Saturday 23 December 2017

Silver Explorer, Day 6 - A phallus and some shags. So to speak.

With thanks to Silversea for hosting this cruise
Today’s excitement was Shag Rocks – which were, er, some rocks covered in nesting shags. They were fairly striking to look at, if a touch phallic, there were indeed masses of shags all over them, and the smell of their guano added another dimension, but that was it. There were some other birds too, albatrosses and giant petrels, prions and gulls; some people saw fur seals in the water; and I myself saw two distant blows from a whale of some sort, but… that was it.
It’s been a lovely day, though, nice and sunny and the sea very reasonable; although distinctly parkier when hanging around outside and I’ve broken out my gloves and beanie already. Didn't stop someone from wallowing in the jacuzzi, though.
The entertainment has been interior today: a description by Irish Luke of what fisheries research officers do (counting krill in fish stomachs seemed to be a big part of it); then a cooking demonstration by our German chef Pia – green chicken curry with tips on getting the maximum juice out of limes and how to avoid chomping down on a leathery bit of lemongrass – and then a talk from Australian Lea about seals, promising us fur seals and elephant seals tomorrow, the former cute to look at but likely to attack if we’re not careful. Er, good to know.
Then, for those who wanted it, there were more photography tips and a Christmas cocktail demonstration; followed by
a lecture about Ernest Shackleton, who’s unavoidable in this bit of the world - though not quite the hero that Kenneth Branagh would have us believe. The Captain, actually, made a good case for Frank Wild to claim that title. Then Lea came back to enthuse (unnecessarily) about King penguins, which we'll see en masse tomorrow, yay. And finally we had the briefing, describing the several onshore options tomorrow.
Then it was dinner - with the Persian/US couple again, plus some Swiss - during which all the curtains were drawn to prevent bird strike during the evening. Not in the morning, because the sun will rise tomorrow, get this, at 2.52am! 

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