We are into our second day at sea. I usually do not post on sea days due to the lack of anything of interest. The last two days though have had several items which I thought some of the readers might be interested in. Before continuing I just wanted to tell you how marvelous the weather and sea has been these past two days. As I write, the Pacific is so calm and smooth virtually the only ripples on the ocean are from the gentle wake caused by the passage of the Prinsendam. The wind is calm and the temperature is in the high 70’s. Absolutely beautiful.
Yesterday afternoon around 3:00 PM the ship began a moderately hard turn to starboard. The captain almost immediately announced the reason over the intercom system. It appeared a small vessel had been spotted which was apparently waving a white flag. Of course this is the international maritime symbol of someone in distress. The Prinsendam was deviating course to see what the problem was and if we could be of help. I think almost everyone onboard immediately thought of pirates and it was some trepidation on our part that we very slowly approached the small boat.
With my camera and telephoto lens I could make out what appeared to be a small fishing boat on which I was able to count seven men.
When they began to power toward the Prinsendam, it was obvious that they were not without power. This did nothing to reassure me. They continued to approach the bow of the ship and I lost sight of them from my veranda. About 15 minutes, during which the Prinsendam had maintained a stationary position, our cruise director announced that the boat was a Peruvian fishing vessel whose fresh water tank had ruptured about two day ago. It just happened we were as far offshore as we were because of the coastal fog. Otherwise, we would never have seen the fishing boat.
Later we learned that the Prinsendam supplied the fishermen with about 40 gallons of water, a case each of bananas, apples and oranges as well as a box of bread. It would take the small boat about 5 days to reach home. We suffered a two hour delay, but hopefully made a great difference to the small crew on the fishing boat. The delay for us of course was easily made up and everyone had something to talk about during dinner!
This morning we were able to take a brief tour through the ship’s galley. This used to be a standard tour on most cruise ships and we had done it before. Apparently, now, this is not frequently offered. Earlier we attended a question and answer session with the chief procurement officer and the head chef. Briefly here are some statistics which were given. Remember these numbers are for the passengers only, not the crew. There are about 750 passengers.
To date, and there are 10 days left on the cruise, we have consumed:
45,000 pounds of red meat
16,000 pounds of poultry
18,162 pounds of fish
5,000 pounds of butter and margarine
83,628 pounds of vegetables and fruits
9,000 pounds of potatoes
16,000 pounds of watermelon
76,000 fresh eggs + eggbeaters
8,000 pounds of cheese
21,141 pounds of rice
28,000 pounds of flour
5,000 gallons of ice-cream
14 ½ tins of 1KG each caviar (31.9 pounds) at $1,980 per pound
Also 10,464 rolls of toilet paper!
Here are some photos of the galley.
Big pots for big meals!
Beverage storage, we were give champagne on the tour.
Bags of carrots in the cooler
I found this sign humors, but it was quite serious. (It’s good to know!)
Just after lunch today, we passed a huge group of dolphins. There must have been a hundred. Here are a few photos.
They were quite fun to watch and you can’t really tell how many there were from the photos, the covered a huge area.
I’m back. We just returned from participating in a “Cabin Crawl” with a group of cruisers from the Cruise Critic Forum. This is basically a tour of different cabins. To make it more interesting and fun, everyone contributed $5 each into a pot. At each room we had “cheap” Chilean wine and cheese. We also drew a single card from a deck and recorded the card. At the end of the crawl, the person with the best hand won 80% of the pot and the worse hand won 20%. In this case all the winnings were donated to an orphanage in Ecuador. One of our fellow “crawlers” is from Ecuador and is returning for the first time in 20 years. She has made arrangements to meet family and visit the orphanage. In addition to the cash, several of us have school supplies and candy which we are sending with her. We had great fun and feel like we maybe did something good as well. What more can you ask for in life?
We are arriving in Ecuador tomorrow and I look forward to getting a Panama hat!