Day 7 |
May 09, 2011

At Sea en route to Nantes

By Claudia Holgate, Climatologist

Co-ordinates: 46º 09’ N, 01º 59’ W
Weather: Sunny and warm
Air Temperature: 16C
Wind speed 66km/h North Easterly
Pressure 1019 hPa

We left Bordeaux at 9:30am after a magical day yesterday where we had lovely trips to wine chateaus and St Emilion, and had the opportunity to explore Bordeaux at night as we had to wait for the tides before leaving. As we left the dockside in Bordeaux, I went up on deck with many of our guests to enjoy the blue skies and landscapes as we travelled down the Garonne River. The riverbanks are full of trees with Black Kites flying over and the occasional chateau peeping through the woodland.

At 11am, we left the soporific weather outside for a lecture by Ray Russell, entitled ‘Vikings Ahoy; from Scandinavia to the Med’. Ray gave us a vivid overview of the Viking expeditions and influence from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, including their incursions into France, Spain, Italy and even as far as Constantinople.

Lunch was served at midday in The Restaurant with the usual excellent fare that makes lunches my favourite meal of the day on the Silver Explorer. Without much time to rest, we had another lecture, this one by Imogen Corrigan, entitled “The Dregs of the People Remain: the Black Death and its Aftermath”. I never realized that the history of the plague could be so interesting, but Imogen brings every lecture alive, with her off-hand comments that lighten even the darkest of subjects. Imogen spoke of how there was a shift in artistic tastes following the plague, with an increase in interest in the macabre and explorations of what may be in the next life.

Tea time followed with team trivia. I ran team trivia again today with many questions from my colleagues on the areas in which we have travelled. It made for an interesting collection of questions and didn’t slow down our current winners, Team Orange, who beat the Coffin Dodgers by a mere one point. The other teams were pretty close behind as everyone waits until our next team trivia to be held on the next sea day after our visit to Nantes.

Sea days on Silver Explorer are always chock-a-block full with activities and thus, without much time between tea and our next lecture. This time by Lucy Russell, on King Louis XIV: “Love and Glory in the court of Louis XIV”. Lucy has a beautiful voice that enchants all who listen to her stories and descriptions of the era of Louis XIV. A wonderful opportunity to revel in the arts and music, architecture and intrigues of Versailles

Finally, at 6:45pm, we had a Recap & Briefing, where our Expedition Team was able to give some more information on what we had seen and experienced yesterday and Hans-Peter presented us with what we are to do in Nantes tomorrow.

After a full day on board, we could go off to The Restaurant for another superb dinner prepared by our executive chef, Norbert. The evening was topped off with an after dinner drink in the Panorama Lounge where we could listen to the excellent piano playing of Alfredo.