We are now two days into the voyage from southwest Australia to Bali. We led a brief Ash Wednesday service (with ashes combined from St. James, Farmington, and St. George’s Cathedral, Perth) on board the whisper as we slipped out of Fremantle late on February 13th, and for a quick change of ace celebrated Valentine’s Day as we traveled up the Australian coast on the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Today we are somewhere off to the west of Australia’s Great Sandy desert, and it is very hot indeed. Most passengers are avoiding the broiling sun of the open decks.
In leaving Australia, we are leaving behind a country that although very different from the USA in some respects, nonetheless has much that is familiar - people who look like us and speak our language, who enjoy a culture of affluence and share with us western European traditions of architecture, dress, worship, government, and cuisine. Now we are headed for “the mysterious East” (although we have bought and posted a large Pacific-centered wall map that keeps us ‘oriented’”) to visit lands and peoples where we expect to feel much more like foreigners. We are excited and intrigued by what awaits us!
Re photos: At the General Post Office, in the very center of the stunning city of Perth, a great plaza is filled with people and kids playing. At the welcoming Anglican Cathedral, a large statue of St. George and the dragon towers. Note George’s lance rises like a flagpole; the rest of him and his dragon aren’t as easily discerned. And at the Supreme Court Law Museum, a display tells us directly that the gavel has NEVER been used in the courts of Western Australia. Why do you suppose that is?