Saturday, 5th March 2016
This cruise was originally booked by a travel firm, Apex, who specialise in tours to appeal to people interested in all aspects of the natural world and, particularly, ‘birders’. The expedition team included world-class experts on geology, plants, animals, birds and history. Ashore or at sea the expedition team interpreted what was being seen, or assisted people in locating things (or species) of interest. At sea, there was also formal programme of lectures in the well-equipped theatre. On Saturday, these were the lectures on offer:-
Power of Erosion by Ice – Landscapes of South Georgia and Antarctica by John Buchanan.In addition, there was a ‘Mandatory South Georgia Briefing’ which included a 35-minute Government video. This briefing was in connection with the Bio-security safeguards in place. It is now recognised that invasive animal and plant species represent a real threat to the area’s vulnerable environment and these safeguards seek to prevent the introduction (or transfer between sites) of organic material including animals, plants, seeds, soil or disease.
Ocean Nomads: The Albatrosses by Peter Harrison.
Ernest Shackleton and the Greatest Expedition of the Antarctic Heroic Age by Victoria Salem.
The bio-security safeguards are taken very seriously: After the mandatory briefing, we had to take all our outerwear, boots, walking sticks to Reception for examination by the Expedition Crew
At sea, the suberb meals available at breakfast, lunch and dinner became, perhaps, even more important, to the passengers. Main meals were offered in offered in the restaurant at the rear of the ship commanding panoramic views of the ocean but early morning tea, coffee or similar were available from 5.00. in the Observation Lounge (deck 6 with views ahead). Meanwhile, the Panorama Lounge (deck 5) offered a bar service from 9.30 a.m. until late evening and a simple breakfast at 10.0 a.m. after the main restaurant had closed, Boillion from 11.00, afternoon tea from 4.00 to 5.00 p.m. and and Tapas from 6.0 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. If the weather was suitable, drinks were also available in the open air bar on deck 6 from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m, so everyone’s requirements were catered for.
Other facilities available included a Fitness Centre, Beauty and Massage Parlour, The Boutique (general stores) a Steam Room and, in the open on deck 6, two Jacuzzis. I didn’t trouble most of these facilities. Computers with internet access via satellite were available on deck 5, but I made use of the WiFi internet which I could use in my cabin.
Sunday, 6th March 2016
On Sunday,there were similar arrangements. This time, four lectures were on offer during the day:-
The Birdlife of South Georgia by Johnathan Rossouw.In the afternoon, we passed to only ‘land’ we’d see between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia – the tiny pinnacles of Shag Rocks. The following morning, we would arrive South Georgia.
The History of South Georgia by Victoria Salem
The Pugnacious Pinnipeds: Part 1 by Giovanna Fasanelli
Penguins 101 by Peter Harrison
South Georgia (day 1).
Interlude (notes on the loss of internet service).
All my South Atlantic posts.
You can find all my pictures on the trip in the Collection Cape to Cape (still being added to, at the time of writing).
There are a few pictures of the trip in the album South Atlantic Voyage.
['Cape to Cape' collection added 5-Apr-2016]