Day 6 |
Jul 31, 2013

At sea, en route to Scoresby Sound, Greenland

By by Christian Walter, Historian

Co-ordinates: 75° 05’ N, 006° 16’ W (noon position)
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: 2.6° C
Pressure:1010 hPa
Wind: 30 kmh

A day at sea – finally some time to “recover” from all the activities we had during our very successful cruise through the Svalbard archipelago.

7:30 a.m. (Svalbard time) = 6:30 a.m. (Limbo) - Today’s first decision: should I get up? No; not really, as we had changed the ship’s clocks last night. Going westward from Svalbard to Greenland we had gained one hour – and will gain another hour tonight to be on East Greenland’s time! It was another 90 minutes until breakfast would be served.
So far it had been a very smooth ride.

7:30 a.m. (Limbo) – Well, so much for calm seas! The Silver Explorer did indicate that currents and wave-height had changed; nothing to worry about, but this was the first indication that we were slowly approaching the Denmark Strait. Most people fear the Drake Passage between Cape Horn (Chile) and Antarctica; the Denmark Strait can be equally as bad (and worse) in its lower portion between Island and Greenland.

8:10 a.m. – I joined Robin (EL) and Sidey for breakfast. Only a handful of guests were up this “early”, most probably because the Panorama Lounge had been frequented last night knowing there would be no rush to get up for any hike or Zodiac ride. Christian, our Chef, came to our table, and I congratulated him on yesterday’s Octopus-Carpaccio (which I enjoyed as a starter, main meal and dessert, yes, even as dessert). Unfortunately, hopefully not because of me, we would have to wait until Island for more of the same.

10:00 a.m. – Many guests attended “The Weird and Wonderful Robin Aiello” in the Theater. Had they come to see her perform, or was it because she had had “Vegemite” for breakfast? Sorry, I had misread the headline; it was Robin’s talk about the Arctic’s lesser known marine creatures. Was it coincidence that our Chef Christian was going to take the stage with a cooking demonstration after her lecture? Was he to put our theoretical knowledge about marine animals to practice? Aiello did show the super-hero powers of the octopus in the last part of her talk. Stay tuned….

11:30 a.m. – Chef Christian was preparing “Kaiserschmarrn” (Emperor’s follies), a dish both Austrians and Bavarians claim as theirs at a Cooking Demo in the Theater.

12:00 noon - A staff-meeting was held on the bridge, discussing the various options for our Scoresby Sund expedition. Good speed had been made, and we would most probably arrive earlier than scheduled.

12:30 p.m. – Chef Christian was still in his “Lederhosen” (typical leather-trousers used in Bavaria and certain parts of Austria) when he surveyed the Mexican dishes the Restaurant was offering for lunch. At the entrance to the Restaurant Lou was playing “Hotel California”. I had a nice chat with Swiss guests who knew me from former voyages, but had to leave the Restaurant and tempting dishes in time for my “Early (afternoon) Expeditions to the Arctic”.

2:00 p.m. – A good fifty guests had come to the Theater to attend my lecture, and only one fell asleep – I will from now on keep the curtains open during my presentations!

3:00 p.m. – I prepared for my “International Enquirer” presentation for the recap and briefing this evening.

4:15 p.m. – Walking into the Panorama Lounge I could see and smell Kaiserschmarrn being prepared; although I was tempted to have some made without raisins, I stood aside as many of our young travelers were ready to try this Central European treat for their first time.

4:30 p.m. – Uli gave a talk about the “Cold Water Worlds” and his different dives searching for coral in the North Atlantic and coastal waters of Norway.

6:15 p.m. – Having dressed up (Armani shirt and tie) for First Timer’s Cocktail I found that the staff almost outnumbered the guests present in the Theater. Close to 75% of our current guests are members of the Venetian Society (the frequent-travelers of the Silversea fleet). Two Cuba Libres later, Tim had greeted our First Timers and expressed hopes to be able to welcome them into the Venetian Society on their next cruise with Silver Explorer.

6:45 p.m. – With the cocktail finished, it was then time to start ‘Recap and Briefing’. Robin mentioned that the Silver Explorer was doing excellent speed, and would even be faster once we got into the East Greenland current heading south. The weather looked good for the upcoming days, and during tomorrow’s briefing we would hear more about the different activities planned for Scoresby Sund. Eventually it was my turn to present the newest edition of the “International Enquirer”.

7:25 p.m. – An announcement from Robin regarding the strange movement of the Silver Explorer felt during the last minutes of recap: “Ladies and Gentlemen, our first of many ice-bergs is in sight. The captain has changed course for you to see it better…”

7:45 p.m. – A look onto the menu at the entrance to the Restaurant: roasted Emmentaler, monkfish, gnocchi, pheasant, and other delicacies to choose from.

9:00 p.m. – A final walk through the ship revealed: no guests in the Panorama Lounge (it was still too early for after-dinner drinks), a full Restaurant, both captains on the bridge, and the crew area was being prepared for a rock night – usually with Chef Christian as DJ.

9:30 p.m. – Silver Explorer is steaming southwest, getting closer and closer to East Greenland.