Day 8 |
Sep 10, 2011

At sea 

By Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Botanist

Co-ordinates: 54° 23`N, 52° 42`W
Weather: sunny, partly overcast
Air Temperature: 8°C

After the beautiful days in Greenland, the Silver Explorer was on her way to our next stop: St. Anthony in Newfoundland, Canada. Overcast weather and a little bit bumpy sea were the factors that characterized our day at sea.

There was not too much to see outside, even our birder on board, Luciano Bernacchi, was a little bit disappointed by the lack of sea birds. Only some species like Great Blackback Gull, Great Shearwater, Kittywake and Northern Fulmar were observed by my colleague.

The activities for our guests started early this morning. At 9.30 our historian Claire Allum was talking about “Vinland: Land of Grapes, Wheat and Walnut”. She gave an overview about the Vikings in the New World, how they discovered Newfoundland (or Vinland) and their lifestyle in the new encountered land. The presentation also took a special focus on the issue of how far the Vikings explored the area around the Gulf of St. Lawrence River.

After Claire’s lecture, a general emergency drill for the crew was conducted on board. The drill was nearly immediately followed by the presentation of our geologist Stefan Kredel. Stefan talked about “What Happened in the Last 4.56 Billion Years”. The lecture was a small excursion into the earth’s history. He explained data collection in geology and the effort to reconstruct the history of our planet.

Lunch was served in The Restaurant and was, as always, very tasty. I also enjoying having conversations with guests about the days ahead of us in Canada.

After a little break the next presentation was geologist Juan Carlos Restrepo with “Water, the Restless Sea”. Juan explained some basic oceanography concepts, covering vertical and horizontal circulation, tides, waves and the world’s main current system.

During tea time in the Panorama Lounge, I hosted a game of Team Trivia, which had a special emphasis on botanical records. Seven groups participated in the fun.

In an early Recap & Briefing, our Expedition Leader Conrad Combrink talked about our activities tomorrow in St. Anthony and L’ans aux Meadows. This was followed by a recap from my colleagues Luciano, who spoke about the birds we had seen in the last few days. Then Elliott, our onboard photographer, showed a short preview of his work on this voyage.

In the evening the Venetian Society Cocktail Party took place in The Theatre, followed by a delicious dinner in The Restaurant, with everyone looking forward to tomorrow and our first day in Canada.