17 October 2019 ~~ Day Six

 We’ve settled into our sea day routine.  This morning was the Mariners Brunch.  Those who have achieved number of days sailed milestones are awarded “medals” by the Captain and other staff members.  And, the three, four, and five star Mariners are treated to champagne, mimosas, bloody Mary’s, orange juice, and appetizers during the ceremony.  We then proceed to the main dining room for a special brunch with more champagne.  At this one, we enjoyed chatting with more Canadians.  Ramona and Roland, who were seated opposite us, were from Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.  It’s an area we’ve visited a few times, so we enjoyed chatting with something else in common.  

The cruise director announced over the PA that a critically ill patient was in need of blood Type O Negative, or A Positive if other passengers could help.  Neither of us have that type, but we were very happy to hear that many passengers responded.  We’d never had that type of request on board before!

I had a little time to write and Hubby had some reading time, nap time, and workout time before Happy Hour.  Today we ended up chatting with Tim and Lynn, from La Mesa, California.  Since we’d lived in that area for many years we had fun getting to know each other and reminiscing about areas we’d all seen develop over the years.  We’ll have to chat more and see if we know someone in common!  While having dinner in the Lido, a solo traveler, Donna from Chicago, sat with us.  She seemed to need to chat, so we listened politely and diverted the conversation when it became apparent we had different political views.  

The scheduled performed was not feeling well, so we enjoyed another show by comedian Tim Kaminski.  This one didn’t involve onstage audience participation, but was equally as good as his previous show.  We were happy to have time to watch a movie before it was bed time.  It’s much easier than it used to be!  On previous cruises we checked out DVD’s from the Front Office.  As the ships have been upgraded, movies are available right from the TV.  There are also three news channels, MSNBC, Fox, and BBC World News.  As well as HGTV, Travel Channel (which seems to be a supernatural-type shows), ESPN, ESPN2, and a channel called Prime One that alternates between news and shows such as “Blue Bloods,” “Fresh Off the Boat,””Modern Family,” and similar shows.  The TV Shows channel has “America’s Test Kitchen”, “Cook’s Country”, and “Ocean Videos”, which are teasers to entice travel. 

We’re enjoying the calmer seas and ready for a gentle sleep.  

16 October 2019 ~~ Day Five

The ocean was definitely active overnight!  The captain announced that we’d had seventy-seven mile per hour winds and six meter seas.  A complex low pressure near Hawaii was affecting us as well.  It was the tail end of the devastating typhoon that hit Japan.  Once things get this rocky. sea sick bags magically appear near each of the elevators.  And, it’s really important to hang on and walk carefully.  

We went to the Lido and did hear quite a few things fall a break.  What a mess for the crew to clean it all up.  I attended the “America’s Test Kitchen” program to learn more about chilies.  I did learn one trick about making jalapeno poppers.  After cutting them in half and scooping out the seeds and membranes, sprinkle them with a little salt and bake them, cut side down,  for five minutes in a five-hundred degree oven to help pull out some of the moisture.  Let them cool slightly, turn them cut side up, fill them, turn the oven down to four-hundred-fifty degrees and bake for nine to eleven minutes.  I’ll have to try them when we get home!

I met Hubby at the World Stage to listen to, Joseph Kess, the speaker talk about “Hawaiian Icons.”  We’ve heard him on at least one other cruise and he’s a very good speaker.  Though we’ve been to the various Hawaiian Islands many times, we actually learned a bit! The tradition of tossing your lei into the ocean to ensure your return is now discouraged.  The last time I did that was nineteen years ago, so I didn’t feel too bad.   As much as we’ve learned about Darwin over the years, we never knew he’d written a book about the, “The Fertilisation of Orchids” in 1862.  

The origin of “Lomi Lomi Salmon”  had never occurred to us, even though we’ve enjoyed eating it many times.  Of course they don’t have salmon in Hawaii.  However, in the 1880’s mainland sailors brought salmon from the Pacific Northwest that was preserved in salt.  The Hawaiians rinsed it thoroughly, massaged it (lomi-lomi means massage) into pieces, added tomatoes, onions, green onions, and made a delicious taste treat!  
Did you know-

  • macadamias aren’t native to Hawaii?  They’re actually from eastern Australia;
  • the Aloha shirt was born from leftover material from making kimono’s?  They grew in popularity thanks to tourists. 
  • the ukulele was brought to Hawaii by the Portuguese?
  • the pineapple was brought from French Guiana? 

You never know when one of these could be the correct answer to a Jeopardy question!

We had dinner in the main dining room and were so thankful we don’t have an assigned table.  We’re not sure we would want to sit with the people we had dinner with.  There were two widows and a couple, all from Canada.  We’ve met LOTS of Canadians who are wonderful, but there’s always an exception, right?  They weren’t particularly unpleasant.  They just weren’t as friendly as others.  

We didn’t finish in time for the first show, so we went to the nine-thirty one.  We met Belinda and Al from Wisconsin and thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them before the show began.  Our cruise director, Christopher, is far better than the one on our last cruise.  He introduced tonight’s performers and we were so glad we were there!  The Alley Cats were fabulous!  Their website says, “With their tight, four-part harmony and delightful antics, these musical comics have been Jay Leno’s opening act for the past seven years. Additionally, they have opened for Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers and have appeared on numerous television shows for NBC, CBS, and PBS. The Alley Cats have performed in concert all over the world alongside iconic groups such as The Coasters, The Drifters, and The Beach Boys. Most notably, they were featured with Jay Black as The Americans on the television special Pop, Rock and Doo-Wop. Proudly, The Alley Cats have had the special honor of entertaining US military troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have had the great privilege of being invited by The President of The United States to perform at The White House.”  Along with the rest of the audience, we were dancing and singing in our seats!  


The ocean calmed considerably and we were ready for a restful night’s sleep. 

15 October 2019 ~~ Day Four

It was a treat to sleep in and have a leisurely time getting ready.  The Lido was serving lunch by the time we made it to the ninth floor.  We were going to need a bit in our tummies before the two o’clock wine tasting.  This event is designed to get you to buy a wine package for the cruise.  The prices are exorbitant, but with the discount that is a perk of being a Five Star Mariner, it’s a bit more reasonable.  I feel bad for the passengers who don’t get the discount.  Years ago bringing your own wine on board was permissible.  We miss those days!

Wine tasting

At any rate, we had a good time.  The Cellar Master was not only knowledgeable, but entertaining as well. And, we had a nice chat with John and Cathy, from British Columbia.  Later, in the Crow’s Nest, we enjoyed meeting Linda and Bill from Ocean Shores, Washington.  We spent a week there a few years ago, so it was nice being familiar with the area.  We were joined by Mike, Dee, and Donna from Marysville, Tennessee.  We spent several days visiting friends there a few years ago too.  It was fun to chat with people from areas we knew.

Tonight’s show was a comedian name Tim Kaminski.  I really think he was one of the absolute best ever.  It’s refreshing to be entertained by someone who can make you laugh hysterically without profanity or politics.  He was a master of audience participation.   We’re glad he’ll be doing another show this week.  He performs on a LOT of cruises, so we were surprised we hadn’t seen him before.  The short clip you can see by clicking on his name will give you an idea of his style.

The ocean was getting a bit rocky as we made our way to our cabin.  We were definitely going to be rocked to sleep tonight!

14 October 2019 ~~ Day Three

Our morning started with room service breakfast, followed by our first “Meet and Greet” for this cruise.  One of the perks of joining the “Cruise Critic Roll Call” is the opportunity to connect with others who will be on your cruise before you even board.  There is usually someone who organizes a get together via this website, often the first full day at sea, that provides the time to meet up and get acquainted.  It’s fun to finally put faces with the names and find out more about what you have in common.  
Though my dear Hubby wasn’t entirely happy being singled out, he did seem to appreciate it when the group sang Happy Birthday to him at my prompt.  And, we enjoyed conversations with quite a few attendees . . . two of whom we have shore excursions booked with. Following a light lunch, we found the area that had board games and played a lively game of cribbage.  

We’ve enjoyed Alan Wright’s programs on two previous cruises, and were delighted to learn he’s presenting again on this one.   Not only is he a retired astronomer from Australia, he’s an amazingly polished speaker who imparts very complex information using  analogies and visuals that make sense. So, at two p.m.  we attended his first lecture.  Appropriate music, such as “Fly Me to the Moon, ” played as we waited for him to begin.  Since we’ll be sailing to the Southern Hemisphere, we look forward to a reminder on the constellations we’ll see, how best to find them, and a refresher on understanding our incredible universe.  

At four p.m, we went to Happy Hour in the Crow’s Nest.  Although we’d been there in the morning we hadn’t really looked around it yet.  We were very happy to see it hadn’t been changed as some have on other Holland American Line (HAL) ships.  It’s always been one of our favorite places to meet new friends, enjoy the view, and get to know staff members.  The last two HAL ships we were on had remodeled the area and removed the seating that invited people to generate conversations, while enjoying the expansive view.  One of the bartender’s, Pete, recognized Hubby from our last Alaskan cruise!  It was a delight to reconnect and catch up with him.  We were thoroughly surprised he remembered us!  

Tonight was a gala evening.  Since it was Hubby’s birthday, I’d made a reservation in the Pinnacle Grille for his special occasion.  The service and food was impeccable, as always.  Though we were disappointed that king crab legs weren’t on the menu.  We both  enjoyed the  Sesame Crusted Tuna Tataki appetizer, the Birthday Boy savored the Seared Jumbo Scallops and my Baked Alaskan Halibut was delicious.  The staff presented Hubby with a decadent chocolate cake and sang to him.    Since he’d ordered the Chocolate Soufflé, they wrapped the cake for him to enjoy later.

Our leisurely dinner wasn’t complete in time for us to make it to the seven-thirty show, so we relaxed in the comfort of our cabin, very happy that we’d gain an hour and have a luscious sleep in.  

13 October 2020 ~~ Day Two

The bed at the Delta Hotel Townplace Suites, a Marriott brand, was just what we needed.  Thank goodness we could sleep in a bit!  Their “Pop Up Cafe” breakfast buffet was better than most and we had a delightful conversation with our server.  I had time to book our flight from Melbourne to Hobart, Tasmania for January, and we were ready to check out and head for the ship.

Our cab driver was surprised and happy with the generous trip . . . he earned it after handling our luggage!  A porter whisked our four bags away on a cart and we headed into the terminal with our carry on.  We proceeded through security screening and could see we weren’t the only ones waiting to go through the boarding process.  We were directed to the Disneyland-type maze to go through customs.  Much like going through customs at the airport, the process was as smooth as it could be when hundreds were in line.  We scanned our passports at a kiosk, had our photo taken, retrieved the automatically printed receipt, and proceeded to the customs officer who took the receipt and waved us through.  

Finally onboard!

We headed to the Five Star check in line and greeted by a friendly Holland America Line staff member, who checked us in, took our photos for our boarding cards, and we were on our way to the gangplank . . .  after stopping for the obligatory photo by the ship’s photographer.   Within minutes we were in our cabin.  On of our cabin stewards arrived and introduced himself.  Soon thereafter our luggage was delivered.  We unpacked and had time to explore the ship and make our way to the three, four, and five star private reception in the Crow’s Nest.  There were so many people, we took our champagne back to our cabin and waited for the mandatory safety drill.  

Leaving Vancouver

The ship had just finished being refurbished yesterday and was moved from dry dock on Vancouver Island overnight.   The crew was doing a great job of meeting everyone’s needs as soon as they could.  Though some things were a little disorganized.  

Following the captain’s announcement about getting underway, we headed to the main dining room for dinner.  We were seated with a couple we chatted with while we waited to be seated (Bill and Sandy), and four women . . . a mother and daughter (Maryann and Ursula)  from Germany, and two ladies from Canada,  who were traveling together (Suzanne and Brenda.)  It turned out that Bill had worked with our good friend Keith in Chilliwack, B.C.  I love small world stories!  

We enjoyed the conversation and delicious dinner.  Feeling totally pampered, but tired, we headed to our cabin to relax.  It’s hard to believe that my Hubby turns eighty-two tomorrow!  We are so blessed to have this special time together.  

12 October 2019 ~~ Day One

After a restless night at the hotel, we had a very nice driver, Mary, to the Eugene Airport.  All went smoothly for our first flight to Seattle, with a couple of hour layover for our next flight.  Seattle to Vancouver is a two drink flight . . . and that’s rushing it. 

Ready for takeoff!

Once we arrived the customs experience was much smoother than our last time through this airport.  A multitude of self serve kiosks were available to scan your passport and ask a few questions before we proceeded to the customs officer who quickly assessed that us old folks were safe.  From there a porter accompanied us to the baggage carousel, retrieved our bags, and delivered us to a very nice taxi driver. 

We were amazed at how much Vancouver has grown since our last visit . . . and the number of cranes contributing to many more high rises.  Our taxi driver, who has been here for twenty-four years from India, was fantastic.  With excellent English, he shared tidbits about the city and the area where we were staying overnight.  The hotel staff was true Marriott quality!  Henry, who checked us in, was a delight. The bellman who delivered our luggage was so adorable and friendly I wanted to take him home!  Krista, at the front desk , provided concise (and easy) directions to a liquor store so we could buy a couple of bottles of wine to take on board for a fun, private wine tasting event. 
The view from our eighteenth floor room at the Delta Hotels Vancouver Downtown Suites was panoramic. And, were very surprised when a staff member delivered a pastry treat welcoming us. I don’t remember ever having that happen before.

The hotel was conveniently located to LOTS of restaurants.  We headed toward one that was recommended by Krista, but diverted to Browns Crafthouse that appealed to Hubby as soon as I started reading the menu.  He was hooked when I said “Maui Poke.”  Fully satiated after a Steel and Oak Dark Lager and the aforementioned poke bowl we waddled back to our hotel to relax.

19 August 2019 ~~Day Twenty-One

Dublin is the capital of, and largest city in, Ireland.  Located on the east coast of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it’s bordered on the south by the Wicklow mountains. Dublin celebrated its ‘official’ millennium’ in 1988, meaning the Irish government recognized 988 as the year in which the city was settled.  It was established as a Viking settlement in the 10th century and, despite a number of attacks by the native Irish, it remained largely under Viking control until the Norman invasion of Ireland was launched from Wales in 1169.

Did you know there are more Irish in America than in Ireland? Thirty-four and a half million Americans list their heritage as either primarily or partially Irish. That number is, incidentally, seven times larger than the population of Ireland itself (4.68 million). Irish is the second-most common ancestry among Americans, falling just behind German.

The greater Dublin area has a population of nearly two million. If dozens of building cranes are an indicator, an economic boom is going on.  Though some traditional industries have declined, tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, Accenture and Pfizer have European headquarters here. 

Guinness has been brewed at the St. James’s Gate Brewery since 1759.    Jamesons Whiskey was distilled in Dublin from 1780, until it moved to County Cork in 1976. The original distillery is now Jameson Experience Visitor Centre and the Irish Whiskey Academy.

Our ship docked at seven a.m.  Since we were in a working port, a shuttle was necessary to get into town.  I was glad we’d gone to the port talk, so we knew we had to buy twenty-dollar roundtrip shuttle tickets.   Although the ship wasn’t leaving until eleven p.m., the last shuttle was at seven p.m.  So, those who didn’t make that one had to take a taxi back. 

I checked on the Hop On, Hop Off tours and the green bus had the best customer reviews.  The ship’s shuttle took us to Merrion Square, where we were able to purchase day tickets from the driver for twenty Euros each, senior price.  And, we could use a credit card that doesn’t incur international fees.  With thirty-two stops on their route, we covered a good portion of what we were interested in seeing. 

Number one on my list was the Book of Kells at Trinity College.  This illuminated text of the four gospels was created in 800 AD by early Christian monks.  It was painstakingly hand lettered and illustrated on velum, which is calf skin prepared for writing.  The skin of over one hundred fifty calves was used to create Ireland’s finest treasure. 

This is not just a text . . . it is an intricate work of calligraphy and art.  The carefully preserved displays are rotated every few months.  No photography is allowed of the actual books. The Library usually displays two of the current four volumes at a time, one showing a major illustration and the other showing typical text pages.   If you can’t get to Dublin, you can view it here: Book of Kells, Digital Collection.  Just the medieval inks they used for coloring their art was amazing. 

It’s hard to imagine how long it must have taken to detail the letter designs.

There were other items to see as well. Seeing “The Long Room” was like going to heaven! This main chamber of the Old Library was built between 1712 and 1732.  Not only is it filled with over 200,000 of the library’s oldest books, it is one of the most impressive libraries in the world. 

I could easily have spent hours here!

We returned to the Hop On/Hop Off bus and went around the route again.  Along the way we went through Phoenix Park, formed as a royal hunting park in the 1660’s.  The English name comes from the Irish fionn uisce meaning “clear water.” It’s touted as the largest enclosed recreational park in any European capital city. Within it’s 1,750 acres is the President’s Official Residence, the Dublin Zoo, the Wellington Testimonial (the largest oblisk in Europe), and a herd of wild deer. The Wellington Testimonial was built to commemorate the victories of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

We passed by the Ha’Penny Bridge (built in 1816) AKA the Liffey Bridge (since 1922), as swans swam underneath. 

All this sightseeing left us a bit parched . . . so we attempted to wet our whistles at The Temple Bar.  It was pretty packed, so we continued on and stopped at Trinity Pub. We had great service and our new favorite beverage, Smithwicks. I have it on good authority, that it’s pronounced “Smitticks.” However you say it, it’s a delicious ale.

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Since we were nearing the end of the time the HO/HO (Hop On/Hop Off) bus continued, we stopped where we had started.  We saw the Oscar Wilde statue, and his home which is now part of American College Dublin.  This flamboyant Irish poet and playwright led a controversial life and died at the young age of 46.

We returned to the ship and enjoyed a fabulous performance by Celtic Storm.  This talented group featured three dancers and the musicians who provide the perfect accompaniment.  The older sister of the dancers is the lead dancer for River Dance. At the end of the show they were rushed off the ship, to return to Belfast, before we could buy their CD. 

We retreated to our cabin ready for rest and time in Belfast tomorrow.

18 August 2019~~ Day Twenty-two

We arrived in Cobh at eight a.m.  Since we had to meet up with others for a tour at eight-thirty, I was up early.  And, I’m so glad!  Entering the harbor, as the sun rose, was exquisite! 

 On a high point in the town stands the cathedral of the diocese of Cloyne, St Colman’s, which is one of the tallest buildings in Ireland.

Legend tells us that one of the first colonists of Ireland was Neimheidh, who landed in Cork Harbour over 1,000 years BC.  He and his followers were said to have been wiped out in a plague, but the Great Island was known in Irish as Oilean Ard Neimheadh because of its association with him. Later it became known as Crich Liathain because of the powerful Uí Liatháin kingdom, who ruled in the area from Late Antiquity into the early 13th century. The island subsequently became known as Oilean Mor An Barra (the Great Island of Barry & Barrymore), after the Barry family who inherited it.

The port city Cobh is pronounced like “cove,” and that’s what it means in the Irish language. The Irish “bh” combination sounds like our “v.” Thus Siobhan in Irish is “Shavon.  From 1849-1920, it was known as Queenstown.   Cobh is home to Ireland’s only dedicated cruise terminal.

The city’s naturally protected harbor made it important as a tactical center for naval military base purposes, especially during the Napoleonic Wars.

We met our tour guide, Michael, and set off through Cobh to the scenic Ring of Kerry.  The lush green countryside reminded us of home in Oregon.  We stopped at various points along the way for photos as Michael provided a running narrative about the area.   

Since we are on the Voyage of the Vikings, a little history seems appropriate. In pre-Christian Ireland, independent kingdoms were presided over by lords in the 300’s- early 400’s CE. In 432 CE, the first missions of St. Patrick were established.  By the late 400’s hundreds of churches had been established.

Viking raids began in 795 CE and continued for two hundred years.  During the ninth and tenth centuries Norse warriors ransacked the countryside, especially the monasteries with their silver relics. As pagans, they had no respect for Christian symbols. The Vikings eventually settled down in the lands they had conquered. By 950, the Vikings had stopped raiding in Ireland and developed instead as traders and settled in the lands around their towns.

We were thankful life is peaceful now and just enjoyed the sights.

We passed by Belvilly Castle, a recently restored medieval fortified tower house. It was used by Sir Walter Raleigh in the early 1580s who described it as “broken down” and had it restored. Its last occupant was Sir Peter Courthorpe, from 1624 to 1650, and by the middle of the 19th century it was being described as a ruin.   The 24 karat gold tree was an addition by the new owners, who reportedly spent two million Euros on the renovation.

Torc Waterfall is just one attraction along the Ring of Kerry. There was an abundance of rhododendrons, just like the ones we have at home.  Sadly, we didn’t seen any leprechauns.  We did however see the Muckross House. Built in 1843, it was presented by William Bowers Bourn and Arthur Rose Vincent to the Irish nation in 1932 and became the first National Park in the Irish Free State. It formed the basis of the present-day Killarney National Park.

We stopped in Killarney for a little tourist shopping and lunch at Murphy’s.  

In Cork we saw the Singer Sewing Machine building with its great mural design.  The upper floors of the building were wrapped in the striking design as part of a city council-commissioned pilot public art project. 

The inspiration for the design was from the old black sewing machines which were once sold from Singer’s Sewing Shop below.  Some of the old machines are still on display in the window of what is today the Singer’s Corner Sewing Centre.

We stopped for a better view of the magnificent cathedral.  A huge event of some sort was being held by the waterfront and people were parked up the hills. 

Once we returned to the pier, we had time to appreciate the waterfront statue commemorating Annie Moore and her brothers. Annie was the first person to be admitted to the United States of America through the new immigration center at Ellis Island, New York on 1 January 1892. Two and half million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950 left from this port. This was also the final port of call of the Titanic before she sailed on her maiden . . . and final voyage.

This turned out to be one of my very favorite ports.  Larry and I both have ancestors from this area, so I hope we can return!  We enjoyed a lovely sail away through the harbor and settled in for the evening with visions of Dublin.

Cruising Prince Christian Sund ~ Day Ten

We were already in Prince Christian Sund (called Sound in the U.S.) when we awoke.  The sun was shining on our verandah making it warm enough to comfortably view the magnificent scenery as we glided through calm water. This sixty-two-mile-long seaway connects the Denmark Strait with the Davis Strait.

Prince Christian Sund (Sound in the U.S.)
Stunning scenery
Like a mirror

Passengers waved from small boats, that came alongside our ship, as we neared a remote village.  This village is only accessible by boat from late July through September. The rest of the year their snowmobiles and the heliport are essential. Their lone road ends after 1.2 miles.

Friendly natives

Hunters go after marine mammals by kayak.  Minke whales, the smallest of the “great whales” can weigh up to twenty-thousand pounds! Though they’re not on the endangered list, the limit here is one-hundred-fifteen per year.  They also hunt Fin whales, which are the second largest species of whale, and can weigh forty to eighty tons. Yikes! Though they are on the endangered list they are hunted and consumed in Greenland and Iceland.  The Inuit (natives) have an exception to hunting the whales and also making seal products.

As we proceeded southeast, we came upon a large iceberg.  Two weeks earlier it was so big a ship had to find another passage.  Thankfully it’s melted some and is now only two-hundred twenty meters by one-hundred twenty meters. That’s about half the size of Windsor Castle.  On the daily reports from the bridge, our captain always mentions our distance from the final resting place of the Titanic.  We’re glad he’s ever watchful for icebergs!

The hole in the bottom of this one is larger than it appears!

Greenland has ten percent of the world’s reserves of fresh water. Eighty percent of Greenland is covered by an ice sheet that extends coast-to-coast. Historically, the ice cap was rather deserted as Greenlanders opted instead to stay on sea ice with access to fertile waters below. With easier access, the Ice Sheet has become a tourist destination for those in search of an ultimate Arctic adventure.

The island is a Danish dependent territory, with limited self-government and its own parliament.  Denmark contributes two-thirds of the island’s budget revenue.  The rest comes primarily from fishing.

The language is Kalaallisut and belongs to the Inuit-Aleut family of languages that is spoken by some fifty-six thousand here.  With unusually pronounced “q’s” it seems difficult to master.  A Greenlandic word can be very long and mean what corresponds to a whole sentence in other languages.  The language is roughly divided into four dialects: South Greenlandic, West Greenlandic, East Greenlandic and the Thule dialect. West Greenlandic is the official language which all children learn in addition to Danish and English.  Locals are always delighted when visitors try to speak at least a few words of their language. To make it easy, you can start by learning the words “hello”, which is called “aluu”, or “goodbye”, which is simply “baaj” – and thus are reminiscent of English.

Our shipboard tour director shared some of these tidbits as we continued sailing past small icebergs and neared three separate glaciers. One was very large and we got pretty close.  We were surrounded by small icebergs that make “chink, chink” sounds as the bow went through.  So that everyone could have a good view, the captain rotated the ship a full three-hundred sixty degrees.

Did you know that small icebergs (that stick up less than one meter above the water) are called “growlers?”  Ha . . . it’s not just a term for a container used to transport draft beer!

Near the exit of the “Sund” a weather station clung to the hillside.  It was hard to imagine how they got all the building materials in place.  A short distance away the hill was dotted with antennae’s, evidently keeping Greenland connected to the world.  

Remote weather stations

This was another gala night, and Larry didn’t feel like getting suited up, so we ate in the Lido.  We finished in time to get great seats for the evening entertainment by “The Knights.”  They sang mostly familiar tunes by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Bono, and Mick Jager.

We retreated to the comfort of our cabin where we lost another hour.  Or, shall I say set our clocks forward again.  Now we’ll wake up six hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Savings time.

Red Bay, Labrador ~ Day Six

Red Bay, Labrador~ Day Six

This fishing village is either named because of its history as a Basque whaling port that was established as early as 1530, and the water running red from whale’s blood, or due to the red granite cliffs.  It’s known as one of the most precious underwater archaeological sites in the Americas because several whaling ships sunk there.  This led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.  The sheltered harbor was used during World War II as a mooring site for naval vessels.

The Beothuk, the original inhabitants, are believed to have arrived as early as AD 1, from Newfoundland. The last known full-blooded indigenous woman was Shanawdithit.  After seeking food and medical help from a British trapper, along with her mother and sister, she worked as a servant for several years for John Peyton, Jr.   Explorer, William Cormack, who founded the Beothuk Institute in 1827, brought her to his center to learn from her. She taught him vocabulary and tribal notions and myths, as well as sharing drawings that illustrated their implements, dwellings, and parts of the island.  She died from tuberculosis in 1829, when she was in her twenties.

An amazing amount of research was done here by Dr. Selma nee Huxley Barkham (cousin of Aldous Huxley).  Widowed at the age of thirty-seven with four children under the age of ten to raise, she eventually conducted remarkable research and documented Basque whaling stations.  I hope there will be a biography of her amazing life.  You can read a bit more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_Barkham.

It was foggy and wet when our ship anchored at eight a.m. and the tenders shuttled people to shore a short time later.  The main attraction was the Visitor Center, with its sixteenth century chalupa-style whaling vessel.

Red Bay, Labrador

Due to the fog our captain soon suspended tendering ashore and the main goal was getting people back on board.

We enjoyed dinner in the dining room and met Marlis and Wayne from the University City area of San Diego by way of Chicago.  We are pretty familiar with the area where they live now, so we enjoyed a lively conversation about San Diego.   This was followed by a fantastic performance by Nestor Santurio.  He was one we’d enjoy seeing again!  Nestor Santurio

We were ready for a sea day and a chance to sleep in!