4-16-2013 DAY 101 AT SEA

This is our one sea day between the two small islands in the Southern Atlantic that our travel guide on the ship has described as “dots” in the ocean.  We have been fortunate that the seas have been calm for the most part.

In our daily Explorer (which is the daily info sheet we get each night for the next day’s events) there was a description of the Atlantic Ocean.  While it is the second largest of the four oceans, it is the most heavily traveled.  The equator divides it between the North Atlantic and South Atlantic.  We are still in the South Atlantic.  It’s deepest point is 28,681 feet below the surface – in the Puerto Rico Trench.  And last, it is slightly more saline than the Pacific because of the high salinity of outflow from the Mediterranean. 

The captain was the guest at today’s Good Morning Amsterdam.  He was most entertaining and shared stories and facts about how technology has changed the way ships run today and has taken some of the “fun” out of it.  A couple of interesting things I learned – we took on enough fuel in Cape Town to get us all the way back to Ft. Lauderdale.  It costs $45 million for fuel for just this ship for a year.  And one of the other HAL ships, the Rotterdam, had three skiffs trailing after it while we were in the pirate seas – so while we were OK, they had to increase their speed significantly to outrun the “bad guys!”  Glad we were OK (and they were too as it turned out), but they had the better story to share!

Doug and I went to the lecture discussing the USA and its major global power strengths both from a military and political perspective.  It was interesting and will be continued in future talks . . and how the USA relates to other super powers.  This speaker is one we’ve heard before, but he has updated his material . . unlike some of the former speakers we’ve had!

I had my cooking class with Chris Smith, the diabetic chef, as he has become known.  He is really more about healthy eating and his recipeP1170770s, etc. are not limited to just diabetics.  He is the best chef we’ve had on the ship during this cruise (in my opinion.)  He has really worked hard to have things prepared for us and takes a lot of time to instruct us and show us basic skills as well as just preparing the food.  We had four stations and I chose the desert one P1170781(no surprise there!) because it used angel food cake which Doug really likes.  It is a light and a bit unusual and I will be making it when I get home.  It was a fun class and we enjoyed lunch in the Pinnacle Grill afterwards . . although we all agreed that the food we actually prepared in class was better than what was prepared for us (using same recipes!) 

Doug enjoyed the Mongolian cookout and hours out on deck enjoying the lovely weather and just watching the ocean go by as he read.  He had a very relaxing afternoon and didn’t want to have to come in for dinner!

Dinner was our regular group again, followed by almost an hour of after dinner drinks with our friends.  It was particularly enjoyable tonight as we learned more about the island where Jack and BJ live (off N. Carolina) and the different jobs they have had.  All these months, and we are just now learning all these interesting things about them!

Doug and I went to the ship’s show not knowing what it would be like.  It was a marionette show performed by a world renowned marionette artist who creates the puppets himself as well as manipulates their strings on stage.  His name is Phillip Huber, and he was truly an artist in this field.  I have never seen “puppets” perform at this level.  One played the piano while another played a violin.  And the amazing thing is their fingers moved as well as their hands.  It was very intricate in its design.  And there were half a dozen more marionettes of equally high-level quality.  Huber even showed us how he made the marionettes from start to finish.  It was truly a fantastic show (I enjoyed it more than Doug!)

Because the night was so beautiful, I went up to the highest deck where it is the darkest to look at the stars.  It was amazing how bright the stars were and how many there were.  Clouds were starting to roll in, so I was only able to watch for a little while.  But I did see some of the Milky Way and recognized Orion’s Belt.  I left my phone back in the room with the Star Gazer app – would have been good to have it to help identify the stars I saw.  It was a wonderful way to end the day.

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