Birthplace of Icebergs

Dinner was delivered to my cabin about 7 last night. I spent the time eating, and watching a DVD starring Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic. Now I know why they didn’t let him speak much in Lost In Translation. The cast must have met each day after shooting, trying to guess the style of acting that Murray was attempting. My speculation is he approached the film this way; “I only have so much emotion in me, so I’ll save that for the drive home. After all, these are just words I’m saying.” I drifted off before it ended, but I’ll finish it tonight. Does this mean I’m really lonely?

This morning I did laundry which I think I have the hang of now. Two women and a Chinese man were ironing and chatting. I wished Happy New Year to the man, and that got us all talking. One woman asked if I had sailed on Silver Sea, which I had not. I explained that I had done some TV and maybe that’s why she recognized me. “No,” she said, “I’m sure it was Silver Sea.” Perhaps Henry Fonda once sailed Silver Sea.

The ship offered complimentary catamaran excursions to the glacier closest to the equator, the San Valentin Glacier. This baby flows in four directions from San Valentin Mountain, and is referred to as the birthplace of icebergs. To get there, we again turned south through a fjord, and at 6 AM we anchored in a large bay. No icebergs evident, but chilly and cloudy.

Catamarans operated throughout the day, and picked us up directly from the ship. The trip to the glacier took an hour. We spent close to 20 minutes cruising close to the face of the glacier; close enough to catch a wave from a large hunk of calving blue ice. There were only a couple of icebergs in the immediate vicinity, but there were lots of bergettes along the way. I’m not sad that this will be our last glacier. Getting so close was an adventure, but they do start to look the same.p1010034.JPGp1010028.JPGp1010023.JPG

One of my fears about taking this trip “solo” was dining at a table for one. Louise Ross, the ship’s social hostess, makes sure that does not happen to any solo traveler. Of course, it’s up to the individual, but all solo travelers get just about daily invitations to “Join our Distinguished Gents for dinner in the Compass Rose.”

The one complaint I have about how Mariner is operated is related to health. In bold print, the ship’s published health advisory says, “Guests are required to wash their hands frequently using the hand sanitizers placed at the gangway on returning to the vessel. Thank you for your attention to this matter.” I have yet to witness one single passenger using a hand sanitizer, either the ones at the bottom of the gangway or at the entrance to the restaurants. Cruise ships that don’t enforce a sanitation policy deserve what their passengers get. On this ship, ignoring this health procedure is certainly tied to a fear of upsetting older passengers set in their ways. But if somebody does get a virus, it’s the ship they’ll blame, and with good grounds.

Back from the excursion, I watched the rest of The Life Aquatic. It left such a bad taste in my mouth it was difficult to enjoy the King Crab legs — ….again.


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