Blogs from Pacific, Oceans and Seas - page 7


Oceans and Seas » Pacific January 14th 2013

On this trip we visited many ports in a number of different countries. Cruise ships, we found out, only dock at nice terminal facilities in major ports like San Francisco. In most other ports, we were "parked" right into the mix of cargo ships, tankers, naval ships, and container ships of all sizes and from countries around the world. Steve took advantage of this opportunity with his camera gear. If you like ships, machines and naval weapons, check out this photo gallery!... read more
Afternoon berth mate
Antarctica III Crewmen
ASROC launchers

Oceans and Seas » Pacific January 9th 2013

Well, this is the last day of our cruise per se, a day at sea on the way to the port of Valpariso, Chile. We will have a day in Valpariso and then will head home from Santiago. We sleep in a bit. In the morning, we receive instructions on disembarkation procedures for tomorrow. As mentioned, we have booked a bus tour that will take us through Valpariso and the surrounding area and eventually deposit us at the airport in Santiago. Today we attend three lectures: the history of scurvy, bird ringing (or banding), and magic. The latter deserves some explanation. Devlin, the magician who entertained us previously, puts on an afternoon workshop on simple magic tricks or "actions," as he calls them. He shows us nine different tricks, demonstrating each one first and then explaining ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 29th 2012

The entire ships’ company was up again by 0800 (no matter, as sunrise is now before 0430) as we approached Hornos Island, the whole purpose of our being on this cruise. Once one sees “The Horn,” why this name was given to this cape is obvious. We have had a chance to cross the equator at sea to become Shellbacks, and now we have sailed around the Horn. We are close to 9,000 miles south of our departure port of San Francisco, and what a stark and bleak place. The landscape is a mixture of flat, scrubby islands, mixed in with mountain ranges that look like twins to the Tetons in Jackson Hole. It is hard to imagine the European explorers of old coming this far from their homeland in ships the size of our lifeboats ... read more
One of the starkest places on Earth
Southern most lighthouse on planet Earth -- Chilean Navy
40 degrees F in 30-knot winds -- But, a sunny summer day!

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 26th 2012

Everyone was up at O’Dark Hundred this morning as we streamed very slowly into the Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile. Our goal was to sight Amalia Glacier, which we did about 0800. It was not nearly as spectacular as the glaciers we have seen in Alaskan waters, but the deep fjords running throughout the park reminded Steve of Milford Sound on the South Island of New Zealand. We did catch a few glimpses of sea lions basking on rocks in the foggy mist. The day is overcast with Force 8 winds and the temp in the high 40’s, so it is back to winter gear after a few weeks of blazing sunshine and warm temperatures. We remained the fjords until about 1500, when we hit the Pacific for one last shot (only about ... read more
2205 and still 40 minutes of daylight left!
Amalia Glacier3
Amalia Glacier2

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 25th 2012

About 0330 we transitioned from the inside passage out of Puerto Montt into the Pacific and got nailed by 20’ swells and 35-knot headwinds, which got us rocking and rolling again. In the Captain’s midwatch report he said this is “average” for these latitudes (now 46 degrees south). We are steaming in open ocean on a course of 192 degrees at 19.5 knots with the stabilizers out, and we will continue to get pounded until we hit the inside passage to the Gulf of Trinidad at 2330 tonight. Sunrise is now right at 0600, with sunset right about 2230, so we are headed toward the land of the midnight sun, southern style. We will tour Chilean fjords most of tomorrow, with a stop at Amalia Glacier. As it is Christmas the ship is in full regalia. ... read more
Christmas dinner
Grandma went traditional
Grandpa had ham for his little Ham Hock

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 22nd 2012

Another rough night and day here at sea, but the wind is minimal right now, so it cuts down on the wildness of the ride. Just long, tall rolling swells as we pound through them. It makes it real interesting to run on a treadmill, do exercises on one leg, or lifting free weights while rolling up-and-down through the swells. It is Sunday so short gym workout today (as we will be off the ship tomorrow in Puerto Montt). Three troubling bits of news reached us today….. Not sure if we mentioned it previously, but the Argentines and the Brits are still not on very good terms regarding “Las Malvinas” (Falkland) Islands, which we are supposed to visit. Our ship, while belonging to an American company, is registered in Hamilton, which is a British protectorate. Rumors ... read more
Carol and Steve-001
Carol and Steve-002
Carol and Steve-003

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 20th 2012

Slept in late again as the Star Princess homed in on La Serena/Coquimbo, Chile. More documents to complete for our day off the ship tomorrow in La Serena. We are seriously getting rocked as we steam south, and the sea state has gone from moderate to heavy, and the Officer of the Deck says we are reaching 20-foot seas. Also Force 8 winds are not helping. However, Mr. Patch is now out and in force which is helping. Spent the day learning about the Star Princess through a series of lectures and tours of the ship, which is just amazing. There are a bunch of titled and untitled photos from the day under the heading “About the Star Princess” for those who have an interest, but they are copies of power point foils that cover everything ... read more
Big Seas Off Chile 1500
20 Footers
Big Seas Off Chile-002

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 19th 2012

Just a chill day. Winds are up to force six and the seas are getting rougher as we steam south in 8 to 10 foot swells. A lot of it has to do with our direction of travel now, which is steady on 140 degrees true, and we have averaged 21 knots (almost 25 MPH) since we left, which is humming right along for a tub this size. Worked out and laid in the sun. No sign of “Das Thong” today…. The sun is so close to us here (18 degrees south of the equator), we both put on SPF 60 sun block, and Steve still got burned after laying out a total about 45 minutes on front and back. Saw a great video of Machu Picchu (which literally means “Big Mountain”) today in preparation for ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 16th 2012

Our second Sunday at Sea and doing our usual Sunday routine. Biggest change is the temperature has dropped back into the high 60’s and low 70’s today, but we are closest to the Sun, so this is somewhat misleading. Carol is down for a bunch of Foo Foo stuff today while Steve watches football and reads, but he did agree to take Tango lessons (he did draw the line at line dancing lessons, however, which Carol and her friend Jenny will do solo). Today we were introduced the “The Thong” (NOT to be confused with “The Thing”). Folks, we are talking about 250 pounds of prime pork roaming the deck here, wearing (seriously) a thong pulled right up you know where. It was an OMG moment for both of us… Steve was sunning on the Sun ... read more
Close Up
Early Morning Fishing
Huge Pod of Dolphins

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 14th 2012

Swells and winds are up a bit this morning, so a little more rolling around. Big graduation for us today! Although this will not really happen until tonight while we sleep, this will be our first crossing of the Equator on a ship, which of course, means that we were low-life, scurvy-infested pollywogs requiring punishment, which was altered at 1100 this morning. Called to the Sun Deck by the Captain of the ship, all pollywogs were required to attend trial by King Neptune and his Court, and supplicate to his orders for torture and punishment for our crimes against the sea. They picked a few passengers to stand in for the rest of us (Thank God), but the ship’s crew really took some serious gas. Neptune’s “Doctor” (ship’s physician) really got into “disemboweling” a ship’s officer ... read more
The Punishment for All
Crowd Gathers for Ceremony
Neptune's Shills

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