Blogs from Atlantis, Atlantic, Oceans and Seas - page 5

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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis December 3rd 2016

Geo: -57.426, -58.0146We slept late today, but got up when Sean, the Whale Guy, made an announcement about seeing fin whales from the deck. Philip went out and saw a few spouts. By the time I was wrapped up warm enough to go outside, they must have been gone although I did see some lovely birds, probably cape petrels.We skipped breakfast but went for lunch in the dining room. We have been traveling a week now and have had some wonderful food, but it felt like time for a hamburger. After lunch we had our first daily recap and briefing for the next day. We learned again how to dress for the landings in Antarctica. This time they added the importance of putting everything on in the proper order: waterproof pants outside the boots, life jacket ... read more
Cape Petrel
Cape Petrels
They are Coming Toward the Ship

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis December 2nd 2016

Geo: -55.6825, -55.5536What a night!! The storm that prevented us from stopping at Stanley kept the ship bouncing around a lot last night. About 2:30, we were awakened by jolting movements of the ship and the thundering noise of the waves hitting. That lasted several hours while we tried to sleep. I took my first Dramamine of this voyage, and it worked sufficiently. We weren't even in the Drake Passage yet, but it was the roughest sea that I have ever seen. The spray completely covered the balcony several times and the waves rolled up higher than our windows. Went back to bed and hoped for it to subside, but knew we were still at least a day and a half from the other side of the Drake. As it turned out, that was the worst ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis December 1st 2016

Geo: -48.2305, -59.8603The latest thing we have heard is that we are not going to stop at the Falkland Islands after all. The rumors that the weather will be too bad are true now. When the captain made his daily noon announcement, he said that he wouldn't decide until later in the day, but that the weather report was forecasting wind of over 40 knots. They do not launch the tenders unless the winds are less than 25 knots and will stay that way reliably throughout the day in port. We are heading straight to Antarctica and should arrive by Saturday afternoon rather than on Sunday morning. I don't know if that will allow any extra time off the ship, but we will at least see the Antarctic for an extra half day.This morning, we took ... read more
Photography Lecture This Afternoon
On the Verandah
Looking out to Sea

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis November 30th 2016

Geo: -44.971, -59.4208Today was the first of many sea days. It takes two full days to get to the Falkland Islands where we will anchor outside the bay and take tenders into Stanley. It has been a nice day. We tried the trivia game contest which was sort of fun, but challenging in the way I don't like (rather British-centric) so I don't know if we will go again. I tried to see the ship's blog of the trip on the white iPads they have for guest use, but they weren't working at the moment I tried them. We had dinner in The Grill. It is the specialty restaurant that has replaced the former Restaurant Two. Seabourn has partnered with Thomas Keller to improve their food offerings and The Grill is his signature restaurant. He modeled ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis October 28th 2016

Geo: 16.7837, 96.1568Rangoon is a sprawling city of 6 million inhabitants and is the largest city in Burma. It used to be the capital until an astrologer told the military generals that they needed to move to a new place. Very convenient for them, they had new roads and houses built for themselves in the middle of nowhere so that they never need see any demonstrations or unrest. Rangoon is not a pretty city with a mixture of the usual wooden shacks next door to modern buildings. The jetty to which we were moored is a rickety wooden bridge with gaps in the floor boards. However the best thing to see is the Shwe Dagon pagoda. This huge gilded edifice is set in a large complex of beautiful smaller pagodas with Buddha images galore. We walked ... read more
Tour guides (both male) as king &queen
Tiz tries a betel nut wrapped in a leaf!disgusting
Shwe Dagon pagoda

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis October 21st 2016

Geo: 20.1253, 94.9318We have now settled into a familiar daily itinerary. The ship moors up overnight. I still find it fascinating to see them pulling the ropes up to any object on the river bank usually a tree. The staff line the path from the gang plank up to the top of the river bank to make sure we don't fall. We take a walk through a village and see how the people live. They really have next to nothing. The wooden shacks don't contain any worldly goods and some don't even have electricity. They are still all well dressed usually in the longyi, the long skirt worn by both men and women. Although as a nation the Burmese are slim they get by with enough to eat usually rice or deep fried onions like a ... read more
The band
Kids dressed up at the Pagoda
Stefan looks at the view

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis October 19th 2016

Geo: 21.3667, 95.4667It was still pitch dark at 5pm when our group was collected from the boat and taken to the take-off area for hot air balloons. By 6am it was light and they started filling the enormous balloons with air. As soon as our balloon was full of air but still there to the ground we cambered in. This was the most difficult bit of the whole process as the sides of the oblong basket are quite high. We were shown the landing position and then we were off and able to stand up and watch the ground receding below. Milton, our pilot, guided the balloon over the temple area and pointed things out. It was a terrific experience. So peaceful one minute then suddenly hot and noisy when the flaming gas was turned on ... read more
Tiz waiting
almost ready
ready to go

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis October 18th 2016

Geo: 21.6378, 95.3636There are no proper jetties at most of the stopping places along the river, so it is a matter of walking along a gangplank and then clambering up steps carved out of the river bank. The staff are out in force helping everyone with smiles and "mingle a bar" (Burmese hello). We walked along the dried mud paths, which are totally flooded during the monsoon season, and into a large village. Each family in the village has a large house where they all live and sleep together. In the dry season they live on the ground floor and during the monsoon season they move up to the upper level. Historically this village is important because it is where the first Anglo-Burmese treaty was signed in the 19th century to end the 1st Anglo-Burmese war. ... read more
a solar panel for each house
the local shop
lady working her pots

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis October 17th 2016

Geo: 24.4731, 95.5207Early in the morning we were taken up Sagaing Hill from which there are lovely views of the Burmese countryside. There is also the Kaungmudaw Pagoda which has lots of paintings of the story of the Buddha and lovely floor tiles, which are much nicer to walk on without shoes than the paths or wooden floor boards. Knees and shoulders have to be covered too. The general region is called Innwa which used to be the ancient capital from the 14th to the 19th century. On the way back we visited the Bagaya Monastery which is no longer in use but is a beautiful building. The streets were crowded with people as the Full Moon celebrations were still going on. Driving along the road was slow due to a huge parade, noisy and colourful. ... read more
Disney Buddha!
Stefan with little fan
stuppa about to be gilded

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis October 13th 2016

Geo: 21.9759, 96.0842Mandalay is only one and half hour flight from Bangkok. It is worth going Premium Flux for front seats and luggage first off the plane. Our driver was waiting to whisk us through a pleasant landscape of fields of corn and peanut bushes. Golden stuppas abound. A few years ago the government decided to switch from driving on the left to the right. However all the cars are still with the steering wheel on the right so everyone is inconvenienced as they haven't started importing left hand drive cars! We arrived at the Mandalay Hill Resort hotel, probably the best hotel in Mandalay at the moment. The rooms are spacious but the bathroom is surprisingly small. Initially we thought it was very cheap until we realised all the prices are in dollars. We sat ... read more
Central market
Tiz in Fort palace
carvings on pagoda




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