Sunday 30 November 2014

Off the coast of Argentina

Today we are on our way to the Falkland Islands. This is the longest leg of the voyage in terms of being out in the open ocean.  The distance is 1039 nautical miles.  The waves are 3 – 4 m in height with winds of 30 - 40 knots.  There are lots of sea birds around the ship, but no whales have been sighted yet. We left Monte Video at 2 PM, after a wet morning checking out the old town.
The street of old town Monte Video are noted for the multiple "granite" street cobble stones - highlighted by the rain!

Derelict boats in the harbour of Monte Video.

Grilling meat in the old market - very typical in Uruguay.

Saturday 29 November 2014

We made it to the Seabourn Quest

Mom and I made it to Buenos Aries last night - the flight was long, but pleasant. I haven't "been south" for a couple of years now, and what was really interesting to me was the change of people as we completed each leg of our journey.  In Vancouver we were a plane load of multicultural travelers - when we loaded in Los Angles, we were decidedly Peruvian, and then when we headed east to Buenos Aries, there was a very Argentinian feel to the travelers; the melodic "ja" of the Argentinian Spanish could be heard all around us. After having worked in South America for long, the differences between the countries and the people is very obvious; it was so nice to "come home"!

I worked most of the night on a big proposal, wanting to complete it before getting on the ship in the morning.  Fortunately it was completed in the morning so off we went for a short drive to the cruise ship dock.  The jacarandas are in bloom, it was Saturday morning, very calm sunny and warm. My first visit to BA was October 1994 - actually not much has changed in 20 years! I talked to an old friend from the very first trip to BA - he said then that Argentina was a mirage - he was right, but it continues to be a wonderful place to come and experience the mirage that is Argentina!
Our first dinner - it was warm enough to eat out on the patio deck.

The ship is beautiful. Seabourn bills itself as 5+ stars and it shows.  Everything is spotless, beautiful artwork everywhere and wonderful friendly staff.  The other sixteen members of the expedition staff seem like a great group - but unlike the Vavilov (and it is a bit like moving from a 1970's Volkswagen to a Ferrari...) we are not the main show.  There are entertainers, musicians, and a host of things for passengers to do.  Our lectures are fit between the other events, but once we get to the Peninsula we become the main act.

Tomorrow there will be some pictures... good night from the La Plata, in the middle of a fantastic rainstorm with lots of lightening.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Off in the morning!

Well my bags are packed and now I am rushing around finishing off last minute details (there seems to be many!!).  Below is a map of the first trip - Buenos Aries to Valparaiso.  We leave BA on Saturday afternoon arriving in Valparaiso the morning of December 20th.

Monday 24 November 2014

Getting ready to go!

Monday - the days have been hectic as I try to complete several projects before heading off Thursday Morning for Buenos Aries where mom and I will embark on the Seabourn Quest.

As with the NW Passage trip, I will be the "Geologist in Residence" providing lectures, information, guided walks as well as a lot of arm waving!  The Adventure Canada trip was a good warm up to this adventure.  You can still see the blog at

Hopefully I will be able to post photos - so stay tuned, sign up for the updates, as we are soon off!