On ANZAC day we were sailing off the coast of the Gallipoli peninsula at the same time our soldiers would have been 100 years earlier. It was an eerie feeling to be outside in the dark, as the ship moved slowly past ANZAC cove. 

We woke up at around 3am and were upstairs on the top deck at around 3:45. There were already a few people up there. Some that appear to have been there for a while, if not overnight, to secure their spot in front of the big screen.  We on the other hand chose a spot towards the side a little, so that we could see in towards the beach where the service was being held, and we would also have a clear view of the sunrise.

The live feed from the service on the mainland was being piped into the ship and sounds of waves lapping against the side of a small boat could be heard, no doubt an emulation of what the diggers would have been hearing as they slowly moved towards the shore.
There were a number of other cruise ships around us, maybe 6 all up. There was also 8 military vessels off in the distance, which were just silhouettes at this point due to the low light. It was fairly cold, and even with the layers I had on, I was shivering. I had a scotch to try and warm me up, it didn’t work.
As dawn broke the service commenced in full and we heard all the dignitaries speak and watched the wreaths laid as the sun was coming up. The little white dot on the right of this shot is where the service was being held.
As the service concluded most people indulged in the gunfire breakfast tradition of milk and rum, or coffee & rum, or just rum. We went down to have breakfast in the restaurant however it was completely full and were told to come back later.
Instead we went outside and watched as our ship sailed towards Anzac cove. We went about as close as we could go for a ship this size, which was about 2 nautical miles offshore. From here we had a good view of the cove, North Beach, the Sphinx, the Nek, Chunuk Bair and Lone Pine.
The Australian service was streamed again live from Lone Pine, as was the NZ service from Chunuk Bair. During the Australian service there was a Turkish Coast Guard boat hovering around our ship. We had a quick peak over he side and could see the loading pontoon had been lowered. A fellow passenger told us that they were evacuating an elderly lady who had been sick in bed with the flu for 2 weeks and had also fallen over last night and broken something I her shoulder. Not an ideal holiday experience.

We saw her being loaded onto one of the ships tenders, transported over to the coast guard, for paramedics to come aboard. About 3 minutes later the tender took off in the direction of the local port where there was an ambulance and helicopter waiting. We’re not sure which one she was taken away in, but it all seemed pretty urgent.

After the NZ service we took a picture of Kath and Leanne’s great uncle Basil up to a wall of remembrance that had been erected on the ship. There were a lot of lovely tributes here and many wreaths had been laid.

The ship was now sailing off to our next destination and we took time today to do some blogging, prepare a few things for the last few days on our trip.
Tonight’s dinner was a special Anzac Day dinner with Australian food. The staff tried hard, and the sausage roll was pretty good, but some things weren’t quite right, especially the lamington, it was very odd.

The cruise part of our trip is coming the an end and we have just 3 ports to visit. I’ve already covered off one of these, which was Athens. After that is Palermo in Sicily, and the Naploi on mainland Italy. After that we disembark and will continue witht the land based portion of our trip.

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