Isolation bubble about to burst for cruise couple
AS THE Vasco da Gama cruise ship nears Australian soil, John Leask admits he feels crook.
"But it's not COVID-19," he assures.
"I'm feeling crook because of the reality, the slap in the face we are going to receive. From here, it's getting more and more scary the closer we get."
For the past few weeks, life aboard the cruise liner has been quite relaxing for John and his wife Di, both from Ulmarra. Thanks to a virus-free environment, social isolation restrictions (or brawls over toilet paper) are non-existent for its 1,220 passengers and crew.
Instead, cruise life has carried on as normal, except for a few minor changes to the schedule, like a historic mid-ocean passenger exchange for instance.
The Columbus is expected to arrive in the UK in early April while the Vasco da Gama is only days away from reaching Western Australia.
"Trying to repatriate everyone as close to their home country as possible while still treating us with luxury and care … they have been really brilliant the way they have handled the whole logistical nightmare," Mr Leask said.
In the meantime, John and Di are hoping their three weeks of maritime isolation will count for something once they arrive in Australia on Friday.
"We are being fed, entertained and are taking advantage of the last few days to relax knowing that our isolated, insulated bubble will burst, and reality will bite when we reach Fremantle," Mrs Leask said.
"We are hoping to be allowed home possibly without the 14-day self-isolation as we will have already been isolated for more than that.
"We have been at sea now since March 9, we are virus free."