This ship stops for whales

Yesterday was our first day at sea headed to the Falkland Islands.  We spent the day sleeping in, getting a massage, eating and watching for an elusive whale.  Turns out, the Captain likes whales and will stop the ship and turn it around every time he spots one.  Also, the ship can turn on a dime.  Well, not quite a dime.  More like a racetrack.

Other whale photo’s in no particular order and without commentary:

(I just realized that some of these photo’s may have been from a different whale stop but they can be enjoyed anyway, right?)

We had the Captain’s Gala last night where Buzz and Elaine sat at the Captain’s table.  And the rest of us were entertained by the Russian socialist economist turned capitalist at the table next to us.  Keith taught them how to play Uno later that night and he bought us Champaign to help celebrate his birthday.

Today, we arrived at the Falkland Islands and went to see the Penguins.

We took a motor coach part way and off-roaded in a 4×4 down to the beach.  By the way, the Yellow Ford would not have made it.

Our drivers were Peter and Maggie – local sheep farmers who turn tour drivers when the tourists are in town.  I asked him if it was true that there were more then one 4×4 vehicles per person in the Falkland Islands and he said that not only was it true, but he had 4 and his son had 10.

Of course, as soon as we got there, Mother Nature gave us a warm welcome to the tune of Hail to the Chief Harwoods with accompanying thunder and lightning.  Pleasant penguin viewing so the younger Harwoods went directly to the café for coffee and scones with diddledee jam while the older, more dedicated photographers braved the weather.

Within 15 minutes, it was nothing but blue skies and a ground covered in marble sized hail.  If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it will change.

Keith is a good penguin photographer.

And everything was good – even the part where we got yelled by the wardens for crossing into the penguin’s territory.  We didn’t notice the white flags that were marking the area we were allowed to enter.  But we got some great photos ….

We are really excited about our first penguins but something tells me that they are going to be everywhere.

We had lunch at a local hotel.  Shopped for an hour or so.  I went in every store I saw.  I think it was shopping withdrawal.

We are just about to get back on boat for two days at sea on our way to the South Georgia Islands.  Then it starts to get cold.

We are keeping our finger’s crossed for continued good sailing because the trip before us enjoyed 30 foot swells.

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