Day 6 |
Nov 02, 2011

At Sea, en route to Isla Plata, Ecuador

By Jarda Versloot, General Naturalist

Co-ordinates:00° 00’ and 83°52’ W
Weather: Overcast and warm
Air Temperature: 28ºC

After advancing the clocks last night before retiring, the alarm seemed to go off just a little too early. After a nice breakfast in The Restaurant it was time for me to start packing away all the snorkeling gear and bringing down all the rubber boots. I can’t believe that we have already had our last snorkeling stop for the season. Before we know it, we will be back in Antarctica again.

Just in time did I get a chance to listen to some of Claire’s lecture, which was entitled: “Tropical Forest Living.” In this lecture she went into more detail about the Spanish of the 1500s to whom the tropical forest was a “green hell” but to the societies that called it home, it was a lush paradise. Claire described her fieldwork living among tropical forest people for two years as well as the logistics of getting to the village, her living arrangements, the food and her work. It was interesting to learn more about history and Claire’s personal experiences.

Not long after Claire had finished her lecture it was time for the Cooking Demonstration in the Panorama Lounge. Our Executive Chef Christian showed us how to marinate salmon the classic way and the Pacific way. Our pastry chef Anacleto demonstrated the preparations of a delicious Kaiserschmarrn.

After that it was time for a quick bite to eat and then I had to prepare for the afternoon’s event. It was my duty to organize and prepare the equator crossing ceremony. This always is a hilarious event where guests and crew who have never crossed the equator by ship before get initiated. The entire Expedition Team joined me at 13h00 to get all their clothing, wigs and make-up organized. Trying to put Assistant Expedition Leader Daniil in a diaper was quite entertaining.

At 14h00 I made the announcement for all Pollywogs and Shellbacks to meet us out on the deck. The Captain blew the horn and that was the start of the ceremony. We had quite a crowd, most of whom had no idea what was to come.

I came dressed up as Davy Jones and after getting permission from the Captain to have King Neptune board the ship, I introduced the pirates, the royal barber, the royal nurse, queen Amphitrite and her baby and last but not least, King Neptune. We were quite a sight!

At least 8 of our guests had to go through the initiation process of having their hair shaved, cold water thrown over them, eggs smashed on them, kissing the queen’s foot, the baby’s belly, the fish and finally hosed down to present themselves clean before King Neptune before they were allowed to cross the equator and enter his realm. All guests took the initiation like good sports and everyone had a good laugh.

After cleaning the deck, scrubbing off all the make-up and packing all the gear away, it was time for Claire’s Team Trivia. She had collected a lot of questions from the expedition staff relating to the area we are sailing through. The competition between the playing teams was fierce and in the end it became a tie between two of the teams.

Then it was up to The Theatre where Robin gave a quick briefing on tomorrow’s activities on Isla Plata. Claudia Holgate then took over with her lecture entitled: “Running Hot and Cold: The Weather and Climate of Central America”. In this lecture I learned that the weather of Central America is dominated by the inter-tropical convergence zone, which leads to hot and wet weather and to an increase in hurricane activity. Cold currents bring in different weather phenomenon, such as La Nina, which affect the climate of the area and the world.

After Claudia’s lecture I went to my room for a quick change to join the Venetian Cocktail party, which was followed by the Venetian Dinner in The Restaurant. I had a wonderful evening with some lovely guests who joined our table. We spoke about previous cruises with Silversea and potential future cruises and destinations we were still hoping to visit one day.

All in all, another great day onboard the Silver Explorer and ready for Ecuador tomorrow.