After less than 24 hours on board everyone is bemoaning the loss of contact with the outside world and the onboard internet packages have been studied. Bernie has signed up for 250 minutes (US$0.40/minute). I would like to get Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu published seeing as we consider those two days to be a tour highlight but, after that, we might wait until we have free internet access again.
We were at sea all day today sailing from Valparaiso toward Puerto Montt. Captain PJ (Pieter Jan van Maurik) announced that we were travelling at an average speed of 17-18 knots which is about twice the speed that we cruised around the Northern Aegean last year. I guess the Mediterranean coastline of Turkey and the Northern Aegean Greek Isles is much more compact than the distances that we will be covering this year as we sail around the coastline of South America from Valparaiso to Buenos Aries!
We grabbed a light lunch in the Lido market and then at 2.00pm I decided to check out an onboard Health Seminar: Walking in Comfort with Good Feet. This was being held in the fitness centre on level eight right near the front of the boat. That was interesting in itself because there was a lot of movement in that part of the boat!! Vlad asked us to take our shoes and socks off and then walk back and forth over a plate that produced an imprint of our feet. All very challenging with the pitch and roll of the boat.
Anyhow, Vlad then told us a little bit about himself and his interest in pain management following injuries sustained during sporting activities. Then he asked us how does our pain make us feel? – sore, old, tired, grumpy – and how have we treated our pain in the past? – pain killers, surgery, massage, physio, orthotics. Then he asked us if the treatments we had tried treated the cause of the pain or only the symptom?
He then proceeded to bag most treatments because they weren’t getting to the root cause of the pain. He bagged orthotics because they have to be re-made year after year resulting in a lot of money being invested in pain management rather than a cure. AND THEN HE CUT TO THE CHASE AND WANTED TO SELL US HARD ORTHOTICS THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME!! Needless to say I left the seminar soon after without signing up for orthotics at the special cruise price of US$199. My sister who works in the field has told me that hard orthotics are not the best option for most people so I kept my money in my pocket … and probably won’t get sucked in to attending any more health seminars that are actually just a ruse to part passengers from their hard-earned cash!
At 4.00pm Happy Hour rolled around! Hmn, the deal is that you have to buy two drinks exactly the same on a buy one get the second one for US$1.00 basis. That would work out really well if I drank beer. Then I suggested that Bernie and Meredith could double up on the beer, but Bernie wanted Grolsch and Meredith wanted Amstel Light. In the end we all ordered two drinks so that we could get our $US1.00 drinks! You should have seen our small table with two Grolsch, two Amstel and two Mimosas lined up waiting for us to drink them.
Tonight was our first Gala Attire dinner so we all scrubbed ourselves up, applied make up and put on our glad rags. Bernie has hired a tuxedo though Holland America so I packed a LBD to try to match his sartorial splendour. The whole gang was almost unrecognisable compared with the sunburnt bunch of ragamuffins who were on the Galápagos Islands during the first week!
During dinner the ship’s alarm went off. Captain PJ said that the ship’s first response unit was investigating and he would update us as soon as he knew more. With dinner service proceeding uninterrupted we continued to enjoy our food and wine. Captain PJ returned to the PA to advise us that a fire alarm had gone off in the crew’s galley. The first response team was still investigating and he hoped to have more information for us soon. Eventually Captain PJ assured us that the situation was under control and we could get on with enjoying our evening!
Steps 7,371 (5.73km)