We continued cruising through the Fjords and took a few more photos. Unfortunately, the weather did not allow for sharp, clear photos as it was cold, wet, windy and cloudy.
We did a few things around the ship (me with another Bloody Mary and Julieann dancing). It actually turned out that the dance instructor didn’t have her “stuff” together and Julieann corrected her a number of times before being invited to teach the class (didn’t have to ask her twice).
The next morning we made a short stop at Puerto Cahacabuco, Chile, which is located at the head of the Aisne Fjord. Puerto Chacabuco gained importance as the main port of the Aisne region after the great burnings of the Patagonian forests and eruptions of Mount Hudson volcano in 1991 Characterized by several glaciations, the result of Mother Nature’s handiwork has sculpted out shimmering lakes, flowing rivers and the stark windswept beauty of the Andean peaks in Chile’s least populated region. Black Necked Swans and the endangered Giant Condor greeted us as we floated by their habitant. Cascading waterfalls of Riserva Nacional Rio Simpson is a perfect place for ecotourism. We took a two hour taxi tour (in the rain) of the area just to say that we did. Very, very quiet little town with not much going on.
I found their housing construction interesting. It seemed that you either had a one-story ranch home that took up some land or you had a 3-4 story high, skinny home that left a very small footprint. But, the tall skinny homes were “cookie cut” as they all appeared to be exactly the same except for a color change every dozen homes or so. I’d hate to come home a little tipsy from a night at the club unless I was VERY close friends with my neighbors.
Since today is Valentine’s Day, the ship went all out with decorations. I think it was also to get our minds off the number of sick passengers hiding in their rooms. No official count of the “Down & Out” from that damn stomach flu, but the rumors and general observations put the count at around 100. We’ve seen a lot of crew personnel in HazMat suits, masks, etc. doing some serious cleaning to some cabins and floors. The dining/buffet crew is working overtime trying to get ahead of the bug. As mentioned earlier, we cannot come in direct contact with food, dishes, utensils, etc.; the crewmember, wearing latex gloves, must hand or serve everything to us. In addition, every time someone leaves a table, the dishes are immediately cleared and the table AND chairs are completely washed down with disinfectant. Even with all the precautions, we ended up losing our two Chinese “Cabin Stewards” to the bug. We understand that they will be out of action for two days. Two Filipino replacement stewards are now working our rooms. We have to give the ship credit; they are doing their absolute best to control this damn bug. We are washing with soap AND hand sanitizer as often as possible and it seems to be paying off.
The restaurants really out did themselves with all the Valentine cakes and cookies. The boss man of the Buffet line and I have become friends and he has everyone calling me “The Commodore” (because of my hat). He started calling me that on day one and it seems that everyone else has picked up on it. He’s a fun guy with a lot of “dumb” jokes. For example, he complained about not getting much sleep one night because he kept dreaming that he was a muffler. He woke up feeling totally exhausted.
Footnote: Every night we get to see a show on the ship, sometimes put on by the ship’s terrific “permanent” singers and dancers, sometime by someone famous in the region. Most were very good and entertaining and we usually arrived dressed up (a bit), coming directly from the dining room where we always dressed for dinner. The last few nights we found that we could get better seats at the show by arriving early. To do that we could not have dinner in the dining room (they don’t rush for anyone or anything). So instead, we’ve been having a small dinner in the Buffet restaurant and getting the very best seats available at the show. But, we dress a lot more casual for the Buffet than if we had dinner in the dining room. Wouldn’t you know, here it is Valentine’s Day and we have a fantastic, regionally known pianist, Luis Fernando for our show tonight and we have the absolute BEST seats – front row, center. He put on a fantastic show and at one point, he brought up a lady from the audience to play love songs and give Valentine candy to. Yep, dressed in slacks and a “Great Aloha Run” t-shirt was my spouse, Julieann, climbing the steps up to the stage to be serenaded to. Of all the times to dress down…….. And then, after the show, she was insistent on having her photo taken with Luis (can’t take photos during the show), so we do, of course. And who shows up? The “Abbey Lane Beatles” ; four Brazil Beatle “tribute artists” who put on another fantastic show a couple of nights ago, so she “had” to have her photo taken with them swapping hugs and kisses; wearing her classy slacks, t-shirt et al. Just another night for the history books staring the Kavanaghs.