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Sydney 2002 - Down Under Part II
Friday 22nd February
I had a bit of a lie in this morning after meeting up with others from the boat dive at the Woolshed. Having checked out of the hostel and left my bags in the lock-up, I went for another wander around the town, looking for the odd souvenir.
While mooching about I suddenly thought, "Where's my passport?". Erm, on the boat still. You see, with the number of dives, the paperwork that had to be completed between the dives and the number of people on the boat constantly coming and going, it's very easy to lose track of where all your bits and pieces are. I realised yesterday that I'd left my only other dry pair of shorts on the boat. To be precise, I'd left the top part of my zip-off trousers behind, and was staring at a pair of now completely useless trouser legs. Only this morning did I remember that my passport was in one of the side pockets. I had just one hour before the shuttle bus had to pick me up and get me to the airport. Problem.
I was lucky in that I was just a few minutes' walk from Cairns Dive Centre's shop, so I popped in, told them of my predicament and hoped for the best. They phoned the boat, and the skipper found said shorts including passport, and said they would bring it back on the next shore transfer, which would arrive at about 5pm - 4 hours after I had to fly out.
The best I could do was get a registered post envelope and leave it with them to send the passport back to Andy's place in Bondi. Thankfully, Qantas let me on the plane with my PADI Open Water Diver card (which has a recent photo on), but I'll need the passport to get out of Australia in two weeks' time. So, if it doesn't get here in time, I'm just gonna have to stay longer, folks ;-)
PS - if you ever visit Cairns, it might be an idea to draw up a checklist which reads: Bungee Jump, Sky Dive, Parasailing, Diving, Snorkeling. Oh, and White Water Rafting. Honestly, it really is adventure central here, and everywhere you go, backpackers are going through the motions: "Have you done the bungee?" ... "No, but I'm doing the rafting" etc etc. I did consider the bungee jump myself but felt that I had had enough activity and instead opted for the lazy morning. Given the passport problem, it's probably as well that I did!