Chapter 2 The Falklands
After a missed night’s sleep, we met our other 196 fellow travelers on this Antarctica cruise tour in the lobby of the hotel at 3 AM on Sunday morning, December 29. There was not much meeting and greeting at that time. The ride to the airport was only 15 minutes but after that it was a little chaotic finding our bags, getting checked in and boarding. The flight got us to Ushuaia about 11 AM so we got to tour all four blocks of the town until 12:30. Then we boarded the Scenic Eclipse. It is a beautiful new ship equipped with all sorts of expedition gear including 2 helicopters and a submarine. We will go on those later.
Many briefings later plus a safety drill and it was time to change for dinner. We “dress” every night and I love it. This is the reason for all that luggage. We have about 7 small restaurants, only two that need reservations. Our butler, (yes, everyone on the ship has a butler and a cabin steward), made reservations at Luminaries, the French restaurant. Dinner, consisting of 7 courses was divine. After dinner we finally started meeting some of our fellow passengers on this Antarctica cruise tour.
Monday we were at sea. We are getting to know this beautiful vessel a little better. We had more briefings and a biosecurity session. This entails bringing everything you will be wearing as an outer layer to be inspected. Shoes, gloves, pants, jacket, hats and on and on. I am told we will have that before every excursion. They inspect and sometimes vacuum garments to make sure no seeds or anything will cross-contaminate the land or birds.
Tuesday, December 31 started with us leaving the ship to go ashore at 8:30. It was a warm sunny day on the Falklands and we kept reminding ourselves to enjoy it. This will be the last day we will not be bundled up like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I had a lot more fun this New Year’s Eve than I did last year. This is the anniversary of my shattered knee cap. I was very careful today. I got to ride up the hill but had to walk down if I wanted to see the Albatross Rookery.
I did so I walked. I am so glad Kathy was with me. She was a great help and it was an amazing sight. I have a feeling I’ll be saying that a lot. The afternoon tour brought more amazements..penguins. I have a feeling I’ll be repeating that a lot also. We had a wet beach landing and I now know I’m going to have to make some adjustments to my method of dressing. I’ll Figure that out tomorrow, Scarlet.
Dinner and dancing was great. So many people were kind enough to ask me to dance. I was told I am the 4th oldest guest out of 198..I have not partied like that on New Year’s Eve in many years.
Happy New year to you all and may 2020 bring to you much happiness and joy, onward to Antarctica!