Cruise, Sydney to Southampton – San Francisco

Monday 30 March – San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge form Alcatraz
Golden Gate Bridge form Alcatraz

On land at last after another 4 days at sea; and after a look at the Sea Lions and a vintage tram ride into the centre of the city, find a Starbucks for a SKYPE with Flic and try to reduce the o/s e-mails.

Pier 39 Sea Lions
Pier 39 Sea Lions

Find some dating back to 7 March that have yet to be downloaded and spend about 2 hours there. Only 111 still to be downloaded!

Buy yet another case, to put our purchases in and some cheap “Aussie” shampoo which is so much cheaper in the US and of course as we are not flying, we can take liquids back!

After a brief stop onboard again we set off for a night tour of Alcatraz.

Alcatraz souvenir
Alcatraz souvenir

A good climb up from the boat landing stage but a shuttle “golf cart” helps those less able to walk up hills.

A scary and harsh environment but we are guided with a good commentary on a personalised audio device and words written here could not do the tour justice.

Showers.  Nothing to hide here!
Showers. Nothing to hide here!

Ushered into the buildings and past the shower unit and up to the cells and the small exercise yard, kitchens and other areas.

Sally in prison
Sally in prison

A few corridors with cells open to the front with bars rather than solid walls are the norm.

Not until you go outside on the island do you really appreciate how far away the land is and thus how few prisoners attempted to escape.

Richard in prison
Richard in prison

Coffee on ferry on way back was $4.97 for 3 cups, bargain!

An "occupied" prison cell
An “occupied” prison cell

Not a bad tour for $34.25, for 3 hours including the boat ride to and from the island.

Return just in time for dinner in the Medina restaurant on board, we are the last group out and a Local Jazz band, Tom Leps Band, entertains us (well actually only Richard) on board tonight which included a Tuba player whose Tuba absolutely dwarfed him.

The lead trumpeter looked like Fred Dibnah including flat cap! Not a bad group although I didn’t think much of the Middle aged lady singer, just as well she only sang one song.

Tuesday 31 March

Another land day with an early visit to Starbucks to update e-mails, I am now up to date and it took at least two more hours and a few cups of coffee.

SKYPE both Mel and Sarah & Harry which was good as well as play a few games of Lexulous – challenge me on Facebook if you want!

Jet boat ride in San Fran Bay.
Jet boat ride in San Fran Bay.

Sal, John & Deirdre went on a jet boat ride around the harbour – I didn’t because of my shoulder.

San Fran tram
San Fran tram

Too late to go to Sausalito so we went back to ship for lunch before going out again for some last internet and food supplies for when we get home – walks along Jefferson Street to the Aquatic Park and the terminus of the tram stop  – a long queue for the trams as usual.

Understand that a fellow passenger was walking over the Golden Gate Bridge and witnessed a jumper so had to spend time with the Police giving evidence – how sad.

Leave after dark  so no good view of the Golden Gate Bridge, shame but we are on our way southwards towards Mexico and the Panama Canal – tomorrow is April Fool’s Day!

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