Our Antarctic Adventure – Part IV

At Sea – South Atlantic Ocean – Tuesday, 3 February

Wow, what an introduction to the South Atlantic!

This morning around d 2:30 I was awakened by what seemed to be continual “sheet” lightening bolting through our window! As I peered out into the darkness, it became obvious that we were traveling through a heavy squall, accompanied by high winds, heavy rains and a following sea. I tried to go back to sleep, but my body and senses said “You are not about to miss this experience”. I dressed and went on a stroll through the ship. Wow, what I found was water trying to infiltrate our “cozy can”. The cruise director, Thom Faulkner, made the “can” reference last evening after the show. Up on the Lido Deck in the pool area, the deck was awash with rain water that the scuppers could not keep up with, so some was making its way into the port dining room. (I later learned from two cruise critic friends, that their stateroom was directly blow the flooded dining room and had made its way into their cabin.) It was also next to impossible to venture out onto the weather deck (promenade). I seemed to be the only one up and about at that time of the night, which is not surprising

This morning we are on a due south heading that will take us to the Falkland Islands, hopefully to arrive around 8:00 on Thursday morning. Today we have a full slate of “sea days” events. The first of which will be reacquainting ourselves with Port Lecturer Frank Buchingham. We were held spellbound by his artful manner of speaking (very British) on the Amsterdam in ‘07. Today he will be all things “Falkland”. Later, in the afternoon there will be shore excursions talks, and a presentation by the Explorations Speaker Warren Salinger, entitled “The Southern Cone of South America”. That should be worth attending. (Barbara stayed – I left) Sometime in the next two days I will be meeting with the cruise director to discuss scheduling a time for my presentation on my year at Palmer Station in 1965.

As I write this I am enjoying the view of the restless sea outside our “Ocean View” window – how great is that? The Dolphin Deck (our deck) is approximately twenty feet above the waterline, so our speed seems faster than 17 or so knots. It is nice to be back in greener waters. Last evening as we sailed out into the Rio de La Plata on our way to the open sea, the river water was mocha colored with up-river sediment, and quite polluted.

How nice to have a full day at sea and be able to take or leave activities as we felt we had the stamina for. We did meet with our Cruise Specialists Hosts Henk and Lucia Barnhoorn and were introduced to other members of our group, two of whom we had traveled with before in ‘07; John and Hildegard. We took in a couple of lectures, and though they were interesting speakers, I still am catching up on my sleep – at the most inopportune time! When we returned to our S/R after an excellent meal, our “pillow gift was laid out on the bed; a cold weather convertible fleece vest/jacket – both were XL, so on our way to the Captain’s welcome cocktail party for newcomers, we stopped by the front office and requested a substitution for Barbara.

The evening was rounded out with more “head-bobbing” as we were entertained by Cecil Welch, a principal trumpeter and soloist for Academy Award winning film composer Henry Mancini. It was an excellent program but I just could not keep my eyes open! Now it’s “set the clocks back an hour” and off to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be another restful day at sea. JWC

2 thoughts on “Our Antarctic Adventure – Part IV

  1. Hi! Sounds like you got off to a rip-roaring storm. The kind I get such a big kick out of.
    I’m sure that storm is over now, and hope you have caught up on your sleep.
    Thanks for your blogs. I hope I have gotten the instructions straight now.
    Keep up the good work, and remember to get some rest, too.

  2. Jack,
    How long were you in the rough sea? Did Barb sleep through it?
    Bob and I are going to hear music of the Fabulous 40’s. I am looking forward to it. We went to the Snowgrass program last Sat. Jenny James was in two bands, playing the bass.
    Enjoy the rest of you trip.

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