Tuesday, 1 April 2014

New Destination, Familiar Faces

Five countries and 4782 nautical miles five countries after the southern season, FRAM reaches Muelle Catalina on the shores of Gran Canaria. For those who stay on board it feels like the crossing took months, Buenos Aires just seems a lifetime ago.
But most are leaving here, going back to their homes in Europe to welcome spring, and they do so with a big smile after all these new experiences.
FRAM however is going out now for a totally new trip, and literally a fiery one, too: We will be traveling from hotspot to hotspot in the geological sense, beginning in El Hierro and La Gomera tomorrow, then Madeira, and finally the Azores archipelago. All volcanic, all more or less active.
As the ship has never been to any of these places, we are all pretty excited to see them. That seems to hold true for our loyal customers as well - out of 201 guests we have 191 repeaters, which is an unbelievable percentage. Thank you for coming back!
Certainly it is on account of the new itinerary, but we also seem to have done something right in the past. Feels goooooood! So the check-in, the distribution of the jackets, the first dinner, the drill - all is smooth and fast and relaxed, intercalated many times by recognition of former fellow travelers and the subsequent big Hellos. In the meantime FRAM receives a lot of material, food, and of course fuel (from a tank ship with the surprisingly explosive name Santorini)
Around sunset the lines are cast and FRAM re-enters the familiar old Atlantic swell, together with  familiar people, this time heading for new adventures.
At least Mrs. Chippy, our (artificial) board cat, seems very much at ease to be on tour again...