Friday, Feb. 24, 2012:
It’s our last day at sea before Sydney, Australia. Yesterday was full of social functions: a lunch, two cocktail parties and a dinner in the King’s Room. Our clocks went back, (again) too, we are now on GMT +11 hours. I made a slight diversion from our intended course today. We were due to pass reasonably close to the Lord Howe Islands, a marine sanctuary and a World Heritage site.
Apart from the island itself, there is the world’s largest volcanic ‘stack’, jutting out of the water to the south of Lord Howe island itself. This ‘rock’ is called Ball’s Pyramid, named after the Lieutenant who ﬁrst sighted it in 1788; its description and photos were too tempting to miss. It is a remnant of a ‘shield’ volcano and caldera. It is 1,844 feet, or 562 metres high, but what makes it even more awesome is that it is only 1,100 metres, or 3,600 feet wide at its base. It is therefore its sheer, precipitous sides that make it so spectacular. It was a worthwhile diversion, the weather was glorious and the Pyramid more than lived up to its expectations. A sight few have seen and one for the bucket list!