Tuesday 30 October 2012

From a passengers viewpoint

A unique Experience

Today is our last day on the open sea which is almost unbelievable as it means that we are meanwhile sixteen days on the way since we left Las Palmas. When we entered the ship on October 14th everything seemed to be so far away and now we will reach Buenos Aires within less than 36 hours. Everybody of the passengers had a certain purpose to go onto this journey; ones wanted to have this infinite view from one side of the horizon to the other, others to relax from all the stress in the daily life. Some wanted to make the special experience of a long trip across the sea and some simply wanted a comfortable way to get to South America. As different as our expectations was the way to get used to life onboard. But finally nobody was able to evade the rhythm of the ship with its gentle moving up and down in the waves. We got to know each other very fast and easy and in only a few days our group of Couples and alone riding became more and more a temporary family. As we are in total only 27 passengers we were able to do things that cannot be done on a normal cruise. We had a sightseeing tour through the ship and after that we know now that the Fram with her mixture of Greenlandic and Scandinavian art is a sculpture in a whole! We also have seen the “heart and brain” of the ship which in the Chief machinist’s eyes is the same anyway – the engine room. The officers during our visits at the bridge had a different view – but only a little bit. Between our lectures, cooking lessons and sport competitions we were happy to recover for some time when taking a bath in the sun or nap in the shades (unfortunately sometimes also the other way around) to be fit again for the evening when we had so much fun together with the crew. Everybody found his favorite place on board either inside or outside and slowly but surely the days went on. Suddenly we had to realize that is really day 16 on board. Tomorrow we will reach the Rio de la Plata and we will see the first piece of land since we left the Canary Islands. Who will be the first to discover the coast? What will be the first thing to be seen – maybe a tree?
Some things may have developed a little different than initial expected but we all have made a unique experience and we are still curious what the last day will bring us. Probably the crew welfare committee is already preparing one or the other surprise for the last evening. For all these efforts we say “Tusen takk”, “Thank You” and “Salamat at Paalam” to the whole crew of MV Fram! Maybe one day we will meet again for a “crossing” when we need some time to relax or a comfortable way to get to Europe or with no special purpose at all.

Here you can see Martin sitting in his chair on deck 5. The picture is painted by Dorothy Deringer. She painted her own diary with all these unbelievable nice pictures. And the best of all: She gave us a nice exhibition of her art the day before. Thank you Dorothy, you are wonderful and thank you Martin for writing the blog today; of course you are wonderful too! 

Monday 29 October 2012


We started the day more or less serious with a German lecture about whales. In the early afternoon we had our last meeting with the Navigation Officer on the bridge. After all these navigation lessons we felt a little bit like seamen but we are not quite sure if someone will give us a job in our new profession.

Later on we started to prepare our Halloween costumes as we should have a Halloween Party this evening. Of course we knew that it was a little bit early for this celebration but we didn´t want to have this event on our last day.

Just before the party started our Captain – dressed in his funny costume already – handed out the certificates to the winners of all our competitions we had before. Look at the pictures and you can see how much fun we had.


Sunday 28 October 2012

We spotted the „Spotted Dolphins“

After all these games and competitions we had during the last days we made the decision to have a lazy day today. But lazy days can become also wonderful. Just before breakfast we had our first visitor – a jumping “Giant oceanic manta ray”. First of all our Safety Officer Jan Olaf and Friederike from the Expedition team saw it from the bridge. The Ray was jumping again and again very high out of the water. Some passengers saw it too as they have been out on deck 5 just as it happens. Sorry, we have no photo, nobody from us expected a jumping Ray, and you have to believe us, perhaps at least the Safety Officer.

Later during the day we got even more visitors. Martin spotted a huge school of “Atlantic Spotted Dolphins”. The dolphins joined us for at least two hours riding in our bow wave. It was difficult to photograph them, but all passengers found their personal way to catch them with their camera. Look at the photos and you will understand.

At 3pm we had our teatime with fresh waffles out on the open deck.
Afterwards we met for an informative talk with our Captain, the Hotel Manager and the Chief Engineer. It was nice that they spent so much time with us.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Let´s have fun together

Time flied during the last days. We had lectures in the morning, meetings with the Navigation Officer after lunchtime, cooking sessionswith the Chef in the afternoon and competitions in the evening. We cannot describe this all with words, so we made the decision: Let the pictures talk and we hope you will understand the most significant part of our life here on board: Let´s have fun – all together; passengers, officers, crew and workers. 

Wednesday 24 October 2012

El Zorro is back

During the last days we have seen sometimes a Masked Booby out of the distance, but today we had the feeling that our special friend – El Zorro – came back for a second visit and he introduced us even to his children. The youngsters had still their more or less brown feathers and they still need a while until they are adult. Some of them came really near to the vessel like you can see on the photo further down.

In the afternoon we learned during our teatime how to carve nice figures out of vegetables and fruit and how to decorate nice cakes with marzipan. A big thanks to the three artists out of the galley; they spent so much time with us. We will try to be creative when we have our next party with a nice buffet at home.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Let´s learn from each other

The main focus on this day has been teaching and learning from each other. We started in the morning with a lecture about South America. Most passengers will stay for a while in South America and have been very interested in what they can expect over there.

It is more or less normal to have lectures for the passengers aboard FRAM but in the afternoon the passengers became lecturers or teachers for the crew, and that we didn´t have before. Since some days Friederike has given German lessons to the reception crew and today the day had come to test their new knowledge in practice. All passengers lined up at our check in reception – like they have done it on their first day in Las Palmas – and checked in again. But this time all guests had to stay with their own language. As most of our passengers are German speaking on this cruise the receptionists could show what they have learned during the last days. Everybody had a lot of fun and at the end we could only say: congratulation Clarice, Rona, Rose, Novi and Aurea, you have done a wonderful job.

Just before dinner we had - like almost every evening - a wonderful sunset again.

After our BBQ we started with our game and sport competition. Crew, workers and passengers will meet from now on more or less regular in the late evening, after all work for the day is done, just to have fun.  

Monday 22 October 2012

Let the crew talk

Crossings are very special trips we have aboard FRAM. We have passengers aboard, an expedition team, crew and workers for special renovation works. These works have to be done before we reach Buenos Aires. So we have a mixture of people and interest but we believe we are doing well and passengers, crew and workers enjoy their time. In the following report, written by our receptionist Clarice, you will get a little feeling about our daily life on board. 

It’s amazing how many days we are at sea already, and still we are enjoying the good weather, good food and of course fun at work. Work starts at 8am; we are almost finishing counting all the shop stocks from deck 3, up to deck 4 and 5. Quite excited with the progress at the moment, our ship’s shop is being renovated to make it bigger and wider. There are things that we don’t usually do or shall we say can’t do if not only during crossing, like for instance, having more time to rest, relax and have fun during the night with passengers we have on board. Just like today we have the awarding of certificates for the lucky ones who were baptized when we crossed the Equator, quite fun to see new faces experiencing it, and had a blast from the past seeing ourselves seating on that chair feeling the same.  One of our new Receptionist, Rose was also baptized that day hahaha lucky her. After a day of work, dinner together in the outside deck is sooooo good. This is one thing we would really miss during crossing, good weather, enough rest, games during the night and of course how could we miss the sumptuous barbecue/food the galley team is preparing for us every night. Our day is mostly spent counting the things we have in the shop, office supplies and a lot more. Another thing we are so grateful during this crossing is German lecture we do every day, we might not be the best German speaker after this but surely we’ll have a little confidence dealing with our German guest once the cruise starts. It really feels good learning new things, and the best part is, our dear passengers onboard are so great of helping us learning German, surely this is a great experience for us compared to the previous crossing we have done.

Our proud fresh baptized members of King Neptune´s Kingdom got their baptism certification in the evening. 

Sunday 21 October 2012

A quiet Sunday with „El Zorro“

After the equator baptism yesterday everybody aboard MV FRAM is baptized by King Neptune. That means that all, passengers, crew and workers, belong to King Neptune´s “Sea Family” and are standing from now on under his special protection. So we can feel very safe right now.

In the morning we passed 5°21’S and 31°14’W and we were sailing south of the Islands of Fernando de Noronha but in a distance of app. 100 nm. In his morning announcement the Captain let us know that there will be a stop on these islands during the crossing from 2014 onward. This would be a good reason to come back at any time!

As it was Sunday we had not only a relaxed day we had a very relaxed day – and that was wonderful especially as we had later on a nice visitor. A Masked Booby joined us for several hours. Now we could see in the reality what Friederike explained us in her bird lecture before. As the Booby stayed with us for such a long time and we have been in this baptism mood, we called him “El Zorro”.