Sunday 24th January
The start of 3 days at sea as we head towards Buenos Aires the capital of Argentina.
Reading, writing, a little bit of sunbathing (as it clouded over not long after I found a suitable sunbed!), a decision not to take part in 'Murder on the Marco Polo', a Clive Leatherdale talk on Argentina (stayed awake, very interesting) and Eggheads on the Pool Deck. Eggheads not really working as the Eggheads are members of the ET and are all under 30 and are not really academics! The contestants are usually all over 60 and have a huge amount of knowledge between them, so have beaten the 'Eggheads' every time.
This evening's entertainment in the Show Lounge was very good - we had a Stars in their Eyes Cabaret where members of the ET performed as singing stars. We had Tom Jones, Karen Carpenter, Neil Diamond, Debbie Harry, Michael Buble and Lulu. The voices were all excellent but they obviously didn't really have the available props to look exactly like their Star as they do on the TV. Karen Carpenter won with the loudest cheers. Next we watched Play Your Cards Right on the Pool Deck which was quite good, and then later was ET member Mitch with his cabaret of mostly swing songs which was also very good.
Monday 25th January
Martin came back to the cabin, after going up on deck to check out the weather, to report that the sick bags were out around the ship as we were expecting stronger winds and higher swells. It had been a very gentle rock and roll night when we went to bed but it didn't get any worse during the night so we both slept well. Actually, except for the first couple of nights we have both slept really well all the time we have been on board. I think the 'white noise' hum of the engine and the very gentle rocking have actually helped! I do miss my sprung pillow though. Luckily the swells did not really increase too much and everyone including me were OK.
This morning I went to the presentation of the Excursions available in the Falkland Islands. We had already booked our morning excursion to Bluff Cove which is a private nature reserve on a large farm, we will see penguins and possibly seals and dolphins in the bay. The farm was featured on the last series of 'An Island Parish' just before Christmas so we were able to see a bit of the islands and are really looking forward to going there. Fingers crossed that the sea will be calm enough for the tenders (our lifeboats) to take us ashore. The harbour is not deep enough for the ship to go right up to the jetty so we will be ferried across in the tenders. If the sea is too rough though, it will not happen.
We had another ice carving demonstration today and the master carver created two angelfish from two blocks of ice half a metre (1.5ft) square.
In the afternoon I listened to a passenger talk called 'Wrecks, Rats and Reindeers'. It was about the sailing travels of one of the passengers firstly in his early 20s and then again after he retired 35 years later. He was an Architect but had travelled as crew on several large yachts doing similar journeys to places where we had been and were going on this cruise. He had also written books and by the sound of it had done this presentation before. His photos were brilliant and commentary witty and easy to listen to.
The afternoon quiz had Scottish themed questions as it was Burn's Night tonight! We didn't do too badly, but still didn't win.
Another unsuccessful attempt at sunbathing later in the afternoon, even though the temperature was 31 degC at noon, by the time I got out there when it cooled down a bit, it had also got too cloudy again.
We went to the Restaurant for the evening meal. Dress code was 'Casual' which meant anything except swimwear and shorts & vest tops. One couple on our table were Scottish but hadn't worn any tartan, but there were a few kilts and tartan trousers being worn around the room - they had come prepared for Burn's Night. There was also a vague Scottish theme to the meal which included choices of venison casserole, Scottish salmon and cranachan. The Cruise Director came down and told us someone had volunteered to 'Address the Haggis' which is what happens on Burn's Night. The guy was dressed in full kilt regalia and said a poem (in a very Scottish accent) to a big 'haggis' that the chef had created, after it had been paraded around the room to a cd track of bagpipes playing.
The Show that evening was 'Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor' with songs and dances from films like The Wizard of Oz, James Bond Goldeneye, Footloose and more. Later we watched a Burn's Night 'Hooten Annie' (sic) that was hosted by Katie from the ET as she was Scottish. After another Scottish passenger had made the 'Toast to the Ladies' and the 'Toast to the Laddies' was returned, the ET sang songs from Scottish artists from Lulu to the Proclaimers and 2 of the girls danced a Scottish reel. Many of the passengers also joined in a 'Raleigh' as it was stated in the programme, but I think it was meant to have read Ceilidh (Scottish line dancing - in a circle). We watched from the comfort of our chairs.
Tuesday 26th January
An uneventful daytime. The temperature was down to 24 degC, cloudy with some rain.
Martin went to another Clive Leatherdale talk, on Uruguay this time.
The evening entertainment was excellent - Cruise Director Ross Roberts did a one-man show with singing and jokes. Then we had a 50/50 quiz - choose one of 2 answers. Still didn't win. Then the ET did 'Trash the Seventies' ...with songs from the Seventies.