January 29, 2005

2nd Invasion of the Falklands

The forecast given yesterday was way out. There was some sun this morning and the temperature was about 10C. As our trip had been cancelled we decided to get up early and get into Stanley asap. In fact we had tickets 1 & 2 for the tender! We arrived at the Stanley pier at about 8.15 and spent the next four hours on the island. Mandy & Mike - mission accomplished!

This journey was quite emotive and in fact we were pleased that we spent all of our time there. It gave us the opportunity to meet the local people and to learn quite a bit about their lives I know that before editing I have taken over 50 pictures today. We were fortunate to have a lecture yesterday about the Falklands by Andrew Gurr who had been the Deputy Govenor until 5 years ago. He and his wife travelled with us in the tender this morning and were very informative.

Now I can't wait to get home to see the pictures on screen.

Posted by jeff at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Bad Forecast

It is now 1300hrs on Friday and we have just heard that the weather in Stanley at the moment features snow and winds up to 80 miles per hour. The forecast for tomorrow is OK for the morning, but after 1300hrs the winds could exceed those of today. Our tour to Bluff Cove has therefore been cancelled and we only intend to get ashore asap in the morning. If Mike & Mandy read this, I hope they feel guilty - we are only going in to get your book! Not really, as we want to get it ourselves.

The weather on board at the moment if fantastic and it seems wierd that a day away is so bad. We saw our first whale this morning - and no - it was not an overweight American tourist.

Will report on the Falkland adventure when we are back on board and safe.

Posted by jeff at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2005

Back in Argentina

What a great day today! We had a lazy morning and then at 12.15 took a tour into the Northern most part of Patagonia. After visiting a Sea Lion colony we went to a lonely sheep station and saw a demonstration of sheep shearing. During the demo, a Guanaco wandered into the shearing shed, took a good look at us all and then wandered out again. Our guide was a schoolteacher from P Madryn and liked this job as her subject was English and she felt this was the best way to practise.

Lazy day again tomorrow at sea prior to arriving at Port Stanley on Saturday morning.

Posted by jeff at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2005

All at Sea

Ahoy Landlubbers! This is Cap'n J reporting from the high seas. OK - so I was wrong about the fact that we arrive at Puerto Madryn tomorrow not today.

I have come to terms with the fact that these notes will have to be text only, but never mind, I will have fun when I get back editing the picture album.

Last night was a pitch and roll night but all it did for me was rock me to sleep.

Today we have walked 2.2 miles around the deck and then settled for a session reading in the sun. We will take the sun whilst we can.

I have informed the American guests that they have to get our permission to land on the Falklands, but I don't think we can stop them. We are outnumbered by more than 3 to 1.

After P. Madryn we have another full day at sea before arriving in Port Stanley early on Saturday morning.

I will probably report again on Friday pm, so, until then carry on the good work those of you who are still working.

Posted by jeff at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2005

Under Way at Last

It is now Tuesday, and I have only just managed to get online. Frustration continues in that I am now informed that there is no facility to upload pictures via this system. False information in the brochure!

We had great service from Lufthansa from Heathrow to Frankfurt and then on to Buenos Aries yesterday. It is not the fault of Lufthansa that they have to take nearly 14 hours to get to BA.

We only had 4 hours in BA, so we commandeered a taxi to take us to the La Boca district where we took some great pictures of the corrugated iron houses that are painted in the brightest colours. Would you believe it but after having agreed that we would not buy any pictures (We've run out of wall space), Nina bought a painting of the area!

By the time we got on board we were pretty bushed! When we finally got to bed last night, it was some 40 hours since we had slept in a bed!

We sailed last night for Montevideo and about 45 minutes ago we left for Puerto Madryn where we arrive at about 8am tomorrow.

So the we are. I cannot pre-prepare articles on my laptop as I am not allowed to upload any material. I can only write it online so you will all have to excuse any errors that slip through.

The service on board (With the exception of IT) is superb. It is going to be very difficult to restrain myself from eating too much. Nina and I have come to an arrangement that we will keep an eye on each other!

You will have to wait until we get home to see the pictures when I will put an album on the site.

Have a good day everyone, I will keep you up to date from time to time.

Posted by jeff at 06:12 PM | Comments (2)

January 23, 2005

Too Heavy!

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OK, so we are still here! We have packed and both cases are 5Kg overweight. How do you reduce this? If I can't lose 2Kg dieting over the last six months, there is no way I am going to get these cases to do it!

We are off in about an hour, so I will just have to take out a mortgage at the airport.

'Bye Folks.

Posted by jeff at 12:05 PM | Comments (1)

January 22, 2005

We Are Sailing!

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Tomorrow, hopefully, we will be on our way to the South Atlantic via Buenos Aires. I say hopefully because I have been reading about the “Aurora” and her amazing world cruise around the Isle of Wight. I am very unhappy about the press putting another doubt into my mind as to the wisdom of trusting yourself to a boat; or is it a ship? I never know the difference – if any.

We received our final instructions just after Christmas, and I was intrigued to note that we are banned from taking a travelling iron on board. I can only assume that this is to prevent it from fusing the electrical supply. Perhaps that is what happened to the Aurora! This, of course set me off thinking about the consequences of such an action.

Picture the scene: Wife happily doing the ironing – spits on iron to see if it is hot enough – BANG! Fuses blow and the ship grinds to a halt. You know what it is like if the electrical system in your car goes, well; I am anticipating that it is similar on board ship. There we are in the South Atlantic waiting for the AA to arrive. Does he come along on a yellow jet ski with a sidecar? Anyway, he climbs on board and goes into the engine room. You can imagine the shake of the head and the sharp intake of breath. “Dear oh dear – what have we here? Sorry mate, you need a jump start”. Here we go – Free Drinks for all until we get going again. I suppose we will have to wait until another cruise ship gets to us and throws over a couple of jump leads to get us under way again.

I also note from the joining instructions that we are to have three formal nights, and the rest are informal. I think I can cope with formal nights, as I suppose they just go through from 9pm to 9am and allow you unbroken sleep. I am a little confused about informal nights. Is the informality a sudden break at about 3am when you are bombarded with brilliant daylight? Do you have to jump out of bed to jog around the deck before formality is returned allowing you to go back to sleep again? I am really getting confused and worried about this cruising business. It was not made any easier when an uncle of mine who was in the Merchant Navy during the war told me we were going round Cape Horn in the wrong direction, due to the fact that we would be going against the prevailing winds. I wonder if the captain knows this and would not take too unkindly to my suggestion that we turn the ship around and go in reverse around the Horn?

I would feel much happier trekking through the Andes on Terra Firma. I suppose I will have to make do with the Falklands and Goose Green. I just have to console myself with the fact that Nina has been cruising before and as usual she will be able to guide me through the traumas. I will not read any more of the introduction booklet which is obviously not designed for those of a nervous disposition.

There is a live bridge webcam that can be viewed at: - http://www.princess.com/ipix/ships/royal_cam.html

I am also planning to report regularly on our progress, so, watch this space!

Posted by jeff at 01:52 AM | Comments (3)

January 16, 2005

Happy 70th Ron

In my last item I wrote about all the good things that I thought would happen in 2005, well, they have started.

Yesterday we had the 70th birthday party for our dear friend, Ron. It was a great evening and, as always, a pleasure to see Jacky & Ron’s family, many of whom we have not seen for some years. Would you believe it, I forgot to take my camera so have had to rely on Ron’s daughter in law Karen for this one.
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Ron & his Five Grandchildren

Remember Ron; it is threescore years and THEN!

Posted by jeff at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2005

Hello 2005

So here we are; another year has come and gone and we are left pondering as to what lies ahead. We do this every year and twelve months later the chances are that everything we anticipated would happen didn’t but many unexpected events turned up totally unexpectedly. At least reading all that I wrote during the last year has enabled me to smile once again. The only certainty that lies ahead – and can be confirmed by any one who reads my website and the “About Me” page – is that I will reach my “Threescore Year and Ten”. I am assured however by a dear older friend that it is actually “Threescore Year and THEN”.

There were some great times in the early part of 2004, but the last few months were not the greatest, being marred by the ill health suffered by Laurence and the dreadful incident of Nina having had the wrong medication dispensed by the local pharmacist. I know that we all make mistakes in life, but she suffered so much during the four-week period that she was taking the wrong drug. I dread to think what could have happened had she been a weaker and less robust person. Laurence however has made a fantastic recovery, and we all look forward to June when he finally qualifies as a solicitor.

On a brighter note, I am sure that the year is going to be a good one. I have sent my donation to the tsunami disaster fund and trust that it actually does get to those who truly need it. I am also hoping that all the nations of the world step back and realise that if they sent all the money that they normally divert to funding wars, how much happier we would all be.

Later this month we are off on a cruise starting in Buenos Aires travelling to Montevideo and the Falkland Islands, round Cape Horn and visiting the Chilean Fjords on to Valpariso, finally flying home from Santiago. I will be posting a full report on the trip with supporting photographs that I hope will be of some interest to both of my readers. Nina is taking me on another cruise in June to the Norwegian Fjords to celebrate my birthday, so perhaps I might even become addicted to cruising!

In August I am judging the Midland Cairn Terrier Club’s open show and my very good friend Jim Hulbert is coming over from Minnesota to steward for me. Nina and I are quite excited at the prospect of meeting Jim and his wife Sue again. It is amazing to think that it is nearly five years since we met on the Isle of Skye for the SCTC Millennium Championship Show.

Whatever else happens in 2005, I am prepared to bet that even if it is only these events, I am going to enjoy them.

If anyone does read this page; then I hope that you also have a Happy, Healthy and Enjoyable 2005.

Posted by jeff at 01:24 AM | Comments (1)