Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Glacier Day

Today I was awaked because of a PA announcement, and was a bit surprised to find it was 9AM local. Walked down one deck, realized coffee is at other end (duh for the 7th time) and walked outside to the restaurant and got coffee which I took to the lido lounge and listened to the end of trivia about movies (which I would have thought I would do well at, and I got about three out of twenty) and went back for another coffee and oj and then returned to my room, watching now the video about upcoming ports, and intend to switch to CNN.

In one hour is the meet the officer thingy. Possible projects for later involve an extended walk of several miles on deck and/or linking up big time on the internet and catching up on many things. I saw CNN on the tv in the lido lounge which I why I came back to the room, but it isn’t coming in here.

//Well, in preparation for the 11AM meet the officers, I walked up to deck ten (haven’t used the elevators once since coming aboard to my recollection—nor, appropro of nothing, have I seen anyone in the video arcade room located next to the internet cafĂ© ) anyhow, went up to deck ten and sunk myself into the hot tub while the fog covered mountains slid by on both sides and the two hot tubs steamed, and the bar looked like it had not seen a visitor since Bermuda.

It was delightful – in fact so delightful that I went down to deck seven and took a substantial, if solitary swim during which people who were wrapped in scarves and gloves and wool hats looked at me the way I would have looked at them, but the water was warm, the –pool was empty and it seemed like life was indeed good. One woman called me the bravest man on the ship which is far from true. Followed this with a lovely hot shower and a rinse of the bathing suit and now am set to go to the meeting.

At the meeting I got to ask the captain if any of their simulators were open to the public. There were many good and many stupid questions. I later found out that the wine consumption on this trip is above the Bermuda run, but hard liquor and beer are way down. Europeans drink a lot of wine, and there are a lot of Europeans aboard. Having skipped supper last night and breakfast this morning, I was planning to have most two hotdogs for lunch, but ended up with only one, but some delicious macaroni,cheese and meat, two kinds of potatoes and my hotdog. I had oven baked and fries, but skipped desert, and after some preps in my room, I launched into a mile long walk on deck 7, carrying, but not using my camera and binocs. We are sailing the straits of Magellan, which is quite narrow so the shores are close by, but the tops of the hills are in the clouds.

Time 1335, and the captain has said he will pirouette the ship 360 when we reach a glacier. That should be in an hour or so. Following my dinner, I walked six times around 7 deck, glaring each time at two stupid women walking against traffic. A few were cutting thru the lobby rather than go on the forward portion of the deck, where I had to remove my Punta Arenas watchcap and hold onto my glasses in the wind, particularly portside. I could not stand without holding the rail in that section, and it spit rain a bit. Inside, ice water and CNN to catch up a bit on the world, and soon I think I am going to log onto the net.

Signed up for a second dose of internet time, and used it haphazardly. Looked at a few comics including some back comics, posted a quick blog and looked at a few comments. But another glacier now calls, so time to bundle up and hit the deck again. Last time, The Skewer glacier, the captain did in fact pirouette the ship, and I got some nice pix of the glacier with some little icebergs and a small fishing boat alongside. The next one is supposed to be more spectacular, which is hard to imagine. And I have another invite to a captain party tonight, this one the VIP party.

The second glacier has come into view, and I crowded out onto the deck in the rain and shot a few more pix, including some ice berglets and a pretty waterfall, and then as the caption pirouetted the ship again, returned to my cabin for a private viewing of the same glacier while I dived into the choc covered strawberries which were just delivered. With Antarctica behind me, some ok emails from S** and W***, some other internet surfing accomplished, a Captain cocktail party tonight, I guess it’s safe to assume my mood has improved. I have a hot tub and a swim and a mile long walk under my belt, most of my photos on the puter, and most of my diary and other compulsive list making is as current as it can be.

Found an old list of my GPS fixes and copied it into the new section of the puter…from the Magnavox, which I found with the search feature fairly quickly. P*** is home from the hospital, and I shared that I too was looking forward to getting home, and basically it’s true, that from now on, there is nothing new for me to see or do, having been to Santiago and Puerto Monte, and caring not too much about else in between. Still, I shall enjoy the maid service, listening to the live music each evening and doing a little more internet catching up.

Ran thru the AP Breaking news summary today, and US deaths in Iraq was not amongst the offerings. Don’t know if they have discontinued it or I was just between takes.

Time 1700 and the turnaround completed, we are steaming alongside the fog covered hills (or maybe mountains for all we can see) toward supper and cocktail time. I went thru all the GPS fixes that are in my trimble and listed them (as I tend to forget what some of the abbreviations mean, and now I have a way to figure it out, by inputting the coordinates into mapquest) and also because I have lost others to a power crunch in the unit, and I want to have a remembrance of them. Done. And I have nearly completed the little yellow legal sheets of paper with tiny notes on them, getting them basically, more or less into this account somewhere.

If I had made it to the Latitudes one, this would have been my third. I told my Philipina maid I wanted to take her home with me. Anyhow, I met the latitudes and future cruise person, another Canadian named S*** who looks about 12 and said she is almost 40. She comes from Thunder Bay. The internet guy, who does not work for NCL, is also from Canada, as were the couple on canes who went with me to Antarctica yesterday and were put with me at a table tonight. Everyone else there was in a penthouse, and I was told that I am in a ‘minisuite’ but I was otherwise mum about my reasons for being there, which must puzzle some. Also met Hannah who seems Philippina as well. Many of the workers here are here on short notice, joined enroute or have been somehow extended. All are crunched by the plunging US dollar which fell further today I think.

Being that I was all dressed up, I decided to try Le Bistro for dinner. No go….reservations not open till two more days. Sat and listened to the trio (she has something wrong with her eye, she didn’t lose her contact lens, but she forgot her camera, and anyhow the scenery behind her was looking grim by then, with grey fog and only the dimmest shapes of mountains behind. Chatted a bit with the internet guy who really opened up today for the first time. He collects coins. I told him I had just dumped all mine in the help the kids thingy on British Air.

So I went to the Yacht Club for supper and had only rice and a tiny piece of steak, got to the slicing table and it was all seafood, so I treated myself to scoops of vanilla and strawberry ice cream and had a 3 musketeers when I got back to the room. The end of the cruise is in sight and I am not going to carry all that candy back with me. So far, the only thing I’ve brought that I didn’t have when I came is my Falklands Islands t shirt. Ate another snickers and turned in, at what time I don’t know, but it was well before midnight, and perhaps as early as ten. I put the timer on the bow cam music and sleep came instantly.

Bow Cam

Eine Glacier

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