January 16-19th 2011: Pacific Ocean

IMGP2101We’re on a 4 day at sea portion of our journey.  We’ve left beautiful Lima behind with it’s vibrant colours and lovely people and we’ve turned south west into the Pacific Ocean on our way to Easter Island. 

 

The waves are about 2.5 – 3 metres high and the temperature has got colder.  It’s averaging 23-24 C.  Being at sea forces you to either relax and just enjoy the waves, even if you are wrapped in a towel or you can be as busy as a beaver and go to all the wonderful sessions that are lined up on a daily basis.  (Flower arranging, arts and crafts, technical information sessions,  “How To” cooking classes, book club (we’re reading “My Reading Life” by Pat Conroy), HAL Chorale (singing group), watercolour classes, Tai Chi and the list goes on).

IMGP2448It’s an opportunity to see a flotilla of dolphins joining the ship for 5-10 minutes of our journey.  We have had 2 or 3 instances, one of which there must have been easily 200 dolphins swimming together; another group of about 30-40 and a smaller group of about 15-20.  Of course I didn’t have a camera so no photos.  Or you can see huge turtles swimming along side the ship.  These turtles are just amazing.  They are about 2-3 feet wide, they come up suddenly from under the water, take huge gulps of air and then dive again.  They can stay down as long as 40 minutes (or so I’m told).  Flying fish are in abundance and we can have our lunch outside and watch hundreds and thousands of these little critters jump and fly out of the water.  It’s just amazing to see.   There are many different species of bird and it’s great to see them as it’s an indication that land or another vessel could be in the area.

 

I’m taking a writing course with Pat Rushford, I believe I spoke about her in an earlier post.  She’s a wonderful teacher and I’m learning a lot.  Gerrit is looking after the blog photos and trying to get the information to the web site.  However, he’s frustrated about not getting the posts up on a daily basis.  But I’m leaving that techie stuff to him as it means nothing to me, except that family and friends aren’t able to find out about our adventures.  I’m also doing some knitting (of course), and with my purchase of fibre in Peru I’m busy scouring my books for a nice knitting pattern.

 

We found out that the ship will cruise around Pitcairn Island.  This is where the “Bounty” off loaded her mutineers!  But more on that in a later post.

 

During our stop at Lima, our next guest chefs Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinsten boarded.  Mark and Bruce are a very funny couple and make their sessions exciting to watch.  They are both contributing Editors to “Eating Well” magazine and are featured columnists in “Today’s Health and Wellness” They are the co-creators of the best-selling “Ultimate” cookbook series.  The series features ten single-subject ultimate’s, ice cream to party drinks, potatoes to shrimp, brownies to peanut butter; it also includes a 900-recipe, all original compendium cooking, “The Ultimate Cook Book”, which has been described as an innovative yet straightforward and their most recent book “Real Food Has Curves”.  They have also written a great many cookbooks. Bruce also has published a knitting book with another in the works.

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We have our first hands-on cooking lesson the day after Easter Island and we’re both looking forward to it.  Their demonstrations and cooking trivia sessions have been a lot of fun – they are just a lovely couple and enjoying life to its fullest.

Our second formal night was a Casino theme. Lots of decorations throughout the ship.

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Approximately 60 of our passengers went on an overnight to the Galapagos and on their return many of them got sick.  It was determined they picked up a virus from the resort they stayed at.  They have been quarantined, however, not before some of the virus to be transferred to some other passengers.   The crew have been amazing and the whole ship has been washed from top to bottom and then again and again.  The crew are now back to serving us (instead of everyone touching the serving spoons) to try and eliminate the transfer of germs.  Everyone has been issued a bottle of “Purell” (a hand sanitizer liquid) and are being encouraged to wash hands often. The ship is on a “Code Red” meaning that all touching is suspended – e.g. dancing partners have been disallowed from dancing with passengers because they don’t want the germs transferred.  All serving in the main dinning room is by crew members only and we are told not to reach for anything,that instead it will be given to us.  Any hands-on teaching has ceased with the hope that it will be “Code Green” in a few days time. It’s been a crazy 4 days with all this illness but we feel that its under control and everyone is doing their best to stop the flow of germs. Along with the 10-12’ swells, the bags are out at the upper decks!

 

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Did you know that the Pacific Ocean claimed its namesake from the Latin name “Mare Pacificum (peaceful sea), bestowed upon it by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.  For most of Magellan’s voyage from the Strait of Magellan to the Philippines, the explorer did find the ocean peaceful; however, this is not always the case.  Many tropical cyclones or typhoons batter the islands of the Pacific; the lands around the Pacific rim are full of volcanoes and often affected by earthquakes.  Tsunamis, cause by underwater earthquakes, have devastated many islands and destroyed entire towns.  Because of this, the islands in the Pacific Ocean face natural disasters on a daily basis.  The Pacific Ocean encompasses one third of the Earth’s surface, making it the largest body of water with an area of 69.4 millions square miles (179.7 million square kilometers), an area significantly larger than the entire Earth’s landmass.  The lowest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench, lies in the Pacific Ocean at 35,795 (10,911 meters) below sea level.  However the average depth of the entire ocean is 14,000 feet or 4,300 meters.

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Comments

January 16-19th 2011: Pacific Ocean — 2 Comments

  1. Tech issue Gerrit the Pics no longer blow up when you click them making the Pics difficult to view?