Voyage Journal 7106 Day 18

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Day 18 - March 20, 2011 - At sea

By Claudia Holgate, Climatologist

Co-ordinates: 37º02’S, 04º54’W
Weather: Clear to partly cloudy
Air Temperature: 14C
Pressure: 1021
Wind: 67km/h


Today was our first day at sea after finally landing at Tristan Da Cunha. Everyone has been through an emotional roller coaster, from the highs of rescuing the crew of the MS Oliva to the lows of seeing the oil spill from the wreckage to the highs again of managing to land on the remotest island in the world. No mean feat at all, and an achievement we had to wait two days for the privilege of getting ashore. Thus, today was a day to recharge our batteries and to take stock of the last few days.

This morning’s activities started with my lecture on climate change – the Global Carbon Experiment. This is always a tough lecture to give, as there are many different beliefs about climate change, but it was well attended and the guests asked many excellent questions.

Straight after my lecture, we had “Ready, Steady, Cook” a cook-off between Robin, our Expedition Leader and Markus, our Hotel Director. Our Executive Chef, another Markus, was the MC and referee and two guests were selected as judges. Well, hilarity reigned as Robin was provided with assistance from Raj and Jaime, both ship’s cooks, whereas Markus, who was a pastry chef in a previous life, had to do everything himself! Both chefs were provided with 2 bags of ingredients and had to come up with ideas for dishes, where they used all of the ingredients. It was decided that they had to make 5 courses and had only 35 minutes to prepare everything from scratch. Well, Robin tagged along with his two cooks, who instructed him what to peel and what to stir, while they did the preparation of the other food. Robin did very well at shelling peanuts, half of which he ate or tossed at Markus and his stirring ability was well honed, although apparently his sugar burnt a bit while making a caramel topping for his apple dessert. Markus on the other hand was working hard at preparing his dishes, by himself, and in typical Floyd style, ensured he tasted the wine that he cooked with. The comments flying backwards and forwards were brilliant, and everybody had a fantastic time, with Markus, the chef, proving to be an excellent MC. So the dishes were prepared with 1 second to go, one appetizer, two main courses and two desserts all in 35 minutes (with a break in the middle for some technical power issues)

The two guest judges then sat down to judge the chefs. The criteria were
1. The use of ingredients – on which they tied as they both used all ingredients provided.
2. The presentation – on which Robin won, as his presentation was excellent (with lots of help from Raj).
3. The taste of the food – on which Markus won overall.

Thus, there was a tie and it then came down to the best dish. And, the winner is … Robin, with his main course of cooked salmon with mussels, which Chef Markus promised to make for us for dinner before the end of the cruise.

The afternoon’s activities were slightly delayed due to the cook-off taking longer than scheduled, however, nobody was complaining. This afternoon’s movie was the last episode of “The Last Place on Earth” – Scott and Amundsen’s race to the South Pole, followed immediately by tea and team trivia. Today’s trivia was run by Juan and was a geology team trivia. Well, the high score today was 19 out of 20 correct and the race to be team trivia champions is on, as there are only a few team trivia challenges left.

Without much of a break, we had a lecture by Will, our Ornithologist, on bird migration, which I always find a particularly fascinating topic.

As usual we had a Recap & Briefing at 6:45pm, whereat members of the Expedition Team presented some extra information on what we had seen and done on Tristan da Cunha. Finally, the day starts drawing to a close and we head off to The Restaurant for another exceptional meal, followed by after-dinner drinks and the music of Perry in the Panorama Lounge.

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