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rafinmd

Around the Horn in 80 days.

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19 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Excellent.  Will this be your first transit of the canal?

 

Roy

Roy

 

The trip though The Canal is my first. In addition, this is my first cruise on HAL. I will be returning to Symphony in June and in November .

 

Howard

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5 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Wonderful report.

 

Those burgs are really something.  Hope that storm stays behind you and doesn't pick up speed.

 

Great pictures.

I agree!  Great pictures.

 

There was an article in the paper today about how the Antarctic ice shelf is breaking up.   It seems a lot of it is drifting past the Prinsendam!

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2 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

I agree!  Great pictures.

 

There was an article in the paper today about how the Antarctic ice shelf is breaking up.   It seems a lot of it is drifting past the Prinsendam!

 

We are still passing icebergs.

 

6 hours ago, 1lehrer said:

Roy

 

The trip though The Canal is my first. In addition, this is my first cruise on HAL. I will be returning to Symphony in June and in November .

 

Howard

Excellent1  What date on the Symphony.  I'll be getting on November 24.

 

BTW, I have my shore pass for 8:40AM to Grytviken, although conditions will need to be a lot calmer there than they are right now at the southern tip of the island..

 

Roy

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Roy:

 

sorry, I will miss you on Symphony, I get on 11/8 and I’m doing a b2b and get off 11/24.

 

Howard

Edited by 1lehrer

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Sorry we just miss, Howard.  Just back from Grytviken, picture perfect day.

 

Day P35, Friday, February 8, 2019, The Route of Shackleton, MS Prinsendam


The theme for the day was probably "stormy weather" although there were a few nice patches.  When I first went out on deck about 5:30 it was cold and windy, and I thought conditions might be a bit better in the afternoon when scenic cruising was scheduled.  I walked just 6 laps (1 ½ miles) in my initial walk and added another 6 laps at various times.


In the morning at least conditions were calm enough so I could take my ham slice out on the pool deck but conditions were not always that good.  Most of the morning was inside the ship.  At 10 Craig Franklin had a lecture on the wildlife of South Georgia. Glaciers are retreating and it is fortunate that a rat extermination program was successful while the glaciers prevented rats from escaping to other parts of the island.  As the lecture was starting the weekly crew drill also started with a parade of crew firefighters heading up the port stairs while I was on the starboard stairs.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/drill.jpg


There was a 10:30 coffee chat with Shades of Buble.  I missed their first performance but they have a second one coming up.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/bublechat.jpg


In his noon update Captain Jeroen emphasized the need to keep lights off at night to avoid attracting birds on deck.  I got fries for lunch at Dive-In but decided it was too stormy and nasty to eat them outdoors.  The afternoon lecture was scheduled for 1:30 (The life of a whaler in Grytviken) to allow for scenic cruising at 2:30.  When I went on deck there was a beautiful rainbow in the middle of an ugly scene.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/rainbow.jpg


I walked once around the deck in very strong winds.  As I rounded the stern I was pretty much out of control and had to grab a pole for a while.  There was probably the biggest tabular iceberg I've seen on this trip behind us.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/monster.jpg


I got up my courage to return to the back doors through extremely stormy seas.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/stormy.jpg

Soon after I was inside Captain Jeroen indicated a need for extreme caution as the winds were in the 60-80 knot range.  The seas were raging outside my porthole as well.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/porthole08.jpg


We were still hoping to enter a fjord, perhaps getting some shelter from the enclosed walls.  I went up to take a cup of coffee out to the pool deck.  Captain Jeroen soon decided it would not be a sheltered situation and we would turn around.  As we turned the 60knot winds produced a very noticeable list to port.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/windlist.jpg


Once we had turned and gotten a bit better angle I was able to pop up to deck 12 for a minute for a look at the glaciers at the entrance to the fjord.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/glaciers.jpg


Shore pass distribution had been scheduled for 4 to 6PM but skipping the fjord moved the schedule up some and I was in the first wave to pick up a pass.  My visit is tentatively scheduled for 8:40.  After picking up my pass I returned to the pool deck where there was a small but interesting iceberg.  As we passed it the summit towered above the jogging track.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/tower.jpg


We entered Gold bay about 5PM.  There was a huge colony of King Penguins on shore but a bit too far away for my camera.  There was a large hanging glacier with a nice waterfall below it.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/goldfalls.jpg


There were whales out the window as we dined at table 19.  I chose the fruit entree, crepinette of roasted chicken, and peach crisp.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes08.jpg


Sunset was about 7:30 bit it was behind the island.  After such a stormy day the setting was actually quite idyllic as the light started to fade.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/daysend08.jpg


The featured entertainment was guitarist Mark Hussey.  His music was quite good but I found his stories hard to believe.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/hussey.jpg


As I finish writing this post (It probably won't be complete until I return from shore), my parting shot will be that we are continuing in a pattern of rough weather at sea but beautiful days in most of our ports.  Weather timing seems to be on our side.


Roy

 

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Wonderful reports with so many great pictures.

 

I felt like one could reach out and touch the sides of some of those mountains.  Great rainbow in spite of the stormy seas.

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Day P36, Saturday, February 9, 2019. Grytviken, South Georgia


Our trend of nearly consistent good weather in ports and not so good at sea carried through to our visit to South Georgia.  I was out on deck about 5:30 and we were entering the harbor already.  As I rounded the bow to the port side the crew already had the deck closed off to prepare the tenders so I detoured inside to the back of the ship and then walked a mile on the deck 12 jogging track.  By the end of the day I had walked 3 miles on the lower promenade deck, one on deck 12 and one mile on land.  Grytviken was well into view by the time I finished up on deck 12.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/arrival.jpg


Our visit to Grytviken was quite regulated.  After completing the qualifications to go ashore were allowed to leave in groups of 35 at 20-minute intervals and allowed a 2-hour visit (that's the one thing I don't think they could enforce).  Crew "traffic cops" were everywhere ashore staking out the areas where we could go (Jetty-cemetery-church-museum) and our proximity to the wildlife.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/ourgrytvien.jpg


My shore pass said meet Ocean Bar at 8:20 and leave at 8:40.  The guy at the desk indicated they were running on time or a bit ahead and my tender pulled away from the ship at 8:42 for the 10-minute ride.  We docked pretty much in the center of things and started roaming.  I think the cemetery is the highlight for most people and also the most challenging place to reach so nearly everybody went there first.  The most prominent feature on the island was the remains of the whaling operation.  Most of the buildings were falling down although a repair shed looked in good shape.  We were not allowed inside but the door was open and we could look in.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/buildings.jpg


Most of the wildlife was between the jetty and the cemetery.  Breeds mixed somewhat but mostly it was King Penguins nearest the jetty.  Some had fuzzy stuff on their backs and were clearly molting.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/molting.jpg


The seals were mostly fur seals, many with pups.  One pup in particular seemed curious and not afraid.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/furseals.jpg


The elephant seals were closest to the cemetery.  Most were juveniles and were molting.  They were largely lying motionless in depressions, some right next to the trail.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/elephant.jpg


The small white-trimmed cemetery had 4 lines of graves with the body position outlined.  Most were just boxes outlining the body position with simple flat headstones but a few were more elaborate.  Spots that interested me were Shaclkleton's grave, a cairn, the grave of a former Magistrate and one for an Argentine naval officer killed in the Falklands war.  They were all facing east except for Shackleton's which was at right angles facing Antarctica.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/cemetary1.jpg


Next to Shackleton's grave was a memorial to his right hand man, Frank Wild.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/cemetary2.jpg


My walk had a bit of a triangular pattern walking more inland to the church.  It was actually on this segment that I looked into the repair shed and also passed a former whalers dorm.  That building appears quite well restored but is not open.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dorm.jpg


The church has actually very seldom been used for services.  It was originally a Lutheran church but now affiliated with (if anything) the Anglican church.  It is occasionally used for weddings, funerals, and cultural events.  It is in excellent condition and the balcony is open with ropes for the bell at the back of the balcony.  Many of us rung the church bell.  There was a pump organ near the pulpit.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/church.jpg


There was a lot of machinery in the area between the church and the museum.  I think some of it was once in buildings but now in the open after the buildings were lost.  I also passed the post office but it was closed with the postmaster stationed on the ship.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/machinery.jpg


The museum is in the former residence of the whaling station manager.  There was a lot of equipment in the front yard.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/museum1.jpg


Along with the gift shop, some of the things that caught my eye inside the museum were the sign and projector from the former cinema and depictions of spaces used by former managers as well as a dorm room for the whalers.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/museum2.jpg


There were hulks of 3 ships on the shore.  The top photo was the Albatros and a ship whose name I couldn't read; the bottom ship was the Petrel.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/hulks.jpg


I used about 100 of my 120 allotted minutes on the island.  On the way back to the tender there was a station where the crew washed our shoes.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/gyrtvikendock.jpg


The temperature on the ship was about 4.5/40.  It had seemed warmer on the island.  Part of it was probably the parka I was wearing but I think a bigger factor was probably the effect of the breeze and water (3.5/37) on the ship's feel.  I did complete my 5 miles of walking and mailed a couple of cards in time for a 1PM presentation by local staff on activities and life on the island.


Our itinerary had us in Grytviken 8 to 6 but the last tender was at 4.  The plan was to cruise past the Stromness and Leith Whaling station where Shackleton made his human contact on South Georgia.  We were due to pass there just as dinner was starting and most everybody showed up in the dining room with enough layers to go out on deck.  As the time came the announcement came that it was so foggy that there would be nothing to see and we were not staying (announcements are not made in the dining room but we are just a couple steps from the Ocean Bar and can hear them).  It was also a special "Age of Heroes" dinner with a very fancy menu:


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/menu0209.pdf

 

I opted for the Pineapple and Orange salad, Lamb Chops 'Toroa', and Cherry cake.  I've substituted a view of the fog out the window where the bread would normally be.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dinner0209.jpg


The featured entertainer was West End Singer Nick Page.  I had missed his first show which had gotten mixed but less than enthusiastic reviews.  I heard a comment on the way out that the second show was better than the first.  I thought he was just ok.


My parting shots are getting a bit repetitious.  I have alluded several times to our pace of great port day weather and stormy seas.  This was one of those days on steroids.  The weather in Grytviken was picture perfect, warm and sunny.  The forecast for Grytviken for Sunday is snow.  Not only was it a perfect day in port but barely an hour after we set sail we were in pea soup fog.


Roy

 

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5 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:

Wow. Great day.

 

Did they allow you to keep the menus?

They did.  The link in my post is to my scan of the menu.  Most of the menus are available as word files in the Navigator but this one had just the bare facts in Navigator.  I will take very few pieces of paper home with me but almost everything is scanned to my laptop.

 

2 hours ago, puppycanducruise said:

Thank you for sharing your day.

What a fascinating place.  You are fortunate to have visited there.

 

Not just to have visited but to get such a perfect day to do it.

Roy

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Wow. Just wow.
What a day. THAT'S why we travel.

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I am so glad that your weather for the ports has been beautiful.  And thankfully you got to see Grytviken before it snowed.

 

Your details are wonderful and pictures fantastic.  Love the wildlife there.

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Wonderful reporting, Roy.   I'm enjoying this so much I may have to start saving my pennies to do this one day.

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Great Pictures Roy.  I have enjoyed traveling along with you via your posts and pictures.

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Great pictures, glad you had such good weather for your visit.

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Thanks everyone.  Debbie, I hate to be a downer but it may take more saving than you expect to get your wish.  Visits to Grytviken by mainstream  cruise ships are EXTREMELY rare; for the foreseeable future the only way to get there is on Seabourn, Silversea, or expedition ship.  Just another example of how lucky I was to have such a nice day in such a rarely visited place.

 

Day P37, Sunday, February 12, 2019, At sea, MS Prinsendam


This was a good day to stay inside on the Prinsendam.  Sunrise was about 4:30 but I barely ever saw the sun.  I haven't posted a sunrise photo for a while but have saved one from the day we were in Punta Arenas.  It's rare to have the sun and moon shining brightly at the same time.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/porthole10.jpg


There was a fair amount of motion overnight and the wind speed on the TV was about 40 knots.  I decided it was not likely a good day to be on the lower promenade deck and to walk inside the ship after checking the view outside my porthole.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/sunmoon30.jpg


I had noticed when I first went up for coffee that things didn't seem too bad on deck 12 so I thought I might walk some there.  As I went up I found the lower promenade deck was not actually roped off.  I did walk 6 laps there although it was quite a job to force my way around the bow.  I was very surprised to see that the stewards had actually set the cushions out on the loungers despite the 40 knot winds.


The morning started out with the interdenominational worship service at 9.  After the service I stopped by late for the coffee chat with Nick Page.  He had a heavy British accent and I found it hard to follow his comments.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/pagechat.jpg


It was a busy day for presentations in the Showroom.  Craig Franklin started things off at 11 with part 2 of his talks on threats to Antarctica.  I thought he covered much of the same information we heard from Allie Clement and John Dickens from the Research Center in Grytviken but Franklin had a lot more details.

 

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/research.jpg


In his noon update Captain Jeroen indicated we had gale force winds and quite a bit of motion.  He "hopes conditions will be the same" Monday as a storm is building and it does not look like they will get better.  We are well ahead of the position needed and we should anchor in the shelter of Stanley Harbor about 11PM Monday.  As he closed his message Staff Captain Paul could be heard singing Happy Birthday to Linda.


There was a Sunday Brunch in the Dining Room.  I skipped it as the menu did not attract me and the Baked Macaroni and Cheese I like was being served in the lido.  I have been noticing the plaques in the aft stairway and will mention a few in days when I don't have a lot of other photos to post.  The bottom landing had a plaque for Manta from what may have been her maiden call on January 10 2018.  Her final call as the Prinsendam was January 12.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/manta.jpg


There were 2 afternoon presentations.  Noel Miller started things off at 2 with a talk on the expedition of Sir Douglas Mawson.  Those early explorers were a brave and hardy group.  He was followed at 3 by Lou Sanson on recent developments from Antarctica.  


I don't buy a lot of "stuff" while traveling but one thing I do buy pretty frequently is wall calendars.  They're very pretty for a year and then they go cheerfully into the recycling bin without contributing to clutter.  I found one I liked in Grytviken and it's now sitting on my wall at least for a few days.  I'd kind of like to have 2 and hope to find another in Stanley.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/sgcalendar.jpg


There was another special menu in the Canaletto but I opted for a regular Sunday evening dinner with the usual 5 at table 19.  My choices for the evening were the fruit cup, Turkey Tenderloin, and ice cream.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes10.jpg


The featured entertainment was a repeat performance by comedian Kevin Devane.  I thought his first performance was just "good" but tonight thought he was excellent.


I'll take my parting shot from a news clipping sent by a family member.  Those who follow my travels will know that I have a love affair with 2 food chains.  I've repeated the Panera story pretty often but the one about Tim Hortons far less often.  I was introduced to the chain in 1995 by my cousin in Saskatchewan but it remained a pretty casual relationship for about 10 years.  In 2005 I was on what was mostly a road trip in western Canada and the Great Lakes.  I had rented a car in Yellowknife (NWT) for a couple of days and was returning to Edmonton by bus.  The bus left at 1AM and I needed to turn the car in at 9.  When I bought my bus ticket I asked if there was anything to do while waiting for the bus and their response was "Go to a bar but if you come back with alcohol on your breath we won't let you board."  I didn't find that particularly helpful but the rental guy dropped me at Tim's and for the next 3 hours I went back to the counter about once an hour for a small steeped tea and an occasional timbit (I love that they sell them one at a time).  That Tim Hortons made what could have been an awful night pretty pleasant.  I've been a fan ever since.  One of the co-founders, Ron Joyce, died January 31.  Mr. Joyce, thanks and rest in peace.


Roy

 

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Thanks for your report.

Just a side note, it's 'ROLL up the RIM' time at Tim Hortons.  Top prize is a Jeep Compass!

I'd be happy if I could win a free coffee.:classic_smile:

 

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I love the fact that there is so much to do on sea days -- like lectures.  Sea days seem to be rough weather days.  Hope that all changes soon.

 

Interesting facts about Tom Hortons.  We don't have that coffee shop here.

 

Great pictures.

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2 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Thanks everyone.  Debbie, I hate to be a downer but it may take more saving than you expect to get your wish.  Visits to Grytviken by mainstream  cruise ships are EXTREMELY rare; for the foreseeable future the only way to get there is on Seabourn, Silversea, or expedition ship.  Just another example of how lucky I was to have such a nice day in such a rarely visited place.

Well, if one doesn't set goals, one doesn't get anywhere.  Nothing wrong with being lofty in expectations.

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2 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

I love the fact that there is so much to do on sea days -- like lectures.  Sea days seem to be rough weather days.  Hope that all changes soon.

 

Interesting facts about Tom Hortons.  We don't have that coffee shop here.

 

Great pictures.

They're primarily a Canadian company although they do have a Northeast US presence.  There are a number in Pennsylvania; I would guess the closest to you would be Washington, Franklin, or Meadville.

The only 2 in Maryland are in a military base, virtually off limits to me.  The one I visit most often is probably in Penn Station in New York.

You have probably seen that I have an obsession with "Come From Away" and have a part in the play.  I will be on the Nieuw Statendam when the tour comes to Baltimore but am hoping for a road trip for it's run in Pittsburgh.  If I do get tickets and go I will probably stop on the way at Tim Hortons in Morgantown going and Washington returning.

 

Roy 

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On 1/11/2019 at 12:22 PM, Krazy Kruizers said:

than

One fact about Tim Hortons that should.  be mentioned, is that the stores were founded by Tim Horton a legendary and beloved hockey player.  He started the stores while he was still playing in the 1960s.   He played over 20 years, mostly with the Toronto Maple Leafs.   While still playing in the NHL he was killed in a car accident in the 1970s.   

If you have never been just think Dunkin Donuts with more maple flavored items.   

 

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Roy, it was wonderful you had such good weather in Grytviken.  Do you know if Prinsendam has ever stopped there before?  I noticed the small dock you tendered to, which certainly wasn't there 7 years ago, so perhaps they want more visitors who will need a "dry" landing.

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