Day 100

Another sea day arrives with a little bounce in the morning and cloudy skies. The upper decks are closed for our safety. By tonight, the waves are smaller, 15 feet, and the wind only 20mph.

This morning’s breakfast had sticky buns (pecan rolls) Pat’s favorite, and that made her day. We heard Terry’s storytelling of “Argentina – A Land of Promise and Broken Dreams.” He repeated pre-history, ancient history, and early explorers stuff we heard before. The settlement of Buenos Aires was first founded by Pedro de Mendoza in 1536. By 1596, all the major cities of today existed in some form under Spanish rule. By 1816, with Europe in disarray after the Napoleonic Wars, Argentina saw an opportunity and declared independence. Leaders came and went with many rebel factions and military juntas, until one leader decided to invite European immigration in the 1880s. Their volume of immigrants was second only to America’s. Prosperity followed and by 1908, it was the seventh wealthiest country in the world. The Great Depression led to a period of military coups. Peron was elected in 1946, but his policies turned sour in 1950s and he resigned in 1956. A time of state terrorism followed where 30,000 people disappeared. When things are going bad in a country, they go to war. The military invaded the Falkland Islands in 1983 and British forces overwhelmed them. Leaders since have been charged with corruption and the current one is trying to deal with rapid inflation and debt. He finished with several pictures of key sites in Buenos Aires.

Don Walsh spoke on his dive in the Trieste, a bathyscaph, in 1960. He went into a short history of underwater exploration. The first bathyscaph was created in 1930, followed by several other models by France and Italy in the 1950s. The Trieste was sold by Italy to the Navy in 1958. They asked for volunteers and Don was the only one. He thinks his submarine command experience helped. After two years and 20 test dives off Guam, they were ready, Don and his co-pilot Jean Piccard of France. On January 23, 1960, they descended 36,000+ feet in 9 hours and remained on the bottom of the Marianas trench for 30 minutes. President Eisenhauer greeted them at the White House later. Don spoke on the short history of the Trieste after he left the program in 1962 and on other more recent submersible designs by France, Japan, Russia and China. He also consulted and participated on the dive expedition with Dr. Cameron of Woods Hole in 2012, who repeated his dive in the Challenger. The Trieste is currently in Sydney and will be on permanent display this summer. His final statement was that unmanned submersibles are the future, with the advancement of technology and robotics.

For lunch, we decided to try something new, make our own root beer float. We got tall glasses from the pool bar, some scoops of our favorite ice cream flavors from ice cream bar, and mixed the concoction with a can of root beer from our suite’s fridge. It felt nice being a little crazy. We enjoyed these on the pool deck with a hot dog. We think some other people were jealous. We may see more of these popping-up in the days ahead.

Pat and I went to a martini making demo and she sampled three types. We learned how to make Alabama, chocolate, and margarita martinis and I took the pictures, before I ran off to a ping-pong date. I played for over an hour with Art, Harris and two new comers. Pat was scheduled to follow the martini time with a South American wine tasting. (I got to taste 2 Maalbecs from Argentin and a cabernet and carmenere from Chile) I wasn’t there to take a picture of this, so I gave her my phone to take her picture, but she conveniently forgot. (I took some pictures of slides about the wines and their respective grapes). We met back in our suite and ventured to mensa and Trivia and actually won with one of the lowest scores ever, 8 out of 15.

We tried to get a sunset picture, but it was not good with rain clouds moving across the sun at just the wrong moment.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner tonight with our friends Roger and Inka, who split their land times between homes in Philadelphia and Spain. Roger is one of our trivia teammates.

Vocalist Colleen Williamson performed another terrific variety of songs tonight. She sang “These Boots are made for Walking,” “Don’t Rain on my Parade,” some Judy Garland melodies, a Puccini opera selection, tunes from Kiss Me Kate, and others I can’t quite remember now. They all were fantastic!

We turn our clocks back another hour tonight. We will be a mere two hours ahead of east coast time.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac