Page 6 of SharonAN Travel Blog Posts

South America » Uruguay January 27th 2013

The captain said that we’d have clear sailing to Montevideo, and should rapidly cross the sea to the coast. We’ve had relatively smooth seas, including what can be rough waters in the Drake’s Passage and here in the South Atlantic. We awoke for what almost seems surreal: our final “sea day”! Sharon went to morning mass, while I got caught up in the blog. Before the priest officially started the mass, he told those hearty early morning risers the following joke, so we all can see what everyone else was missing. He began: A man was stopped by Saint Peter at the Holy Gates and said, “I don’t think that you belong here.” “What?” the man gasped, visibly shaken. “I’ve attended church EVERY Sunday!” “Hmm… I’m afraid that isn’t always enough!” “But…” the man stammered, “I’ve ... read more

South America » Argentina » Chubut » Puerto Madryn January 26th 2013

When we awoke this morning, the sky outside was still dark, something we haven’t been accustomed to at five in the morning. Checking outside, it appeared that we had arrived at our next port of call. I thought that we might be tendering at this port, and I didn’t notice the pier next to the Veendam many decks below the lower promenade. It is a short stay in Puerto Madryn, and we have a rush-rush tour today, as do other visitor’s on HAL tours at this port-of-call. We breakfasted in the Lido once they opened at 6:30 AM. I had some French Toast with sausage and hashed browns; while, Sharon ate the blueberry pancakes (well one pancake had blueberries in it, anyway). I really enjoyed the French Toast and may need to try them again. We ... read more
King of the Sea
Sea Lion Walking

South America » Argentina January 25th 2013

We awoke to seas that seemed to me to be the roughest yet, that may be the consequence of the stormy weather around the Falklands. There are more lectures scheduled for this sea day. We went to breakfast in the Rotterdam Dining Room, sharing a table with another couple. One of the stewards at the dining room check-in counter noticed us and said, “Mr. and Mrs. Good”, even before we gave our room number. “I was going to give you this, this evening at dinner, but since you are here…” and he handed us an invitation to dinner the next night, with the Captain. Sharon is having a lot of fun with our last name, kidding with the staff that we’re always good, so more than a few are getting to know us. I started with ... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica January 24th 2013

As we gazed out at the early morning sky, a ribbon of white had settled on the horizon, separating the dark sea from the low hanging grayish clouds above. The ceiling was quite low and consistent as it stretched both north and south. I enjoyed my Southwestern Omelet, with added sausage and hashed brown patties, while Sharon had, you guessed it, the American breakfast. There were four lectures scheduled for today, two more historic reviews of characters that participated in the Great Age of Discovery in Antarctica, one on waste management at the American stations in Antarctica, and one on birds (terns to be specific). The first lecture was Wilson on Wilson, Dr. David Wilson talking about his explorer great uncle Dr. Edward Wilson. Edward Wilson had started out as a great friend of Shackleton on ... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica January 23rd 2013

The gleam of the morning sky had been brightening our room for several hours already. We were rolling just slightly in the gentle swells of Bransfield Bay, positioned for entering Admiralty Bay at about eight in the morning. Rock cliffs could be seen from our portside window, draped with snow, and close enough to suspect that we might be early. A few bergie bits floated by, but nothing to compare to the ice pack the day before. I decided to skip the gym today, and save the morning for some scenic viewing, and Sharon decided to skip mass for the same reason. We went to the Lido, and for the first time I had the “American Style” breakfast, fried eggs over medium, with potatoes and pork sausage. Sharon had French Toast and turkey bacon which comes ... read more
Pod of Orcas
Supply Ships

Antarctica » Antarctica January 22nd 2013

We enjoyed another relatively calm night cruising off of the coast of Antarctica. As the weather would have it, there was nothing anyone could have seen at Deception Island, so the captain’s call to bypass this in the middle of the night was a good one; still, we awoke to see fog… heavy pea soup kind of fog. With no pressing lectures on our schedule, I decided to use the gym again while Sharon planned on attending mass, with the ten other regulars. She later related the priest’s joke for the day, which I add here because our mutual friend Dena like’s this sort of jokes. Usually they relate in some way to church or the clergy, but honest, the priest told it just before mass so it qualifies. A man had an exceptional dog who ... read more
penguin passel feeding
Argentine Station by Adele Penguin Rookery
John by the Veendam Bell on bow of ship

Antarctica » Antarctica January 21st 2013

We spent a calm night, what night there was, in the sheltered waters near the Neumeyer channel. The captain had considered trying to enter the Lamaire channel, but felt that would be pressing our luck due to the ice and fog. We had managed to navigate two other channels on the previous day, with ice flows, icebergs and bergies, and with the limited maneuvering available in the next channel, he chose to wait for the morning. Sharon spotted two Zodiacs speeding away from the Veendam in the morning, having dropped off the personnel form Palmer Station who would begin this morning’s talks at 8 AM. We hurried to get good seats, and due to the conflict in time with mass, Sharon missed church today. Bob Farrell was introduced as the station manager, run under the auspices ... read more
Zodiac that dropped off people from Palmer Station

Antarctica » Antarctica January 20th 2013

I can hardly imagine what those early sailors in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries must have felt when the lookout yelled “Land Ho!” from the crow’s nest following an Atlantic crossing to the New World, but our journey to the bottom of the world certainly made us feel like we were being transported to a whole new world. Our arrival was initially marked by our crossing the Antarctica Convergence, where the ocean surrounding Antarctica is a completely different ecosystem from that in the ocean north of the convergence. The convergence itself is a band of ocean about twenty miles wide. In the convergence the temperature fluctuates lower; until, finally the ocean temperature stabilizes at about 4.5 degrees Celsius (or 41 degrees Fahrenheit). They say that the ocean color is distinctly different; indeed, it appears darker and ... read more
humpback tail

Oceans and Seas » Southern January 19th 2013

Our early departure from Ushuaia heralded our earlier “Rounding of the Horn”. On this cruise; though we more or less sail pass Cape Horn out of Drake’s Passage, continuing in a south, south easterly direction on to Antarctica. On Sharon’s previous east-to-west cruise she did “round the horn” during daylight hours, and the captain traversed in a zigzag fashion several times from the Atlantic to the Pacific or back again, each time tooting the deep throated cruise ship horn. (Do cruise ships toot their horns?) We were scheduled to pass by Cape Horn just before midnight, so this event went largely unnoticed by passengers; indeed, Sharon and I were sound asleep by this time. The captain had predicted about ten-foot swells once we reached the unprotected waters below the horn, and we did notice some rolling ... read more

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia January 18th 2013

In the morning we found ourselves cruising down Glacier Alley. On our west-to-east traverse, all of the glaciers appeared on our portside, so in the early morning all we had to do was open the drapes to see the scenery pass by our Lanai cabin door and foot to ceiling windows. We booked the cruise over one eighteen months ago, and we are very happy with the upgrade offer we got. There were penguins along the shoreline that were spotted by the crew, and some sea lions. One passenger reported seeing a flying penguin skimming above the water, but our exploration director assured us that what this passenger saw was really a southern cormorant. I was so busy trying to catch up with the blogs for the past two days, we sort of missed the sit-down ... read more

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