G’day mates! I am blogging at you from a new location: Cairns, which is in northeastern Australia and is the jumping-off point for Great Barrier Reef tours. It is currently early Friday evening here.
As I mentioned yesterday, there were some spousal negotiations regarding our journey to the airport this morning. Those negotiations went quite well and we checked out of the apartment, grabbed a cab, and made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Things were looking good.
We got checked in with Qantas and our luggage was sent along its merry way to the underbelly of the airplane in no time at all. Things were looking really good.
Security was a breeze — there was no waiting, we didn’t have to take off our shoes or coats, and it was pretty much the kind of smooth sailing that existed back in the 20th century. Things were looking really really good.
We got to our gate and settled in for the wait, which was about 30 minutes. Boarding began and we got onto the airplane, stowed our carry-ons, fastened our seatbelts, and prepared for take-off.
Our 9:45 departure time came and went. Flight personnel kept coming onto the PA system and apologizing for the delays, but still we went nowhere.
Finally, around 10:00, the captain told us rather vaguely that something was going on in the terminal and said very apologetically that there was a possibility that we would have to get off the plane and go through security again. What the what???
Sure enough, after another 15 minutes, everyone on the plane had to get off the plane, taking our carry-ons with us. When we got in the terminal, there were security people and Qantas employees everywhere, as well as a security guy with a big German shepherd. As we were walking back to the security screening area, a voice on the announcement system was letting everyone know that there had been a security breach and that the entire Qantas terminal was being evacuated. I looked out a window and saw that all the airplanes at the jetways were being divested of their stored luggage, including ours.
We got down to security and there were hundreds of people, possibly a couple thousand, trying to go through security. Luckily for us, people were given priority to go through the lines based on their flights and our flight was first.
We got through security and I was randomly pulled out of the line to be tested further for explosives. Luckily, I wasn’t carrying any.
We headed back to our gate and got right back on our plane. We ended up taking off about 90 minutes later than planned. We still have no idea what caused all the commotion and I’m not even sure that I want to know.
Our flight was calm and easy and we landed in Cairns without further incident.
So here we are, enjoying the tropical breezes of this lovely beach town. It’s sunny and in the upper 70s. It’s a rough life, I tell you.
Tomorrow, we leave early for a day on the Great Barrier Reef. Provided that none of us is eaten by a shark, stung by a box jellyfish, attacked by a saltwater crocodile, or in some way maimed or killed by any of the other sea life lurking in the great big ocean*, I hope to have lots of great photos to share tomorrow.