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rafinmd

Around the Horn in 80 days.

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1 hour ago, Vict0riann said:

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.

I think I heard that they were there about 10 years ago.

 

Roy

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Day P38, Monday, February 11, 2019, At sea, MS Prinsendam


I'll start things off with some pictures from a bit earlier in the cruise.  These were from the Captains Dinner on Groundhog Day.  The first is 2 of our members with our host, Hotel Director Rene Tuinman and our dining room hosts.

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/capdinner1.jpg


Next is 3 others from table 19 and Rene's wife Judy (right).


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/capdinner2.jpg


In the last one I am on the right.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/capdinner3.jpg


I did get out early on deck for a short walk.  The first time I came around the stern I should have been looking at a rising sun as it was 6 minutes after sunrise but there was no sun in evidence.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dawn0211.jpg


I struggled through 4 laps around the lower promenade deck.  Going around the bow was always difficult and I gave after the 4th lap (1 mile) when I was driven back by the wind while crossing the bow.  I did walk another 5 laps (½ mile) on the deck 12 jogging track where conditions were more civilized.  Later in the day the wind got even stronger and there were periods of rain.  I found the 1 ½ mile total walk a more than sufficient workout.


It was a busy day on board the ship as the expedition phase of the voyage winds down.  There were 2 morning presentations, starting with 10 with Peter Carey on the Natural History of the Falklands.  Carey operates a foundation preserving the environment on some of the Falkland's small islands.  Emphasizing the end of the expedition Heather's 11AM talk covered our next 2 ports, one of which we will actually be a docked visit.


In his noon update Captain Jeroen confirmed that the storm is continuing to worsen.  We zigged a bit in the morning to hit the swells at a better angle but we would need to turn bac towards Stanley.  He also confirmed that things would calm down about 11PM as we reached Stanley Harbor.


The afternoon (2PM) presentation was by Noel Miller on the history of the Falklands.  After his talk authors Peter Carey and Craig Franklin signed the books we were given as pillow gifts.  I think it was the first book signing I have ever seen where we did not need to buy the book first.


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


I held off till late on lunch, fries from Dive-In.  I took them to the forward corner of the pool deck where there was the most protection from the wind.  The deserted pool deck is quite exposed and the Dive-In staff understandably had just one panel of their service window open.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/pool11.jpg


By late afternoon winds on the TV display were over 50 knots, the lower promenade deck was officially closed, and the view out my port hole confirmed the intensity of the storm.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/porthole0211.jpg


We were joined again by Kathi at dinner.  I opted for the caesar salad, lamb shank, and apple crumble tart.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes11.jpg


The featured entertainment was soprano group Ida.  I skipped it and instead went to evening trivia.  Table 19's group had no openings but Andrea and I were joined by another lady to form a 1-day team and were soon joined by the singers of Shades of Buble.  The questions were relatively easy and most were cooperative efforts with just 2 exceptions I can remember.  I think it was just me that got the number of squares on a checker board (64) and just Shades of Buble that got the landmark named for Sir Benjamin Hall (Big Ben).  We missed only the bonus question, the number of stars in the Big Dipper (we guessed 6, there were 7).


My parting shot for today has an American flavor.  Happy Birthday, Abe Lincoln.


Roy

 

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Seems like you people aren't getting a break in the weather.

 

Love your reports and pictures.  Great pictures of your group on Groundhog Day.

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Cold weather at home with following storms and nasty weather on board, I would still take the ship. [I won't tell you what the weather is like in Florida.]

 

1 1/2 miles against a strong wind would probably equal your daily walk. Good luck on your weather calming down.

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Good morning Roy!

WOW the weather and that porthole picture of your room😳! Glad you were determined 

to complete your walk👍 Nice pictures of all and always good to see you too so, they had a Captains Dinner on Ground Hog Day? Those fries are my fav at Dive In.

Thanks for your review as always.

Denise😊

 

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Thank you everybody.  Very busy days both in Stanley and again at sea today; wrapped up my blog post just in time for the morning lectures and finally back  at the computer.

 

Day P39, Tuesday, February 12, 2019, Stanley, Falkland Islands


We arrived in Stanley Harbor about the time I went to bed Tuesday, accompanied by a lot of noise.  The seas had been rough right up to our arrival but calmed quickly once we entered the harbor.  This is my third visit to Port Stanley after the Crystal Symphony in 2016 and the Zaandam in 2017.  I was on deck quickly and managed to finish my 6-lap (1 ½ mile) walk before the lower promenade deck was closed off to prepare the tenders.


It was a busy day in Port Stanley as we were joined in port by the Celebrity Eclipse (2850 pax) and  Hurtigruten's Fram (280 pax).  Tours ($70-$385) mostly involved penguins but there was also a walking tour (done in 2016) and a battlefield tour (done in 2017).  I had planned on just walking in town and visiting the Falklands museum but in the end booked a tour to Bluff Cove.


There were frequent departures on the tour and I chose the one at 8:30.  Tendering over was easy but things were extremely congested at the tender landing.  Eventually our ride arrived and we were off.  There were 32 people for our departure, divided into 2 minibuses for about a 10-mile ride across the island.  When we entered the property we were divided into groups of 4 and placed in mostly Land Rovers for the remaining 10-minute transfer to the penguins.  Most of the birds in the area were Gentoo penguins.

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


While at the site one of the staff was taking photos, probably on the last day I will be wearing my parka.

 

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

 

The next largest group of birds was King Penguins.  They seemed to be noisier than the Gentoos while we were there.

 

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


I had seen most of what I saw here at Grytviken and somewhat from the ship.  The one special
thing I hadn't seen was a number of birds carrying for chicks.


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


Things were a lot more civilized at the site than I had imagined with a café, restrooms, and gift shop.  A bit of Falklands past was recycled into a sign at the indoor part of the site.


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


The treats at the café were all included as part of the visit.  There was a peat stove keeping the place warm and toasty.


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


We were allotted an hour at Bluff Cove before our Land Rovers picked us up and took us back to the highway and our minibuses.  On the way back we passed boot hill, a collection of boots that started when one driver got stuck in a bog and lost one of his boots.  He stuck the other on a pole and then boots started accumulating.


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


We were back at the tender pier about 11:45.  I went for a walk along the waterfront, walking about a half mile to the memorial to those lost in the Falklands war.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/war1.jpg


Next door was the museum.  Winds were starting to pick up and decided not to stay. On the waterfront behind the museum there is a memorial to British Antarctic explorers who died.


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


The Anglican Cathedral in Port Stanley is considered the Southernmost in the World.  I see it listed as the Southernmost church which I question a bit; I guess it depends on whether the one in Grytviken would be a church although only rarely used.


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


Outside the Cathedral is one of the icons of the Falklands, a giant arch made of whale bones.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/arch1.jpg


I continued walking back to the tender pier, buying a couple of things at the supermarket and braving all the crowded gift ships but did not find another calendar.  After stopping for coffee at a café I was back on board about 2PM.  There was spray coming into the tender on our way back and we bobbed up and down quite a bit as we reboarded the Prinsendam.


The last tender was at 5PM.  In Captain Jeroen's sailaway message a bit of the noise I heard at bedtime was explained.  It was quite windy in the harbor and we needed to drop a second anchor to keep the ship stable overnight.  We started to move about 5:15 and sailed past the Eclipse, which had been due to leave an hour ahead of us.  The penguins were back in the lobby around British flags.


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


Kathi joined us in what was an English themed dinner.  I usually plan my menu selections and had planned on the English Roast Beef but the Macaroni, Lobster, & Cheese listed in the navigator became Macaroni, Ham, and Cheese at the dining room and I made the switch.  I finished off with the Princess Cake.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes12.jpg


The featured entertainment was our trivia teammates, Shades of Buble.  I had missed their first show due to the Captain's Dinner and was surprised at how much I enjoyed their show.  I was never a fan of Buble but discovered that he did many songs recorded by others and they all sounded great with a trio in harmony.


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


My parting shot will get a bit complicated.  I was thinking a bit about the ships in Port Stanley.  There is much I envy about the Fram which we passed in Paradise Bay and which was headed to South Georgia from the Falklands.  I would have loved to be on that ship but think as well of the Panama Canal and the Amazon which I am getting and the long flights I am not getting.  On the other hand I looked at the Eclipse.  They had a couple days in Antarctica and I bet loved every minute of it.  I also noticed that every time I arrived at the tender dock after my tour they had a long line waiting to get on.  Their last tender was advertised as 4PM but they were still going back for more people at 5 so I expect the lines were long all afternoon.  Never have I felt more fortunate to be on the Prinsendam.  I raised the question at the dinner table if I should feel just fortunate or somewhat smug.  The consensus was smug and I'm inclined to agree.


Roy

 

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Good report Roy!!  Those pics of the Penguins love them. Good picture of you too Roy.

Boot Hill LOL. Hope smooth sailings ahead, and ready to read more from you. 

Denise😊

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Wonderful report.

 

Love the story about Boot Hill -- that is a hoot.

 

Penguin pictures are adorable -- especially with the babies.

 

Glad that the ship's penguins have re-appeared.

 

You look great!!

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5 hours ago, rafinmd said:


My parting shot will get a bit complicated.  I was thinking a bit about the ships in Port Stanley.  There is much I envy about the Fram which we passed in Paradise Bay and which was headed to South Georgia from the Falklands.  I would have loved to be on that ship but think as well of the Panama Canal and the Amazon which I am getting and the long flights I am not getting.  On the other hand I looked at the Eclipse.  They had a couple days in Antarctica and I bet loved every minute of it.  I also noticed that every time I arrived at the tender dock after my tour they had a long line waiting to get on.  Their last tender was advertised as 4PM but they were still going back for more people at 5 so I expect the lines were long all afternoon.  Never have I felt more fortunate to be on the Prinsendam.  I raised the question at the dinner table if I should feel just fortunate or somewhat smug.  The consensus was smug and I'm inclined to agree.


Roy

 

You have every right to feel fortunate or smug 😉. Whichever suits 😄 

 

Love your posts, your penguins and it sounds like you are having an absolute blast.

 

Thanks for sharing the wonderful experience with us.

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Having been to Stanley on the Zaandam in 2016, your report brought back good memories.  The locals were very surprised the Zaandam arrived as the day before  hurricane force winds had cancelled the last sailings of the season for NCL.  We felt fortunate, too.

 

The church looked quite different.  Hmmm. 

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Thank you everyone.  Just docked in Puerto Madryn and looks like a good day.

 

Day P40, Wednesday, February 13, 2019, At sea, MS Prinsendam


I hope Wednesday did not signal an end to the pattern of great port days and rough sea days.  Things started out in a fairly normal pattern as I arrived at the lower promenade deck and it was roped off.  I went directly up to deck 12 with a plan of walking 1 ½ miles.  Everything was in decent shape but when I finished it was just before sunrise so I extended the walk to 2 miles.  I was just rounding the stern when half the sun was showing.  There was not much color then but it emerged a couple of laps later.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dawn0213.jpg


By the time I was ready to get breakfast the lower promenade deck was open and I added 6 laps there by afternoon on trips to get breakfast, lunch, and coffee.  I could easily have extended my total walk to 5 miles but there was too much happening inside, starting with a 9AM coffee chat with Mark Hussey.


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


At 10 there was an Antarctic recap and Q&A featuring out Captain, Expedition leaders, and Jeff, our Ice Pilot.  Jeff is a retired US Coast Guard icebreaker Captain.


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


At 11 Heather had her talk on our final ports of the first segment, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.  She broke the news that some of our ship models would be leaving in Buenos Aires, to be transferred to another ship.  Since this is happening in Buenos I am guessing that they will likely be going to the Zaandam.  Among the ships leaving will be the Fram, an expedition ship that went both further North and further South than any other wooden ship, and the James Caird, the lifeboat essential to the Shackleton rescue.


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

In his noon update Captain Jeroen indicated that our nice weather would continue and we would pick up our pilot about 7AM.  I was comfortable with just my long sleeve t-shirt on a picture perfect afternoon.

 

 

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/bluesky13.jpg


Presentations continued at 2 with a talk by Lou Sanson on "The Other Side", life on the Ross Sea side of Antarctica.  He was followed at 3 by a matinee performance by violinist Jakub Trasak.  He will be leaving I think in Puerto Madryn.


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


On the last Gala evening of the second segment table 19 was hosted by one of the assistant cruise directors, Alice.  There was another change in the menu from what was posted on the Navigator, the Filet Mignon Oscar was replaced by Surf and Turf, enjoyed by several people.  I chose the chicken and rice soup, rack of lamb, and linzer torte.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes13.jpg


When we returned to our rooms there was another useful pillow gift, a carry-on sized rolling bag.


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


The featured entertainment was guitarist Marl Hussey.  I skipped the show.  The weather had clouded up a bit but there was still quite a nice end to the day during the show.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/daysend13.jpg


My parting shot will be pretty simple.  Happy Valentines day.  May what looks like another bout of stormy weather not interfere with plans.


Roy

 

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9 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

She broke the news that some of our ship models would be leaving in Buenos Aires, to be transferred to another ship.  

 

Sad to hear.  Sounds like some things will be missing when we board 😞 

 

 

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Wonderful report.

 

Glad you had a better sea day -- calmer weather and sunny.

 

Well -- at least the ship models will be moved to another HAL ship and not just given away to someone else.

 

The coffee chats on our 21 day cruise -- I really missed.  We used to have them on those longer repositioning cruises.

 

Great reports and pictures.

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Happy Valentines Day!

Great sunrise picture Roy. Glad you were able to get your walking in too!

Sad to see the ship models leaving, but agree I’m glad they are going to another HAL ship. This is starting to get very real with our Elegant Explorer that she will be actually leaving😒

Enjoy your cruise Roy!

This day is our anniversary 

Denise😊

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Day P41, Thursday, February 14, 2019, Puerto Madryn, Argentina


Puerto Madryn, snuggled into a bay on the east coast of Argentina, is considered part of Patagonia.  I was there in 2016 on the Crystal Symphony.  I think all the tours offered ($190-$300) were wildlife oriented.  Most were all day tours and the short ones did not appeal to me.  I had done a tour to Punta Tumba in 2016 and while checking Crystal's map there were a couple of things in town that looked interesting, so I decided against a tour.


I started the day with a 2-mile walk on the ship.  Conditions were good and we had a very nice sunrise near the midpoint of the walk.  We picked up the pilot near the end of the walk and by 7 were docked across the pier from the Celebrity Eclipse.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dawn0214.jpg


I headed ashore just after 8.  When I was here in 2016 tour buses came to meet the ship and I did not really realize how long the dock was.  By my GPS it exactly a half mile from the gangway to the first street.


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


My walk totaled about 3 miles I was looking for the Oceanographic Museum (Pujol), the old train station, and the main square in the city (Population of Puerto Madryn is about 100,000).


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


There is a very nice Malecon along the ocean front and at the port gate there is a statue and a bust of a whale's tail.


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


Pujol Chalet was built in 1915 as the home of Augustin Pujol until his death in 1926, and was donated to the city by his heirs.  When I entered they did not take US dollars, and they did not take credit cards.  The only thing they did take was my name and city on their guest book.  Unfortunately, almost all the captions were in Spanish and I did not linger as long as I expected.  There was a nice whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling of one room.


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


The top floor was a tower with great views of the city.


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


In her talk on Puerto Madryn Heather had said that the old train station was now the bus station.  Not quite.  The bus station is quite new.  I did have a look and was curious about what was offered.  In 2017 I rode one of the Argentine buses to Iguazu and back.  From Puerto Madryn the journey to Buenos Aires is about 20 hours and for the equivalent of airline business class costs about $85.


The old railroad station is directly across the street.  It is now a museum largely devoted to the city's Welsh heritage. They did take US dollars ($1 which was actually less than the equivalent in pesos).  I was taken around by the person at the door and did not feel comfortable taking photos inside the museum.


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


I was looking for an ATM to get some pesos.  I found a couple but the fees were quite high ($8-10) and decided against it for getting just the $20 or so I would need.  I walked past Plaza San Martin but it was being renovated and was fenced off and unattractive.  Returning to the street I was amazed at the contrast in size between the Prinsendam and the Eclipse.  I walked about a half mile along the Malecon and then back on the main street and to the ship.  I had a quiet afternoon on board finishing up some internet tasks.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/2ships.jpg


All aboard for both ships was 4PM but we were the first to leave.  I thought the photographers on the Eclipse were the masters of opportunism.  They had a long line of people waiting to board (about the length of the Prinsendam) and were out at the line with a big heart-shaped hoop taking photos of couples waiting to board.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/photo-op.jpg


Both ships still had tours out at 4PM.  Our last guests arrived about 4:15 and we let all our lines go at 4:30 while there was still a long line of people waiting to get on the Eclipse.


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


There were special Valentines Day menus in both the dining room and the Pinnacle Grill. The penguins were fully decked out.

We were all present at table 19 and Sherita brought some extra decorations.  I chose the citrus delight, pork chop, and berries financier.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes14.jpg


Waiting for us back in the room was a 3-pack of very nice chocolate bars.


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


The featured entertainment was Shirley Dominguez.  She has long been one of my favorites; I enjoyed her performances several times on Crystal and also on my first Prinsendam cruise and my segment of Amsterdam's 2014 World Cruise.  I did not think she was quite as good this time but still good enough to go back for part of her second show.


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


As my parting shot I am really not a football fan but certainly aware of the Baltimore Ravens.  Joe Flaco has been not just a stellar player but also a great citizen of Baltimore.  He will certainly be missed.  I did a quick on the schedule and it does not look like the Ravens play Denver in 2019-20 so I wish him a great success with his new team.  Thanks for the memories.


Roy

 

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Another great report with wonderful pictures.

 

Glad the penguins dressed up for Valentine's Day.  

 

Those prices for the ATM machines are awful!!

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Great reports and pictures, as always, Roy.

 

They are certainly creative with those penguins 😄

 

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