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February 7, 2012 – We turn west across the Pacific

February 7, 2012 – We turn west across the Pacific

Day 33

Even though we are skirting the main portion of the storm to our south, we are still feeling the force of it. It is humbling to contemplate the force of wind and water, and particularly when you are at sea and can see it and feel it. Don’t get me wrong, there is no sense of danger, but when a ship which probably weighs about 80,000 tons gets bounced around, it gets your attention. The captain advised us this morning that even though the storm has dissipated the swells will stick around for a while, and this proved so, as the seas calmed throughout the day so that by dinner time it was smooth sailing.

I think I mentioned that these long cruises have lecture programs on board and they are planned to coincide with our journey. In Buenos Aires, a team of lecturers focused on the South Atlantic and Antarctica got on board and we enjoyed lectures on the Falkland War, early polar explorers, current Antarctic studies, wildlife, icebergs, and icebreakers. There were five persons in the team of lecturers, all with splendid credentials, they debarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and headed home. Apparently they go back and forth between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia from December through January, giving lectures on Holland America ships.

As we head across the South Pacific, J. Revell Carr boarded the ship in Punta Arenas, Chile. He is an historian and author, specializing in maritime explorations of the period from Columbus to the 1800s. He is the author of All Brave Sailors, and Seeds of Discontent, is a former president and director of Mystic Seaport, America’s leading maritime museum, he was also president of the Council of American Maritime Museums and the International Congress of Maritime Museums.

His first lectures were on explorers around the time of, and including Magellan. It is very interesting to learn the background motivations, whether political, religious, economic, of these explorations, and who sent them.

3 thoughts on “February 7, 2012 – We turn west across the Pacific

  • I can’t wait to hear about Easter Island! Have you already been there and are holding out?? I read Jared Diamond’s book Collapse. It had a whole section on the Easter Islands. Curious to get your impressions and learn what the story on the ground is!

    • I just posted it yesterday. It is a fascinating place. It is hard to get real research from tour guides, but my guess is that they over populated the island, inter-tribal struggles left them weakened (along the way they knocked down each others Moai) and slavers from South America took most of them off the island, including the chief. An “appointed” chief sold the island, excepting the one village to a sheep raising operation. The remaining people were contained in the village until some reforms were began in the last 30 years. They are still struggling to regain their island, but are definetely on the rebound with the help of the Chilean government. The undeveloped former “sheep ranch” comprising 95% of the island is very pristine and much of it has been turned into National Park.

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