Drake’s Passage, sea day.
Second formal night.
Falklands: There has been some talk about Argentina not allowing anyone to go to the Falklands any longer and that Britain has a destroyer on the way. The situation is over oil drilling. We saw the equipment. If this is true, then it is good we went when we did because it might be a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is also talk of limiting the number of ships allowed to go to Antarctica.
I thought it was interesting to be where I remember there was warfare.
Drake’s Passage: Well, I psyched myself up for this passage as it is supposed to be – and in fact is — the roughest sea in the world. We heard from the lecturer that they [endured] 50 foot waves on this past cruise.
Yesterday we talked to the lady who had missed the boat the last time. She had just had her hair done (10th floor). Her stylist told her that one wave hit the window of that floor!
Evidently a lot of things were broken that they are repairing as we travel.
Makes me glad there weren’t flights open for us for that one! Because there wasn’t any that is why Mom and I chose the February sailing instead.
So far, our passage today has had less waves than last night when it was so rocky, but it is gradually rocking some more. This morning, the sea was almost like glass. For a while this afternoon there was a heavy fog. That is because there isn’t any wind – without wind, there aren’t the waves. It’s rare for there to be little or no wind in the Drake’s Passage because wind travels around Antarctica without anything to stop it. It just keeps circling and growing.
We spent a good part of the day with a 42 year old single man from California. His name is Steve B. (Hi Steve! I know you’re reading this!) He is interesting. He is here on the cruise with his sister. He is the one that caught the perfect picture of the whale tail yesterday.
Last night our room steward brought us chocolates for our inconveniences. We had no idea what that was about, as we haven’t complained about anything. What’s to complain about! Then we remembered that for a period of time yesterday neither of our keys worked, and we had to wait to be let in. A lady came hurrying down the hall and used her old fashioned key, then she tested our card keys and they worked fine. She said sometimes the mechanism inside the door jams when it is shut.
Anyway, it was a nice gesture to send the chocolates.
Shopping on the boat: The whole middle of floor 5 is shops – liquor, cosmetics, casual, expensive jewelry, furs. In the middle are kiosks that change. People were buying $10 items like crazy this morning.
Mom didn’t even see the brown diamond display – or the tanzanite – or the aquamarine, but I did. Should have told her, she would have liked to see them, but I thought she knew.
Pastries on the boat : Are to die for. They are perfect. Croissants; chocolate croissants. Little tarts. Breads of all kinds. Yum! The last two days they haven’t had the chocolate [cakes?] that Mom loved that they had earlier on the cruise.
No high tea: The Celebrity Infinity ship (which we are on now) had it on our family Alaskan cruise through the Inner Passage. I think the Cova tea/coffee shop with adjacent pastries takes its place. Mornings are croissants, some with eggs or cheese and ham. Afternoons are dessert type pastries. The coffee and tea has a charge. People are ordering it like crazy, however. Price is no object. I miss the high tea. I remember that chicken salad sandwiches with tiny sliced grapes on top. So freaking good, I was looking forward to them on this trip too but alas it was not to be had.
Foodie cook off: They had a presentation today where two passengers worked with two of the boat’s chefs. They had 3 mins to pick out ingredients, then 10 minutes to cook and present the food. They were being judged by taste and appearance. Three passengers judged – Me, Mom, and another lady. Too bad nobody took our photo while we were on stage.
The man chose two simple things: filet with cognac sauce; salmon with a sauce. The woman chose two elaborate: bouillabaisse with shrimp, sea bass, scallops, tomatoes, flavored with pernod (anise) etc; the other was sea bass in a sauce. One chef (the woman’s) looked quite frazzled; the other was laid back (he had less to do.) They served red and white wines with it and water. We sat on the stage, center front, once the food was prepared.
While they were cooking, we heard from the head chef – how they order food, etc.
Really all the foods were delicious. And after tallying all the points for all 4 dishes, they tied. The first lady rated the salmon a ‘2’ because she doesn’t like salmon and it was dry. I said it was delicious, but only gave it a 4, perhaps should have given it a 5. I was wearing the striped sweater-jacket – and Mom wasn’t, so we weren’t twins. That was serendipitous.
People later told us how much fun it looked! It was!
Presentations today: We heard two presentations today, by the two lecturers. Mom has such a hard time staying awake!
Ojakangus talked about glaciers, old and new, and the markings on the rocks left behind. Glacier till is unsorted soil with drop stones that are dropped (sized from a pebble to a boulder) breaking through the lower striation. He showed how glaciers have receded. He also said we might be going into a new ice age, even though there is global warming. Because with water melting, it can snow again, and then it can become glaciers all over again.
The other man who is so funny talked about penguins after he spent some time talking about Ushuaia. His penguin info and pictures were very interesting. It sounds like we can find some things to do there on our own, no problem.
Other stuff around the boat today: We did trivia, listened to the jokes, will later do a movie (maybe.) Joseph told some jokes after dinner, really cute. The show was really cute, about disco music from the 70’s.
Dinner: We both had Chicken Kiev. Mine was perfect; Mom’s was not cooked in the center. Oscar said, “What’s the matter! The chicken was still alive?” Oh, that was funny! Mom agrees. Turns out they had trouble with one pan, so several were like mine. I was too full to have anything else.
Tonight’s movie is X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which I think Mom will enjoy. So our plans are to see it at the 11 PM showing.