Wednesday, February 15, 2012

South America and Antarctica 14 - We Set Sail

Our cabin on Le Boreal was cozy, as most cruise ship cabins are, but comfortable.

A view from the front door.

Now, I'm standing on the balcony looking in.  Notice the clear wall in the spacious sink/shower room.  The toilet was in its own little room right inside the front door.

We had a full size, walk-in shower, which was great.  On the Princess ship our shower was tiny.  Separating the toilet gave us much more bathroom flexibility and was very much appreciated.
Here's yet another of our amateur videos with a short tour of our cabin.

On Deck 6 we enjoyed a casual buffet dining room.  

The food on this cruise was better than on our Princess cruise.  We enjoyed a nice selection of salads...

...and hot entries, which changed every day.  They also had a formal dining room, which was nice, but we mostly enjoyed being able to dish up our own plates.

The formal dining room had even more silverware at each place setting than this.  At times I confess to being thoroughly confused about which fork to use.

One of our servers, whose name I never did get.  I had a running gag going with him, as he liked to stay up after dinner service and party.  At breakfast I took to guessing the time he went to bed the night before by looking at the bags under his eyes.  His average was 3am.  He and the rest of the crew couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. 

Soon enough, it was time to set sail.  Here you can see the city of Ushuaia in the distance, with its picturesque mountain backdrop.

In Ushuaia, they say that the weather changes every five minutes.  I include this shot to show that. It went from sunny to heavily overcast in a matter of minutes, as we set sail, but somewhere in the clouds was a hole large enough to light up that little valley as we sailed past.  Seconds after I snapped this frame, the bright spot had disappeared.

Our French captain, Patrick Marchesseau, had it all: brains, beauty, national hero, (Google his name and you'll see this is true), fabulous sense of humor, sexy French accent when he spoke English.  I have never seen anyone make all of the responsibility he carried look so easy and effortless. Or watched anyone exercise his authority with as much grace, purpose, integrity and ease.

Just before dinner he came over the loudspeaker, "This is your captain.  We have changed course and are now following a group of Killer Whales on our port side."

Many of us rushed out with cameras in hand. I managed to find a clear space of railing and grab these frames before we lost sight of them.

We saw our captain often, during our time aboard, just making the rounds, checking to be sure all was well on his ship.  Always gracious, and interested in how his passengers and crew were doing. His crew clearly adored him.  More on that later.

As the sun set slowly in the west, the cliche goes...but this time it wasn't a cliche.  We stood on the railing of our balcony, inhaling the salt sea air as this new phase of our adventure began, and...,well, you had to have been there.

Continue on to Post 15: Drake Passage, by clicking here.


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