March 18, 2020 – sailing north to Valparaiso, Chile
2020 South America cruise
I have breakfast in the main dining room this morning, and share a table with a woman from Calgary on a small group tour, and a couple from Florida who I shared the breakfast table with yesterday. They spend 6 months in Chicago and 6 months in Florida. He is a retired paediatric dentist.
Bridge report: The ship is on a northerly course offshore from land, proceeding through overcast, misty skies with very light sea conditions and mild temperatures at 14°C. We have 1,256 passengers and 586 crew aboard.
The Secret Language of Ships is presented today by our cruise director Kevin. He talks about hull markings, flags, and whistle blasts.
It is Gala night, so we get dressed up to go for dinner in the main dining room this evening. I have escargot and sea bass for dinner, and a meringue for dessert. We then go up to the Crow’s Nest bar for an after dinner drink. I have a martini, and my friend has single malt scotch.
March 19, 2020 – sailing north to Valparaiso, Chile
The captain updates us this morning on our situation. He tells us we are cleared to load provisions and fuel at Valparaiso, where we are scheduled to arrive at 8:30am tomorrow. Since we will be at anchor, provisioning will take at least 24 hours, considering we need 6-7 shipping containers for our food and supplies for up to a 3 week voyage, although the Captain is quick to point out that our cruise shouldn’t last that long. Once fully provisioned, we will then resume our northerly course, with our final destination still unknown, although I’m sure the captain has plans in place for a few alternatives.
When I join two couples for breakfast this morning, three possible destinations are discussed: Panama, San Diego, or Fort Lauderdale. I would prefer to see us disembark in San Diego, since that would make it relatively easy for Wendy and I to make our way home by either driving a rental car, taking the Amtrak train, or flying through Vancouver. Fort Lauderdale also makes sense, since that is where the cruise was planned to terminate, and the ship is scheduled for a refit in the nearby Bahamas. Panama is the closest port, and has a big airport where we could likely find flights to return to Canada.
I spot some Juan Fernandez Petrels following the ship today. Obviously, we are not too far offshore for them to fly the distance.
I can’t motivate myself to write a blog post for my JoeTourist.ca website. I think many of my friends would be interested in knowing more about my experiences so far on this cruise. I have posted regular updates to Facebook, but a significant number of my friends don’t use social media. We actually accomplished many of our goals early in the cruise, experiencing Buenos Aires, Montevideo, the Falkland Islands (penguins!), Punta Arenas and the Strait of Magellan, and scenic cruising through the Chilean fjords.
Lots of people are taking advantage of the warmer weather to sunbathe either beside the Lido Pool or the Sea View Pool. We have a beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean this evening, but no green flash was visible.