Day 11 –Elephant Island…following in the footsteps of Shackleton
We woke to the ship healing over to the portside due to the strong winds, with our stateroom a lot closer to the water. Soon thereafter, we changed direction, and this time we were copping the strong winds on to our stateroom. The wind was howling and we could feel the cold air streaming into the room through the less than airtight doorway. The entire day and following night our room was freezing – cranking the heating up to over 25 degrees didn’t seem to have any effect.
This was our final day in the Arctic circle, so everyone was making the most of the vantage point in the Living Room again (other than those crazy folks that were braving the outside decks).
As we approached Elephant Island in the grey mist, we had some sense of what it must have felt like when Shackleton and his men were there. As we rounded the north east corner to Wild Point, we caught a glimpse of the beach where his men made camp. There is a statue there commemorating the expedition.
As we sailed our way out of Antarctic waters, we passed hundreds of icebergs. The captain took a detour to show us the one named Bravo 09 Foxtrot, an extremely long berg! The final large (very tall) berg we were to see came as we were running on the treadmill that evening. By that stage we were reaching open waters and the Drake Passage and moving on the treadmill had become a much more treacherous task. Glenda only managed 3km, and that was done with one hand resting on the sidebar to make sure she didn’t fly off forwards, backwards or sideways. In reality, being an unsettled the part of the world, we have had amazingly good weather.
Iceberg B-9 was an iceberg that calved in 1987. The iceberg measured 154 kms long and 35 kms wide with a total area of 5,390 square kilometres. B09F was originally part of B9 and measures 32kmx13km – very big!!
A nice relaxing evening meal was followed by a fun evening watching the second Mama Mia movie in the Cabaret Lounge.
Day 12 –At sea…a day of socialising and eating….
Giving the wind howling outside and everything swinging around in our room, we both slept a lot better than expected. As it was still cold, we didn’t rush to climb out from under the nice warn duvet. The only incentive that had Walter up was getting to the laundry to do some washing – and he climbed back into bed once the load was on. Eventually we braved the fresh morning and meandered down to Mosaic Café for coffee and biscotti. We were holding off for the 10:30am brunch buffet to have our “real” breakfast.
Following a breakfast feast, we made our way to listen to Dr John Rennie Short, the entertaining onboard speaker. Given he was competing with an amazing buffet, the room was full – all credit to his humorous approach of delivering geographical and historical information. We gained a lot of insight into the history of the Falkland Islands, the war in the 1980s and what has happened since. He even had insider knowledge as his brother was one of the people that had survived the sinking of the HMS Sheffield. We look forward to exploring Port Stanley and environs tomorrow.
Whilst Walter did some ironing, Glenda chatted to a couple from San Diego that we’ve met a few times before. It’s always interesting to find out where others have travelled, where they live, what they do and how they are enjoying the cruise. A common thread this time is that we are all ready to get to warm, dry land and we’re likely to enjoy this cruise so much more in hindsight.
We made it back for the last 20 minutes of the brunch buffet – good thing as we hadn’t eaten for almost 2 hours. We were lucky to end up sitting next to Mark and Gayle, a London couple we’d met previously and had also gone on the shore excursion we’d done in Ushuaia. They agreed with our assessment that a 1km stroll did not live up the two hour trek that we’d been promised. Sadly, the shore excursion representatives from Azamara were not as forthcoming in admitting the error of their ways and we are still significantly out of pocket for a less than satisfactory experience. Never mind, we have our own excursions planned for the next ports.
We had a lazy afternoon, not even venturing to the gym given the large swell and we had a long walk planned for the following day. After the amount consumed at the buffet, we decided on a few morsels from the evening buffet were enough for dinner. The tribute to Sammy Davis Jr by Eric John Young wasn’t as good as his previous show but provided for a relaxing night’s entertainment.