A Huge Iceberg, Good Lunch and Good Steak, Rocking and Rolling, A Bit Under the Weather, The Desolate Falkland Islands
Sunday afternoon, we were sitting in Constellation Lounge, long after we had gone past the South Shetland Islands. Steve spotted something on the horizon and a while later we passed a huge iceberg, the size of a city block and as tall as a twenty-story building. We were in awe, wondering how big this chunk of Antarctica had been when it first broke off from the ice shelf.
We had lunch in Bistro on Five Sunday, which features soup, crepes and sandwiches. Both of us had an excellent potato soup and chicken panini sandwich, which was tasty, but too big. We avoided temptation with the appetizers in Michael’s Club and ate in Blu again. My first course, a gnocchi dish, was quite heavy and flavorless, but we both had the strip steaks and they were quite good.
We apparently steered through a low pressure area late yesterday and had lots of rocking and rolling during the night as a result. Although I felt fine, I took one Dramamine to help me sleep through all of the bulkhead racket (this worked very well). Steve seems to be able to sleep through anything anymore. The shower was fun Monday morning, hanging on for dear life with one hand while scrubbing with the other. The seas have calmed down late yesterday as we changed course to go slightly more towards the northwest. We ate at Blu again last night and had the roasted chicken (somewhat bland).
Unfortunately, we both felt unwell during the night. Steve had a bad headache that was a near-migraine and I had sharp stomach pains that were pretty unpleasant. I never got sick, but certainly did not feel like getting up early for our excursion to a farm this morning. We ended up canceling out. We don’t get a refund at this late date, but neither of us felt up to the long tender ride, the rough ride to the farm and the walk around the farm in chilly rain. We slept longer and both felt well enough later to take the tender to Port Stanley around 11:00 am.
Infinity is at anchor in a large bay, sitting next to the Seabourn Quest (we saw her in Antarctica Saturday) and it is about a thirty-minute tender ride to the little dock in town. We saw penguins, seals, other birds and a dolphin on our ride across the water. The islands themselves are featureless and have low rocky hills and no trees, resembling the far north of Scotland or even Norway near the North Cape. Why in the wide, wide world of sports the crazy Argentinian junta government in 1982 thought these desolate chunks of almost completely uninhabited land (except for 3,000 hardy citizens of the UK and millions of penguins) were worth starting a war over is completely befuddling. The Argentine claim to the territories also included South Georgia Island and the South Sandwich Islands (near Antarctica) and the defeat at the hands of the superior British forces does not sit well with the people of Argentina, so they will probably go for it again soon to take everyone’s minds off the rapidly growing inflation rate and crumbling infrastructure.
The town itself was rather charming, with colorful houses in a low hill overlooking a more sheltered bay. There were six large Chinese fishing vessels anchored here and they all left this afternoon. We walked around for a short while, past the pubs and Anglican Church and bought some souvenirs at a busy emporium. There were lots of UK stickers and flags and a shelf of books about the war (from the UK perspective) in the gift shop we visited, Almost every vehicle in town is 4WD, with lots of Land Rovers. We came back to the ship and ate a sandwich and are awaiting our sailing at 5:00 pm. Tomorrow is a day at sea, then we reach Puerto Madryn on Thursday. We have a long excursion planned there to the Valdez Peninsula and penguin rookery so we hope to be feeling better (no dinner tonight).