December 4th was spent at sea, crossing the wide and relatively shallow continental shelf that extends eastward from the South American continent. we were followed by a host of seabirds that included Giant and Cape Petrels and we saw Royal, Wandering and Black-Browed Albatrosses. The first Southern Fulmer was also spotted while I was on the observation deck.
The seas had a moderate swell, but it is hardly noticeable on-board! However, a brisk wind kept most voyagers behind the glass windows taking in the passing white-capped scenery as the ship sailed ever southeast ward closer to the Falkland Islands. It is great to have the birders on deck to ID everything that flies past!
Since it was a sea day, there were lots of presentations. Expedition staff took the opportunity to present lectures starting with the history of the Falkland Islands by Dr. David Walton. I then spoke about the different kinds of rocks that will be seen on our voyage. A lecture on penguins by Luqui Bernacchi filled the house as everyone geared up to see these amazing birds in action on the Falklands and in Antarctica. Dr. John Ford (Nanaimo) rounded out the day with a talk on seals. You could also play trivia, participate in the knitting/needle point club, play bridge and numerous other activities if you didn't want to go "school"!
As a special feature of Seabourn, in the evenings guests dine with members of the expedition staff in the elegant surroundings of the main restaurant, being treated to world class food and wines. For this part of the trip some special red and white Argentinian wines had been brought on board. (It is VERY easy to overeat here) I had a table of nine people - so that wasn't very good as there were too many people and it was too noisy in the restaurant to have a good conversation. We Expedition staff are labeled as "conversationalists"! My "guests" were a couple from Ireland, another from California, a couple from New Zealand, a lady from South Africa, and a dentist from Winconsin. Mom and I rounded out the table.
While all this was going on, the ship’s crew was hard at work decorating for the up-coming festive season. The ship is beginning to take on a joyful and wintery air as we head south into colder waters!
|Dinner - note flowers, silverware, etc.!|
|Expedition staff members (left to right) Mary, Rory, Matt and Greg.|
|Spiral staircase mid ship with Christmas trees!|