February 15, 2006
Antarctic Cruise Day 10
The Plan: A day at sea on our way to Montevideo, Uruguay.
With no landings scheduled for today, the time for rumors and complaints had come. Apparently, a lot of the passengers who paid full price for their tickets began complaining about the backpackers, to the point of starting a petition against the tour company. Some of the complaints were about passengers breaking the dress code and behaving rudely, but I didn't see any of it. The only time there was an official a dress code other than "no shorts inside at night" was during formal night, where people wore fancy dresses and tuxedos. The backpacker crowd avoided that night, so the complaint had no merit. As far as rude behavior is concerned, I haven't seen any of it. A few people have gotten drunk, but only within the confines of the bar late at night, and even then, they weren't loud when walking around the ship.
The real complaint was about money. Even though most passengers had no problem forking over big bucks when they signed up for the cruise a year ago, they suddenly became offended that young people who happened to be in the right place at the right time could go on the same ship as them for thousands of dollars less. The number of complainers was probably small, but there voices were heard loudly. I really don't understand their complaints. I signed up for the cruise at the last minute and waited around Ushuaia for over a week before leaving. I don't have much money, but I do have plenty of time, which was my leverage. If you have money but no time, then you couldn't afford to wait around for a good deal to pop up anyway, so why bother complaining about others who could?
Today was rather relaxing compared to the previous days on the trip. The weather had gotten much warmer, and people started hanging out on the deck in much greater numbers and with much less winter clothing. The entire atmosphere of the cruise changed overnight. The main purpose had been to learn about Antarctica and the Falklands, but today it turned into basking in the sun and having fun.
Wildlife & Nature Photography Around The World with Rich Kirchner -- Rich is a professional freelance nature photographer. He showed us around eighty of his favorite pictures from around the world. He also gave us some pointers on composing a photograph properly. It was interesting that he has never sold his favorite picture, yet another picture of his continues to sell over and over.
Preserving Icons of Antarctica with David Harrowfield -- This lecture talked about the techniques used to preserve some of the historical sites on Antarctica from the expeditions of Scott, Shackleton, and other pioneers. Sadly, some of these sites will cost too much money to preserve and will likely fall apart within the next fifty years. David also read some interesting diary entries from Scott and Shackleton that didn't appear in any of the books published about them.