Published: December 28th 2012
December 27th 2012
Another beautiful day on the ocean. A little less rough than yesterday, and I think we are adjusting to the constant motion of the ocean. Today unfolds much like yesterday. We attend several lectures on the history, flora and fauna of the Falklands. What an interesting history these islands have had! I well remember the 1982 Falklands conflict between Argentina and Great Britain, the latter personified at the time by Margaret Thatcher. The 74-day war left 649 Argentinians and 258 Brits dead. The Falklands are desolate, treeless and wind-swept, yet are one of the most important locations for wildlife in the southern hemisphere. I'm so pleased we are going there.
Growing increasingly piano-sick, I decide to seek permission to play the piano in one of the bars. I have to go up the chain of command all the way to our cruise director, Kelsey, but she grants me the OK, subject to some quite reasonable conditions. I get in an hour's worth of playing and hope to do it again on days when we're at sea.
The ship actually produces short news summaries for various countries, including Canada. So I know that a third major snow storm is headed for Ontario tomorrow, and I know that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and 5 assists in the Canadian juniors' win over Germany. Now that is a part of Christmas I really miss!
I spend about an hour on the open-air walk-around on deck 6 getting some exercise and (very) fresh air. Ornithologist Chris Wilson is hanging out at the stern; I guess he basically lives there. There are a number of birds wheeling about the ship, riding the air currents. (Did you know that these "pelagic" birds may not touch land for years at a time? They only need land for breeding.) Several albatrosses are off in the distance (for the record they are apparently black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses), but there is a group of what Chris informs me are cape petrels, beautifully patterned in black and white, that are putting on an amazing acrobatic show. I try to catch them with my pocket camera but it is hopeless.
The evening's entertainment is a series of songs featuring the male singers of the ship's ensemble. Very enjoyable, although the guys are definitely better singers than they are dancers. Another fairly rough night at sea, but not quite as bad as last night's. Tomorrow morning we will reach the Falklands, a little later than scheduled because of the heavy seas.