Thursday, 27 March 2014

Explorer Whiskey & Jigsaw

 Seems things are getting nearer to completion.
Only 350 miles separate us from the other side of the Atlantic, we are already far beyond the Equator. Temperatures are dropping to freezing 24 degrees centigrade, and on the screen that shows our progress you can already see Europe...
Although it is definitely way too early to start packing the suitcases there is a certain feeling in the crowd of already having traveled. Addresses are exchanged, and the jigsaw puzzles are now tackled in small groups - so you get it done before, well, before...
But many things still deserve our attention.
Remember the last entry, the Baptism? Seems long ago already, although it is been only two days.
In the shadow of the Big Event there took place a ceremony of a very special kind. Captain, King Neptune and Queen and Chief Mate gathered on the uppermost deck of FRAM around a well-secured strong box to proceed to - the Baptism of the Whiskeys. No, I am not out of my mind, nor overly deprived of tasty goods to fantasize about a good drink: We do have a brew that is unique, world-wide, and worthy of the most seasoned explorer - a single malt Scottish Highland whiskey.
Now what...? You may ask. Let me tell you:
This whiskey was casked 25 years ago - on the very day we crossed the Equator. The captain had to speed up a little to make it possible. (You will remember we made it on the 24th, juuuuust before midnight.)
So, 25 years ago exactly the cask was filled (This one, we have a second one that is "only" 21 years old). Then it sat in Scotland for a long time before FRAM acquired it last year.  And in order to make it a real Explorer Whiskey it has to travel across all the lines on this planet: The two Polar Circles and the Equator. To make ours a little more special we decided to take the cask also north of 80 degree northern latitude.
Then, and only then it will be bottled, here on board. And sold only here, too. Already we have requests from many places in the world, but we will not change our minds: FRAM is the only place in the world where you can buy it. Period.
That deserves a little extra ceremony, doesn't it...??
Another thing that got done was the taking of the shop's inventory; a nasty task as item for item has to be counted and listed. This is more important on a ship than ashore, because we can't just place an order next door when we need something or just stash surplus away in some storage. It requires really good planning.
But now it's done, with a very happy smile Hotel Manager Else and shopkeeper Clarice cut the banderole and the crowds could storm in. Maybe it was because of the little fashion show we presented beforehand, maybe the killer offers - but they bought a lot...

After dinner the ship is in uproar for the yearly "Amazing Race". Mixed teams of crew and guests are tied together with a rope and then have to run throughout the ship in order to fulfill tasks of all kinds. A big hoot!