Friday, May 6, 2011

onward, southward

Today I ventured farther south than ever before, passing the latitude of Punta Arenas, my hitherto southernmost point. Initial impressions were that it was VERY VERY sunny, we were still rocking and rolling and my sunburn still hurt. My over riding concern was our location however, so I threw on turtleneck and black sweatpants and went out to the rear and took the following fix.

Home is 6557 miles away. We have slowed to 11mph. There is 1 airport within 500NM.
Lat S 55 52 Long 61 42.6 Our course is southwest.

A collection of birds is following the boat and the spray is making a rainbow, but a coat and perhaps gloves will need to precede a more lengthy walk forward. Instead, I grabbed two coffees and returned to the room where I think the bow cam is the only game in town, and the camera is sunny but covered with spray, and shows regular pitch motions of over five degrees, but still not much roll.

//Just caught a spectacular (underlined) spray off the bow cam. It would be pure luck to capture such a fleeting event with the digital cam, but I have become accustomed to the delay and I get better pictures with a half second heads-up. The bow cam also played some bossa nova, and I suspect I will always think of the quiet pretty lady singer when I hear such music from now on.

Checked with reception who wanted to know if it were raining, and officially the swells are ten meters and winds over 50mph. The forward portions of the deck seven is roped off, but absolutely spectacular views can be had from the remaining 80 per cent of deck seven.

Thence to the gym [two people there], so I hopped on the exercise bike, and soon an officer appeared and I thought he was going to make an issue over my sandles, but instead they closed the gym for safety. Although ten decks up, the wave spray was routinely washing against it.

I of course am enjoying it totally, but here and there they are cleaning up spots on the floor where people have been sick and that smell is not pleasant. When the gym was closed I went to a whale lecture and lasted 45 minutes before going outside again where the real action is. It should not bother me that people are playing cards thru everything that happens, but then again, I am not dancing and drinking and others might find that unfathomable as well.

Well, I logged onto the net for an hour and have just about used up all of my time, save five minutes. Had a very entertaining email from S*** who must have been three sheets to the wind. She said she misses me on Friday nights when she gets juiced.

Speaking of three sheets to the wind, believe it is time to dress up and take another turn around the decks. Birds are following the ship all day, and whales are sometimes sighted in the area as well. With 33 foot waves and whole gale force winds, I do marvel at those who choose to tackle these conditions in small boats, alone.

The boat is making some thunderous crashing noises from time to time, and squeaks emanate from every corner, particularly where the lifeboats are stored. I’m loving it.

, I checked the time on the captains cocktail party to see what time it was, and I checked at ten to noon and it began at 1130. Threw the blazer over the turtleneck and the dress slacks Short party, cuz when I got there they were cleaning up 25 min later. Mood worsened as there were sev questions I wanted to ask.

The gym is closed due to the weather, and the forward decks are off limits as well. I finished the entire 650 page book of New Yorker cartoons, and the library was filled with people knitting and sleeping. I am almost out of internet minutes (five left).

The good news is that they were able to fix the camera case which is much easier to use than anything else I have. May be no charge. And my Antarctica flight tickets came…and this is the one I will really sweat out till it is accomplished. If I lose out on both I may have to blow my savings and return somehow.

I stayed out on deck in the sun and wind all afternoon watching the landscape slide by. I watched as we crossed the 55 degree parallel Enjoyed a few conversations with fellow passengers. This is of course farther than I have ever been south in my life. Further encouraging news is that good wx due to large high pressure center is fx for the next three days, which should get me thru my biggie boys and girls.

Very suddenly earlier today, just as I was walking out the door by where the trio plays in the Lido lounge, my middle right finger began hurting again, without being bumped or anything, so I got self a bottle of aspirin aboard – eight bucks thank you so bloody much.

So- supper time coming and I shaved and I have really gotten another burn on top of my burn, but this one is half wind I think. Tickets for tomorrow are for a little after eight for the train ride.

// Supper was largely meat, sliced pork and a lamb chop. Had some salad with blue cheese dressing and tried to have ice cream only to be told they had no scoop, so I had apple pie and then ice cream when I bitched and they got a scoop. Went upstairs and listened to the trio awhile (she was even more casual than last night’s opening performance) and then went to the stardust lounge and watched two latin dancers do three dances and then Richie M***, the ‘hilarious’ comedian who rode down on Delta on the row behind me. He still reminds me of Kevin G** and while I got a chuckle or two, it was mostly material I had heard done before, better, by other comics. Many people left before I did, but I didn’t stay till the end either.

Back in the room I had a crustacean towel animal and re-read the part of the Antarctic trip that says no refunds or cancellations if they decide to go somewhere different. In their defense, I knew this when I signed up for the trip. My meeting tomorrow is at 0845, so I’ll need a wakeup call. CNN is broadcasting World News Asia, as I guess there is no news from South America, and I have not used my internet time to look at any of the news sites that I generally scan.

A funny thing happened to my tummy. I have the very clear mark of a hand which lay across my lap when I fell asleep, and it looks like I just got slapped.. No patches to trade so far, but I did see and have nice passport stamps anyhow..
The town that we are visiting tomorrow is one that I have been looking at fondly on the internet for quite a few years, and in fact have ‘saved’ almost a dozen screen shots from their webcams, and so I suspect I shall take a lot of pix tomorrow.

Deck soaked with spray--note rainbow

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