About a week ago, my co-workers and I approved a new collective agreement that had been in the works for about three years. The start date, if you can believe it, of the contract is officially, July 1st 2006! The end date will be the 31st of December 2012. This means it is already more than half over and it is yet to be signed! The signing will take place in about 2 or 3 months meaning early in the new year, I should be looking a nice chunk of retroactive salary rises that may well be enough for a flight to Oz by themselves! All this to say that the trip seems that much more likely.
In addition, after some reading, about the exact definition of the Indian Ocean, I can add a new possible route to the mix. It seems that the seas West of Tasmania is considered the Indian Ocean. Therefore, by the "red desert" and Indian Ocean criteria, a Broken Hill to Melbourne run, via, say, Portland, would fit.
Reading recent entries in Margo and Chris' blog, I wonder what Margo's reaction would be to all of the very venomous snakes to be found in Australia, none of which have the rattlesnake's courtesy to warn people off! ;-)