic cruise. It was 14 days of bliss. Remember to book a verandah cabin (one with a balcony) if ever anyone wants to try this form of travel. Wine & crackers are enjoyed late afternoon on your private balcony looking out to sea as the breeze sweeps through your hair.

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  4. I assume you spotted the Searoad Mersey which I wrote about a few blogs back. This little freighter would be exciting jto travel on. I’m sure I’d get sick. One bummer about putting up our annexe is we can no longer watch the ships from bed😕

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