The day dawned bright and beautiful and it was a great time to spend at sea watching the steady rhythm of the waves and listening to the background noise of the engines as we lazed around in bed. Realizing that we needed to eat, we decided to start off the day with a leisurely breakfast at the buffet where we had cereal and yogurt. We think that the buffet is probably wasted on us as we didn’t even “walk the line” looking at the choices. Instead we decided to stick to our tried and true breakfast staples which provided us with the perfect amount of fuel for the next part of our day. The next part was getting down to business with a workout in the ship’s gym. Unsurprisingly, we had a lot of company, with a lot of guests taking the day at sea as a good time to catch up on some much needed calorie burning and muscle retaining.
Dave and I then headed off to meet Kyle and Henry for lunch and some games. Well, Kathy hates to admit it – yup it is painful all the way for her – but Dave was right. While Kathy didn’t play dominos, neither did Kyle’s new friend Tekira. For a ship that only holds ~ 1000 people she managed to be elusive. Kathy did “excuse” herself from playing cards and instead wandered away to do loops on the track while listening to her book. The last round of games ended quickly when Kyle, in one luckily-shuffled and then luckily-split deck, was dealt a loaded hand. He managed to win the game with the cards dealt to him and without even a chance for Dave or Henry. At this point, Dave felt it was a good time to find Kathy who was still hiding and spend some time exploring the many levels of the ship.
Dinner was a group affair at another restaurant where we got to sample some fresh Asian food. Like most of the food onboard, we were greatly impressed with the quality and freshness of the food. In addition, the portions were a perfect size for us and, unlike the restaurants in the US, were not designed to feed a family on one plate – just perfect for one individual. Last stop was a dip in the hot tub where we lounged around. The only annoyance was that we had to push the “bubble button” to keep the jets on! The button had to be pushed every two minutes – really who designed this? While it was a quiet day on the last day of the month, it was still enjoyable.
Wednesday, the beginning of Shamrock Shake month started off early. We had breakfast at a restaurant instead of the buffet and we shared a table with a couple from Canada, Debbie and Danny, who we had met earlier on the trip. We chatted and chatted and found like us they were avid travelers who have been quite a few places. The time was brief though as both of us had to get going in order to catch the bus to take us to the town of Puerto Madryn. The description of the excursion promised us hundreds of thousands of penguins. While we didn’t see that many, we still saw plenty tottering around, pruning the molted feathers off themselves, and lounging in the burrows they carve into the ground where they raise their young. We also had the treat of seeing dozens of guanacos (small llama relatives), vultures, Chaminga Caracaras, and even a pair of Crested ducks that spend all their time together (kind of like us old married couples who are retired, or somewhat retired). Dave again felt that he was right in that Kathy was not so sure we would see some penguins yet at times they were so close she could have reached out her hand and touched them. The trip to the coast was well worth it as it provided us with an opportunity to see not only the countryside of Argentina but some amazing wildlife in their natural habitat.
Dinner was another group activity with Kyle and Henry at a Brazilian meat extravaganza where you were served slices and bites of a variety of meats. It was a culinary adventure in trying the various beef, pork, chicken, and even roasted cinnamon pineapple. Dinner as always was capped off by an amazing dessert much to Kathy’s delight.
After dinner, we enjoyed a game show in the theater called “Last Man Standing”. After three different games, there was only one person who had won anything!
After the show, Dave and Kathy went up top to see the stars. It wasn’t quite dark enough yet, and there were some clouds, but they still enjoyed nature’s “show”. While up there (actually the best place they found was the helispot!), they met a man from Wales who was an avid astronomer, chemist, and software engineer (among many other things, we are sure!) He advised us that the best time to see the Southern Cross constellation will be after we visit the Falkland Islands in a few days. Between this gentleman and Dave’s “Star Walk 2” app, we are sure to be fascinated on other nights, too.