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John and Diane's Latest Adventures - 2020

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Just got caught up with your recent reports.

 

Your Canaletto special dinner sounds wonderful. Whenever we have ordered the Caviar in the Pinnacle it came with a handful of tiny Belinis -- not enough for the Caviar.  

 

Your Super Bowl food makes my mouth water.

 

Love the pictures -- pool giving off steam and that HUGE iceberg. 

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

At Sea en route to Ushuaia, Argentina

 

Actually, today is not only “en route” but “arriving,” since we’ll be docking in Ushuaia at 6:00 this evening and then staying until 2:30 tomorrow afternoon.  Our friends Ann and Cathy have been on the Volendam and are pretty much doing what we’re doing, but in reverse order.  They just left Ushuaia and said that it was sunny and “reasonably” warm.  Right now the clouds are moving in but we hope to have at least a bit of  sunshine when we get there.  

 

Today’s schedule is “scenic cruising” of Cape Horn.  I have learned that Cape Horn is actually an island, and we’ve been sailing around and between it and others.  At the end of the island there’s a lighthouse with an interesting story.  Each year, from November to November, a different lighthouse keeper comes to serve in this isolated and wind-swept area.  This particular keeper is here with his wife and three children, who are between the ages of 2 and 6.  I’m not sure I’d apply for that job.  

 

From here, we’ll proceed up the Beagle Channel (named for Charles Darwin’s ship) to arrive in Ushuaia early this evening.  The stark beauty of this area is attracting John’s camera like nobody’s business, and the narration we’re hearing from our travel guide helps us to understand where we are and what we’re seeing.  During today’s cruising, we’ve gone from Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and then back to the Atlantic.  We’ve also gone from Argentinian waters to Chilean waters and back.  It’s enough to make a person’s head spin.  In fact, the village we’re passing on the way to Ushuaia is Chilean - something we can determine from the flag which is flying over it.  

 

The birdlife is incredible.  If you ever read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” you might want to know exactly what an albatross looks like.  That’s no trouble today, since they fly here, there, and everywhere, gracefully floating along on the wind currents, using their 10-foot wingspan to hover above the water.  The shearwaters are also quite common, and the guano-covered areas of the islands show us that various types of birds are found here in abundance. 

 

We’re looking forward to a third visit to Ushuaia.  According to the port information, the population of the world’s southernmost city has increased 11-fold in the last several years to about 150,000.  It makes me wonder, except for the raw natural beauty of the place, why someone would choose to live, literally, at the end of the world.  I guess the virtually tax-free society and high wages, primarily in tourism and fishing, probably account for a lot of the growth.  

 

And now the city is within view, so it’s time to put together my going-ashore kit, a warm jacket, and get ready to disembark.  More later.  

 

 

 

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Thank you for all of your photos included in your posts. I especially liked the huge iceberg.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ushuaia, Argentina

 

Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, sits at the foot of the snow-capped Andes and, as its proximity to Antarctica would indicate, is one of the coldest, too, with wind blowing off the sea and down from the mountains which surround the city.  For many years, the only access to Ushuaia was by air or by water, but now there is a highway which can take drivers all the way to Buenos Aires.

 

For a city which has grown to about 150,000, it is extremely well organized and laid out, with streets going up from the oceanfront and being criss-crossed by others.  Since the wind tends to blow from the mountains to the sea and vice-versa, the cross streets are nicely sheltered (as much as possible, anyway), and the street which is just one up from the shore is the main thoroughfare in town.  It has several restaurants, many of which specialize in king crab, chocolate shops galore, and a couple of pubs, one of which we remember fondly from a previous visit.

 

After ten days at sea, I think almost everyone was happy to set their feet on solid land, and even though we didn’t land and clear customs and immigration until 7:30 last evening, it was like a herd of people just headed out of the Crow’s Nest to find their way into town at the announcement.  We had decided to put off the inevitable until after dinner, so we waited until about 9:00 and joined them.  We noticed the amount of growth since our last visit and even the addition of a Hard Rock Cafe.  As we walked through town we ran into many of our familiar and favorite crew members, and the one thing they seemed to have in common was their direction: to the Hard Rock.  We decided to head into their shop called “The Rock,” to look for the popular tee shirts seen all over the world.  We had in mind to pick up a couple for our waiters and room stewards, but it seemed that almost all they had were small and extra-small sizes, so that idea went out the window. At least we were able to have a photo with Anam, one of our favorite dining room waiters.  After checking out the town, we walked back to the ship, looking forward to a more productive time in town today.  

 

This morning it was time to further explore and pick up a few souvenirs.  Since we’d been at sea so long, we were behind in our post cards to Jessica, and we were happy to see that the shops not only had cards with pictures of Ushuaia, but there were several of Antarctica, also.  We found two such, and after buying the most expensive post card stamps ever (at $4.00 each), we found a little chocolate/coffee shop in which to write them.  Of course we couldn’t just sit there, so two cappuccinos and a piece of chocolate-glazed almond cake later, we were ready to find a mailbox and send them on their way.  One of the things we enjoyed about the city was the colorful murals representing the history of Ushuaia, not to mention the ever present penguins.

 

John was happy to find a tee shirt to add to his “ports of the world” collection, and although we looked through many souvenir shops, that was the extent of our purchases.  Checking my IPhone exercise app, I found that by 11:30 we had walked over four miles, so since all-aboard was early, at 1:30, we headed back to the ship and enjoyed some Indian food for lunch.  

 

The guys had decided to play paddle tennis at 3:00, but since we sailed at 2:00 and the winds on the sea picked up, they only got in four games before they had to call it a day.  While John played, I napped, and now he’s following suit by getting one in himself.

 

While it was a short visit, we really did enjoy Ushuaia, but I realized that if this is what midsummer is like, I really don’t want to be here in the winter.  

 

P. S.  Some of the photos didn't upload; I'll try them later.  

 

 

 

 

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Punta Arenas, Chile

 

Last evening at dinner, Will asked everyone at the table to describe Punta Arenas in one word.  Three of us came up with the same word:  clean.  Although the city has been the recent victim of large and violent demonstrations against the president of the country resulting in a great deal of graffiti, there is almost no trash to be seen.  Even the setting is beautiful, sitting on the Straits of Magellan and surrounded by mountains.  Additionally, the day couldn’t have been more perfect, with temperatures in the mid to high 50’s, with sunny skies, and small puffy clouds in the distance.  

 

PA, as it is known locally, is an incredibly historical town.  Before the Panama Canal was  built, the Straits of Magellan were a “shortcut” from the Atlantic to the Pacific and hence was a remarkably wealthy city.  The 19th Century buildings still stand and, although most are used as banks or similar businesses, they are, for the most part, unchanged and quite beautiful.  

 

My favorite story about the city is regarding Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer.  HIs ship, the Endurance, was caught in the glaciers near Elephant Island on the Antarctic Peninsula, being crushed and sinking.  The crew was able to use lifeboats to get to Elephant Island.  Shackleton escaped to mount a rescue expedition, but his crew was left behind.  When he arrived in Punta Arenas, he went first to the Anglican priest to request assistance.  The result was a series of paid lectures as well as contributions from the most affluent members of the community, allowing Shackleton to successfully rescue the members of his expedition.  People here remember him so well that there is a beautiful little pub named after him.

 

If you want to see penguins, this is a good starting point.  The last time we were here, the weather was so rainy, cold and windy that we figured a penguin rookery couldn’t be any worse, so seven of us found a taxi for the one-hour drive to see the cute little black and white waddlers.  There were thousands of them, and we really enjoyed watching them come out to eat and swim and then return to their burrows in the sand.  After we returned from that outing, we found a really nice restaurant for lunch, sat by the windows and watched people (and their inside-out umbrellas) being blown past.  

 

Yesterday we met Rich, Ginni, Greg and Heo in the main park to have lunch together.  We had intended to go to The Shakleton, but it wouldn’t open for another hour, so Greg and Heo suggested La Luna, which coincidentally was the same restaurant we had visited on our last trip.  It was crowded, primarily with locals, which we always consider a good sign.  The fish and chips and the crab dishes were delicious, and anytime it’s possible to have two lunches, two beers and a Pisco sour for under $40.00 at a well-regarded restaurant, it’s a good day. 

 

Since we had to walk off lunch, we walked down to the shoreline, stuck our hands in the (cold) water of the strait, took some photos of one of the many statues of Magellan, and finally found ourselves at a supermarket where we could buy some cookies and chips for our room stewards and dining room waiters.  By the time we took the shuttle back to the ship it was about 5:30 and we had walked over six miles - not including the two on this morning’s treadmill.  My hips were screaming at me to avoid any more walking.  

 

All aboard wasn’t until 7:30, with sailaway at 8:00, so the show was a movie, the one about the Chilean miners trapped in their mine for a very long time.  I guess I wasn’t the only tired person on board because it wasn’t very well attended.  Fortunately, we now have two sea days to recover - that and a great deal of ibuprofen and Tylenol.  

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Punta Arenas, Chile

 

Last evening at dinner, Will asked everyone at the table to describe Punta Arenas in one word.  Three of us came up with the same word:  clean.  Although the city has been the recent victim of large and violent demonstrations against the president of the country resulting in a great deal of graffiti, there is almost no trash to be seen.  Even the setting is beautiful, sitting on the Straits of Magellan and surrounded by mountains.  Additionally, the day couldn’t have been more perfect, with temperatures in the mid to high 50’s, with sunny skies, and small puffy clouds in the distance.  

 

PA, as it is known locally, is an incredibly historical town.  Before the Panama Canal was  built, the Straits of Magellan were a “shortcut” from the Atlantic to the Pacific and hence was a remarkably wealthy city.  The 19th Century buildings still stand and, although most are used as banks or similar businesses, they are, for the most part, unchanged and quite beautiful.  

 

My favorite story about the city is regarding Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer.  HIs ship, the Endurance, was caught in the glaciers near Elephant Island on the Antarctic Peninsula, being crushed and sinking.  The crew was able to use lifeboats to get to Elephant Island.  Shackleton escaped to mount a rescue expedition, but his crew was left behind.  When he arrived in Punta Arenas, he went first to the Anglican priest to request assistance.  The result was a series of paid lectures as well as contributions from the most affluent members of the community, allowing Shackleton to successfully rescue the members of his expedition.  People here remember him so well that there is a beautiful little pub named after him.

 

If you want to see penguins, this is a good starting point.  The last time we were here, the weather was so rainy, cold and windy that we figured a penguin rookery couldn’t be any worse, so seven of us found a taxi for the one-hour drive to see the cute little black and white waddlers.  There were thousands of them, and we really enjoyed watching them come out to eat and swim and then return to their burrows in the sand.  After we returned from that outing, we found a really nice restaurant for lunch, sat by the windows and watched people (and their inside-out umbrellas) being blown past.  

 

Yesterday we met Rich, Ginni, Greg and Heo in the main park to have lunch together.  We had intended to go to The Shakleton, but it wouldn’t open for another hour, so Greg and Heo suggested La Luna, which coincidentally was the same restaurant we had visited on our last trip.  It was crowded, primarily with locals, which we always consider a good sign.  The fish and chips and the crab dishes were delicious, and anytime it’s possible to have two lunches, two beers and a Pisco sour for under $40.00 at a well-regarded restaurant, it’s a good day. 

 

Since we had to walk off lunch, we walked down to the shoreline, stuck our hands in the (cold) water of the strait, took some photos of one of the many statues of Magellan, and finally found ourselves at a supermarket where we could buy some cookies and chips for our room stewards and dining room waiters.  By the time we took the shuttle back to the ship it was about 5:30 and we had walked over six miles - not including the two on this morning’s treadmill.  My hips were screaming at me to avoid any more walking.  

 

All aboard wasn’t until 7:30, with sailaway at 8:00, so the show was a movie, the one about the Chilean miners trapped in their mine for a very long time.  I guess I wasn’t the only tired person on board because it wasn’t very well attended.  Fortunately, we now have two sea days to recover - that and a great deal of ibuprofen and Tylenol.  

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Thank you so much for sharing this voyage with all of us.

 

Maybe I am remembering wrong, but I thought that Shackelton made it to South Georgia Island to find help to rescue his waiting crew?

 

Barbara

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Regarding Ernest Shackleton, I believe the best book on his adventures is Endurance, regarding the stranding and then rescue of his crew.  I'm putting it on my list after we get home.  The current Book Club selection, South Pole Station is making it difficult to stay awake while reading.  

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1 hour ago, tennisbeforewine said:

 

Regarding Ernest Shackleton, I believe the best book on his adventures is Endurance, regarding the stranding and then rescue of his crew.  I'm putting it on my list after we get home.  The current Book Club selection, South Pole Station is making it difficult to stay awake while reading.  

 

     There are actually two books with that name, both excellent.  I have read "The Endurance" by Caroline Alexander and can testify that it is a great tale well told.  An older book by Alfred Lansing called "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" is considered something of a classic, although I haven't read it yet.  There is also an excellent documentary movie about the Endurance adventure made up largely of the photos and movies That the expedition's fine photographer took.  This was during World War I when making a movie was quite a lot more complicated than using a smartphone & the equipment was heavy.  Shackleton made him discard a lot of his exposed film when they set out from the ice in small lifeboats, but the stuff he saved, through all that ordeal is really amazing.  Highly recommended.

 

Rick

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Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9

At Sea (Gala) and Puerto Montt, Chile

 

It had been about ten days, but Saturday evening was time for another Gala evening with the theme “Paparazzi.”  Most passengers dressed for the cameras, and our table was no exception.  Officers seem to be a little scarce this cruise, so we didn’t have one, but it was fun nonetheless.  As we sometimes do, we went for a walk on Deck 3 (which should be called “The Promenade Deck” but only gets called “Lower Promenade) and saw that there was a beautiful full moon, surrounded by just a few puffy clouds.  We couldn’t miss that great photo op.  

 

Sunday morning found us off Puerto Montt, Chile, a beautiful town which, we read, had been completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1960.  The amazing part was that it had been completely rebuilt and looked like it had just been there all the time.  It sits at the foot of a great volcano, and the clouds above make it look like it’s about to erupt.  Hope not!  The first thing we noticed from the ship (beside the volcano) was a large mall, seemingly too big for such a comparatively small city.  The South American chain Ripley looked like it took up half the area of the mall, but it did get a lot of passengers (not this one) excited because of the possible shopping.

 

Since it was a tender port, John went to pick up our tickets (we were #9) and we then hung out and waited for our call.  The boat ride was only about 15 minutes, and we landed not too far from the center of town.  Our first “hike” was along the waterfront for about two miles.  There’s a lot of history located along the way, with statues of many of the people who were important in the city’s background.  My favorite is Bernardo O’Higgins whom I like only partly because of his role in freeing Chile from Spanish rule.  I like him even better because of his name - isn’t it wonderful?

 

When we arrived at the mall, we found our friends Allan and Sandra sitting on the steps, waiting for it to open at 11:00, a half-hour away.  Since we had some time, we wandered around the area, seeing the still ruined church on the main square and hearing the Sunday bells ringing from the extremely modern new church where services were being held.  

 

After a bit, we headed back to the mall and walked until we found our real goal:  a coffee shop for cappuccino and internet.  It’s not that we don’t have internet on the ship; it’s just that it is soooooo slow.  Fifteen minutes on standard internet in a coffee shop would take more than an hour on board.  I wish I had thought to bring my laptop to (quickly) upload more photos, but I guess I’ll have to depend on the usual ten minutes per photo here on board.  It’s worth it, though, when I see how large and clear they are.  

 

From the mall, which seemed to have every upscale store possible, we walked back the way we had come, since just beyond the tender dock was an open-air market which is touted as the largest in Chile.  It wasn’t at all what I expected.  I’m used to huge warehouse-type markets with stalls inside, but this one was a long string of little tiny shops selling everything from knitted ponchos to carved wooden souvenirs to “Puerto Montt” bottle openers.  I really admired a red shawl, but I decided I had no room to pack it.  While John continued down the row of shops, I stopped at a fruit stand to have them make me a fruit smoothie.  I was asked to choose two of the displayed fruits (raspberry and strawberry), they added a teaspoonful of sugar and a bit of water and then the blender took over.  It was absolutely delicious - and I did share.  

 

It was only when we crossed the street to walk back that I could appreciate the market buildings.  They were painted in a mix of pastel colors, and each one had its little market downstairs and what must have been a tiny apartment upstairs.  It made a lovely series of colors for about a mile.

 

It was finally time to board the tender back to the ship, where we arrived about 3:00.  I’m in the middle of editing a book for a friend, and I tried to do that, but my little eyes just didn’t want to stay open, so I lay down for about 20 minutes before the 4:00 interdenominational service.  By the time the service was over, it was time for sailaway and we were able to appreciate the beauty of the bay in which the town is located.  I never did get a nap, but I certainly slept well last night.  

 

Our guest for dinner last evening was Ben Sack, who used to be the “Artist on Board” with a two-fold job:  he taught drawing classes while working on his own art for display on the ship.  He’s not been on for a couple of cruises, but we’re hoping he’ll return next year.  This year he only boarded in Buenos Aires and is disembarking in San Antonio tomorrow.  Many of the people who took his drawing classes have made similar comments as: “I could never draw, but now that Ben has taught me how, it looks like I might have some talent.”  In fact, while I sit at the long marble table in the library, one of my table neighbors is Rich (a different Rich), who sits for a long time drawing from an art book.  He swears he owes it all to Ben.  Our connection to Ben goes back to Casablanca, where we were able to get to know each other at “Rick’s Place,” a restaurant that is a good make-believe replica of the one in the movie.

 

It’s lovely to have a sea day (two would be better) before we arrive in San Antonio, Chile, tomorrow.  Our (possible) plan is to take the $8.00 bus into Santiago, because although we’ve been to the ports nearest the capital city, we’ve never gone into the city itself.  Our nephew and his wife live there, but they’re off to Berlin for a week to deal with their produce export business.  It’s a beautiful, historical city, though, and we’d love to see it.  Our research has told us that taxis and even Uber cost about $150-$200 each way, but that $8.00 public bus wins in a landslide.  Can’t wait to see a brand new city - I just hope we get back before sailaway; it’s a long swim to Papeete!

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Enjoy following your reports.  Other posters have complained about the internet as well, so hopefully they get it sorted soon.  

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Tuesday, February 12, 2020

San Antonio and Santiago, Chile

 

Although we’ve called at seaports near Santiago in the past, primarily Valparaiso, we’d never traveled inland to the capital and largest city in Chile.  Our nephew and his Chilean wife live there, working in produce exporting, but they were off to deal with their exports in Berlin this week, so we had no chance to see them.  We still wanted to see the city, though, so we investigated various ways to do so.  The easiest would have been to take the ship’s tour ($144), but it seemed there was too much just driving around without enough time to walk and enjoy.  Then we discovered the answer:  take the bus.  Now when I think about taking the bus, it doesn’t give me happy feelings, but this was a wonderful bus.  The price was also quite wonderful:  $7.00 each person each way.  It even left from the port, so we just bought our tickets, were assigned extremely comfortable seats, and headed to the big city.

 

We had decided it would be a good idea to book another walking tour through Tours by Locals, but was definitely isn’t a good idea is to try to book it at 11:00 the night before the tour.  They took the reservation, but told us they would get back to us when it was confirmed.  In the morning when I checked, I found that the guide we had asked for was booked and the company couldn’t find anyone else.  Being adventurous, the four of us (Rich, Ginni, John and I) decided that we’d just “wing it.”  

 

The biggest problem was, of course, that there was too much to see and not enough time to see it.  We took an Uber from the bus depot to the Plaza de Armas in the middle of the city, and just began walking from there.  We wandered past shops of all kinds, into the Santiago cathedral (leaving when it became obvious that they were in the middle of a mass), and then into the Mercado Central, a combination of fish market and 

small seafood restaurants in an grand old building alongside the Plaza del Armas.  By then it was just about lunchtime for us, so we kept walking and found a small family-run cafe which specialized in fish dishes.  Our choice was to share hake and chips, and it was really excellent.  Of course the local Austral lager helped it go down very nicely.  Instead of the usual ketchup, mustard, and mayo squeeze bottles, we did find ketchup, but it was in the green bottle, since the red bottle was saved for really, really hot sauce.  I tried mixing it with ketchup for both my fish and fries but, being the coward I am, I soon reverted to the friendly green bottle.  The yellow bottle was, indeed, mustard, but I didn’t think that it and fish and chips went together too well.

 

We knew to allow about 20 minutes for our return Uber to the bus station, so we only had enough time to walk across the Plaza to take a couple of photos of a beautiful church steeple.  That was our big mistake.  We took the pictures and then, during a street corner discussion about which corner to use for our Uber, a scruffy young man in his early 20’s materialized in front of me, grabbed my gold plumeria necklace from around my neck, and ran down the street.  No one was hurt, I don’t have a single mark on my neck, and I looked upon it as a message that I needed to go back to Hawaii later this year for a new one.

By the time we returned to the ship, I was hearing questions about the “adventure,” and how unlucky it was that two people in our immediate group had lost necklaces.  I guess I’ve now learned my lesson:  no jewelry in big cities.  I really am fairly blase about the whole thing, but I really did like that little flower.  

 

The Uber arrived, drove us back to the central bus station in record time while the young man driving us pointed out highlights along the way.  The station itself seems to be a bed of chaos, but it turned out to be quite organized chaos.  The man who sold us the return tickets had lived in Virginia for thirty years, so we had no problem with a language gap.  I know enough Spanish to order at a restaurant and find my way to the bathroom, and Ginni knows “flight attendant Spanish” - things like “put on your seat belt” and “would you prefer meat or pasta?” but for the most part during the day, there were a lot of hand and arm signs to communicate.  

 

Overall it was a great day.  We saw a big, beautiful city, ate some tasty local fish, walked a lot (3.6 miles), and only had one little mishap.  As John wrote on his Facebook post:  “The day was 99% great and only 1% bad.”  I agree wholeheartedly.

 

Now it’s four wonderful sea days to Easter Island, for some people the highlight of the cruise.  We’ve been fortunate enough to have visited a few times already, but it’s such an amazing place that another visit is always welcome.  The only concerns are the tendering weather in AND out; last year the captain had to call it a day at about noon, and a lot of people didn’t get to go ashore.  This year he’s quite optimistic, even telling us which of the three anchoring spots he’s planning to use.  Wish us luck!

 

P. S.  Thanks for the compliment, Lido Deck Main.

 

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Glad you escaped unscathed. Not sure how I would feel.

 

And yes, you must return to Hawaii for another necklace.

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I'm sure there are many more like me, but just wanted to say that I have lurked on your blog since the beginning.  Thank you so much for posting it, have really enjoyed it!

 

L.

 

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Glad that your bus plans worked out.  Sorry to hear that you were robbed of your necklace.  Thankfully you were not hurt.

 

Great pictures.

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

At Sea en route to Easter Island - Day 2 of 4

 

We sail happily along, with seas that remind us that we’re on a ship and at the mercy of Mother Nature.  Last night at dinner we had even more rocking and rolling, and poor Leslie was popping seasick pills to handle the situation.  I told her that I think she’s the only President’s Club member who still gets seasick.

 

As we do every time we cross the South Pacific, we boarded a group of young people in San Antonio who are referred to as “Polynesian Cultural Ambassadors,”.  They really are a pleasure to have on board, since they teach classes, have demonstrations, and give lectures in the Mainstage.  

 

Yesterday’s cultural class/activity was called “Hei Pupu, and it involved Tahitian sea shell necklace making.  Tables were set up next to the Lido pool and chairs at those tables were highly sought.  The class was at 9:00, but by 8:45 every place was taken and some people were dragging chairs from the breakfast tables to join in.  Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the shell necklaces that resulted were really quite pretty - far more than just a puka shell necklace from the ABC Store in Honolulu.  

 

Kainoa, who seems to be the leader of the group, gave a lecture in the afternoon called “My Polynesia,” and the auditorium was just about full.  The main lesson I learned from the lecture was that all Polynesians consider themselves one people, and that when traveling from one place to another, like a Tahitian traveling to Samoa, the people on that island will greet them with “Welcome Home.”  Kainoa’s topic today is called “Easter Island:  The Navel of the World.” 

 

In the afternoon in the Crow’s Nest, the first class in learning to play the Polynesian ukulele began.  The group looked to be having a lot of fun, and our friend Bill was right in the mix.  This morning he told us he’s going back today, so I guess it was a success.

Day #2 of ukulele will continue at 1:00 today.

 

This morning’s class was “Polynesian Fitness and Exercise,” and while I had already had my daily dose of exercise in the gym, this class was fun to watch, and my friend Toya said it was absolutely exhausting.  She added that she really didn’t understand how they moved their hips like that!

 

We’ll continue with events like this on every sea day across the Pacific, and if I remember correctly, the group will disembark in Auckland.  I’m sure we’ll all be sad to see them go.  

 

Tonight is the Sel de Mer dinner and our friends Wells and Dee Wescott invited us to join their table.  We were first introduced to this restaurant on the Koningsdam, where it’s one of several restaurants.  On our ship, however, it’s just a “pop-up” and will show up a couple of times during the cruise.  The same will happen with Tamarind, a pan-Asian restaurant which is also found on the newer, larger ships.  We really enjoyed those two establishments when we sailed on the Koningsdam, so we usually try to enjoy them here, too.

 

My favorite things about our South Pacific sailing are, of course, the sea days, but the weather is usually just about perfect, with blue skies, warm weather, and light breezes.  Right now the sun is attempting to break out from behind the clouds, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing it soon.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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