We leave M&D today and fly to Cairns. D is studying for and then writing her end of term exams. We did not want to interfere with her studying, so we planned a scuba dive trip on a live aboard for a week and then we will pick up a rental car and drive from Cairns to Gold Coast, arriving after D has finished her exams. More hugs all around and then we are off.
We are flying Virgin Australia today. First time for a Virgin company flight. Their rules for baggage are quite different, only one carry on bag is allowed with a maximum weight of 7 kg. Each customer is allowed one free piece of checked luggage weighing a maximum of 23 kg. So we have to check our Rollie suitcases as they definitely weigh more than allowed. Murray is concerned about the weight of his backpack, but the agent is not concerned with our knapsacks. We must have made them look really light! The one good thing about limiting carry on bags is that the plane loads more quickly. No one was trying to lift bulky Rollie bags up into the overhead bins. Just slide into a seat and put the bag under the seat in front. Easy.
Virgin sent out an email yesterday about possible bad weather affecting our flight. We were scheduled to leave at 4:50 pm which was in the middle of a possible storm. I phoned Virgin and we switched our flight to a 1:30 pm departure for no charge. I have never had an airline provide this type of service before. I am impressed. Airlines in North America should be doing this during the winter months when storm fronts are known and moving in. We decided to fly earlier to take the stress away from a possible delayed flight. We are boarding the dive live aboard at 11:00 tomorrow and wanted to ensure we are in Cairns to do that.
We are now in Cairns at a backpackers hostel. The room, with our own bathroom, is pretty austere, but it will work for one night. We are sitting in a common area where there is WIFI access and we are by far the oldest folks in here.
It is warmer here than in Gold Coast, but still rainy. A message from M tells us it is really pouring in Gold Coast, so it sounds like it was prudent for us to take an earlier flight from Brisbane. Dodged that one.
We board the dive live aboard at 11:00 and are looking forward to communing with the fish. WIFI may be sketchy when out to sea, so if we do not post daily, we will play catchup once we are within range again.