|The sun reflecting on a glacier with King Penguins at the shore.|
It’s difficult walking about the ship, more than we’ve encountered since the 17 meter, 50-foot waves on the Norwegian Epic in April 2013. For details on that wild Atlantic Ocean crossing, please click here.
|View of the sea from Grytviken, South Georgia.|
During breakfast and lunch today, the staff had quite a time keeping glasses and dishes from flying off tables and trays. Our own chairs and table were sliding across the floor while we all laughed at the drama.
|Doorway to the Carr Maritime Gallery (museum).|
In a meeting this morning when the Captain Patrick Marchesseau announced that weather conditions are expected to improve which will enable us to get to Elephant Island by tomorrow. Also, he mentioned, weather providing we may have an opportunity to go where few cruise ship ever go…the Antarctic Circle.
|Whaling boat and a variety of whaling equipment.|
However, in this part of the world weather is highly unpredictable so we can only wait and see what happens over the next several days. The cruise doesn’t end until February 8th so we may have ample time for many more exciting adventures.
|Hand-cranked air pump for divers.|
With today as yet another sea day and with more photos we’d yet to post for Grytviken we decided to extend yesterday”s post with more photos from this unique settlement. Grytviken is a plethora of historical information regarding the whaling industry from many decades ago.
|Cooking apparatus and boots with nails to stabilize walking on ice, whale oil and debris.|
With our passion for wildlife, it was sad to see all of the boats and equipment used in the slaughter of these magnificent animals. The heart-wrenching experience of walking through the settlement only softened the shock by the playful Fur Seals we encountered as well as the many lounging Elephant Seals in our path that made us laugh with sheer delight.
As the cruise continues, we find ourselves entrenched in our little group of new friends, spending meals and happy hour together. The commonality we all possess of being experience world travelers allows for some exceptional conversation.
|Vertebrae from a whale.|
Amid all the story-telling, the laughter flows with ease from comments made by both our new friend Marg and of course, Tom who is always quick on his feet with humorous interjections. Add hysterically funny Marg to the mix and we’re all rolling on the floor throughout the day and evening.
|Various preserved specimens.|
Marg wanted me to mention that she kisses our cabin door leaving a lipstick print when she passes by to her and husband Steve’s cabin down the hall from us. Each day, the cleaning staff washes it off, only to have a new imprint the next day. We howled. We couldn’t be having more fun!
|Books and local wares in the Grytviken shop.|
The staff goes overboard to ensure we’re all having the utmost experience on this luxury cruise. Unfortunately, based on their high prices for luxurious accommodation, I doubt we’ll be able to cruise on Ponant in the future.
|Ropes and pulleys for the whaling boats.|
Let’s face it, traveling the world full-time, now for five years and three months, does leave us in a constant state of minding the budget. Luxury cruises such as this, although quite pleasurable, leave us in a position of having to strictly tighten our belts for extended periods. This doesn’t appeal to us over the long haul.
|Grenades and harpoon heads used to kill whales.|
We’d rather live within our means and be able to choose quality experiences including vacation/holiday rentals, dining out from time to time, renting cars and overall living a little more relaxed lifestyle.
|Tom thought this rock formation appears to be a turtle.|
This cruise held so much appeal to us due to the itinerary which included being able to board the Zodiac boats for many landings along the way. There are several other cruises to the Antarctic but most of these don’t allow the passengers to disembark the ship.
|An empty Zodiac boat ready to load to more passengers to take ashore.|
This aspect alone was enough of a motivator to prompt us to book this expensive cruise and we’re glad we did. Fortunately, we both accept that this upscale type of cruising isn’t the norm for us and we’ll continue to be content on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines many smaller ships.
|Example of the interior of local housing during the whaling days.|
On all of our past 21 sailings, we’ve had an opportunity to visit many stunning ports of call and meet equally wonderful people, many of whom we continue to stay in touch, building lifelong relationships.
|King Penguins standing in shallow water.|
Last night, after dinner, we headed to deck three lounge for another fine evening with our friends, dancing (not me so much), sipping beverages (I’m still not drinking wine due to the antibiotics I’m still taking for my knee). The captain and many other crew members joined in the wild dancing on the dance floor. What a night!
|The Grytviken shop with various equipment on display outdoors.|
Speaking of my injured knee, yesterday I started another antibiotic, a French drug for staph infections. Voila! Within six hours, the redness and inflammation began to subside. I have to take them for two more days and then I’ll be done, hopefully fully recovered. It’s looking good.
|What a face!|
In the next hour, we all have to bring all of our outdoor clothing, gloves, and boots to the main lounge to vacuum everything to remove any potential contaminants or bacteria that may be on our clothing we might carry from one landing to another.
|Two adorable Fur Seal pups enjoying the warmth of the sun.|
Afterward, we have one more Antarctica seminar today and then we’ll shower and change for yet another fun evening. Need I say, we’re having a fabulous time surrounded by that which we love: wildlife, nature, scenery and good friends.
Wi-Fi permitting we’ll be back with more tomorrow! Stay well. Stay happy!
Photo from one year ago today, January 31, 2017:
|Cute. We took this photo through the glass of the window in the living room in Huon Valley, Tasmania when we happened to see this rabbit on the shore of the Huon River. For more photos, please click here.|