Wednesday 4 April 2012

a stressful day at sea...

Well, aren't we just lucky...? Considering that the Bay of Biskay belongs to the roughest waters on the northern hemisphere, this minimalistic swell that we are experiencing is nothing - it's like a lake!
The morning hours spoil us with a tremendous display of clouds, those who happen to be out with their first morning tea stand there with their eyes closed, being caressed by a gentle breeze. What a nice moment to let the thoughts stray anywhere you like!
Apart from that, not much happening. So, no excuses today not to attend the lectures, and indeed there is a good interest to follow the numerous talks about things like European architecture, the world of the Celts, Earth's History, photography or marine ecosystems. Basically, it's the meals that punctuate a sea day, maybe followed by a nice cappuccino on deck 7, overlooking the quiet vastness around us, accompanied by Ralf's piano music. I know it sounds tough, but someone has to do it...
Well, we can still watch out for whales, since we are sailing in the realms of Europe's first whaling nations - the Basques. They were the early grandmasters of that rough and dangerous trade and so good at it that the Dutch and English hired them to go to Svalbard in the early 17th century. Not so unexpectedly, they were dismissed as soon as they had taught their art to their colleagues. Today whaling has no part anymore in these waters; but every now and then there might be a blow or a fluke. So, watch out.
After dinner - did I mention the meals? - there is a show going on in the Observation lounge: If you think the salad-and-tomato arrangement on your plate in a fancy restaurant is the pinnacle of decoration - think again. What our Philipino crew does to fruit, vegetable and ice is hardly rivaled and shows their wonderful imagination with these things that require true love for their work. Well done!