Day 101

Woke up to smooth seas, sunshine, and temperatures in the low 70s. It will be a nice day. Today was Pat’s special waffle, fruit, and “whipped cream” breakfast. Lorenzo asked yesterday if she wanted a waffle today so he would have the whipped cream ready, since it is made downstairs in the main galley.

Terry spoke today on something close to his British heart, the Falkland Islands. There has been almost 200 years of contention for these islands between Argentina and Britain. The British have been there since 1833 when they arrived and resettled its 23 inhabitants on the mainland in Argentina. With continuing disputes, the U.N. passed a Resolution in 1965 requesting a diplomatic solution. After 17 years of war with words, Argentina invaded the islands on April 2,1982. Two days later, Britain dispatched a sub and two ships from Southampton, and others from around the world would assemble at Ascension Island and leave on April 18 with 43 Navy ships, 22 supply ships, and 62 merchant marine vessels. On  April 26, South Georgia Island was retaken quickly. A last minute diplomatic effort was tried, with the idea of landlocked Peru governing the islands. That didn’t go over well. May 1 began a month-long period of fighting with ships on both sides being sunk and missiles damaging others. The QE2 sailed from England with ground troops and by May 26, 4,000 troops landed on the west island and Argentine troops surrendered two days later. Britain spent two weeks moving toward Port Stanley and received Argentine surrender on June 14. The 11,500 prisoners were shipped back to Argentina, but not to Bueno Aires because the government didn’t want to attract attention. Eventually, the military junta collapsed and democratic elections occurred. The war lasted 74 days. There were 255 British killed, 649 Argentinians and 2 civilians. Today, the British military presence outnumbers the residents. Recently, oil has been discovered off shore and this may increase interest again. Self-determination of the residents was the focus of Britain’s efforts. A recent vote had 99.8% approving of British oversight.

Don Walsh had a different approach today. He tried his first ever attempt at just telling stories and yarns from his experiences as a Navy sub commander, Pentagon sub specialist, movie consultant, adviser to many countries on ocean matters, and as an expert lecturer on cruise ships. He called this idea, “Sea Stories.” He covered about 30 short tales, which all had some humor and interesting peoples and places.

The noontime games consisted of the 31 card game and I came away with some points. After a leisurely lunch and discussion with our table companions, Trish and Jeff, Pat went to card making and I went to ping-pong to meet Art and Harris. We played several games and the same two from yesterday, Dave, a 28 year-old from Monterey and Gabriel, from Brazil, showed up. They warmed up with Art and Harris, but Gabriel wanted to play me again after losing in overtime to me yesterday. We played two games and he had a bad day.

Pat and I met at the 3:15 deck game and did not place in Top Toss. Mensa was successful but our team finished out of the scoring in Trivia.

There was another Seven Seas top tier cocktail party tonight. We decided to go only because the singers and dancers were doing a South America themed program. They sang 4 or 5 songs about Rio and Buenos Aires, while the dancers gracefully performed the tango and a few other dances in costume. This made the cocktail party entertaining.

We had a nice dinner with Scott and Audrey from Washington. We each shared some travel stories, but they have been to more exotic spots than we have. They have spent more than 6 months in total touring Iceland, and another 5 weeks touring Greenland with National Geographic and Quark expeditions. They are a very fascinating couple.

Vocalist Nick Page returned for his second performance this evening. He did a great job with “Impossible Dream,” “Unchained Melody,” and a medley from Phantom and some other musicals. He has a powerful tenor voice.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac