North Atlantic Ocean

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  • Day6

    Frieren fürs Erlebnis

    September 17, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Heute haben wir das motorisierte Gefährt mal gegen andere Fortbewegungsmittel eingetauscht.

    Früh am Morgen ging es für uns mit einem kleinen Kutter aufs offene Meer. Wir hatten wirklich perfekte Bedingungen, die See war ruhig und es schien die Sonne. Dem Whale-watching stand also nichts im Wege. Nach ca. einer Stunde Fahrt konnten wir bereits den ersten Wal erspähen. Leider haben wir die Info über die Gattung nicht richtig gehört, nach Recherche müssten es aber Buckelwale gewesen sein. Sie sind immer kurz zum Atmen an die Wasseroberfläche gekommen bevor sie wieder für 5-10 Minuten abgetaucht sind um zu fressen. Zum Tauchgang haben sie sich immer mit dem Emporstrecken der Schwanzflosse verabschiedet.
    Andere Meerestiere haben wir heute leider nicht gesehen, haben aber die Info bekommen, dass auch weiße Delfine zu den regelmäßigen Besuchern zählen. Wenn man Glück hat, könnte man an diesem Spot sogar Blauwale und Orca sichten.

    Am Nachmittag sind wir dann zu unserer nächsten Tour aufgebrochen.
    Ein Teil unserer Gruppe wollte sich hier in Island einen Traum erfüllen und mit einem waschechten Isländer ausreiten. Mit einem Pferd, versteht sich hoffentlich. ;-)
    Da waren natürlich alle dabei!

    Also waren wir heute noch ca. 2:30 Std. mit diesen wirklich außergewöhnlichen Tieren unterwegs. Die Einheimischen achten wirklich sehr auf "Ihre" Pferde und das haben wir bereits vor der Anreise zu spüren bekommen. Es ist nicht erlaubt eigene Klamotten, die mit anderen Pferden in Kontakt kamen, mitzubringen, denn diese könnten Bakterien enthalten, die für die Isländer gefährlich sind. Außerdem ist es nicht erlaubt exportierte Pferde oder in anderen Ländern gezüchtete Isländer nach Island zu bringen, deswegen gibt es hier auch keine anderen Rassen. Es gibt ein paar weitere wirklich interessante Fakten über diese Pferdegattung, die Aufzählung würde hier allerdings den Rahmen sprengen.

    Unseren letzten Abend in Húsavík werden wir im "Geosea" verbringen. Künstlich angelegt, aber natürlich aufgeheizt, befinden sich drei Pools an der Küstenklippe Húsavík's, die bis spät am Abend geöffnet haben. Wir wollen uns gerne den Sonnenuntergang, bei ca. 40° im Pool anschauen und dabei ein wenig entspannen. Vielleicht haben wir Glück und sehen am später noch Nordlichter - das wäre dann wirklich ein gelungener Tag!

    Ob das geklappt hat hört ihr dann also morgen!
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  • Day15

    Indian Ocean

    March 30, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Indian Ocean ,Sea Days.

    Here we are sailing on a gentle breeze under blue skies ,in 29o. Perfect.!
    Our days are very full ,in fact yesterday ,hardly a moment to spare. Morning is the Craft group, where simply everything happens, a vibrant group of over 50 women, growing daily. Everything is made from small quilts, to beaded shawls, [beads knitted in I may add]..baby hats for Africa, hats for the Troops ,lovely scarves,and at a request knitted birds nests, for a rescue centre .! We decided a step too far.! Great connections ,already with kindred souls.
    Lecture on Mauritius ,unforgettable we are told ,looks amazing. Lunch Poolside ,offering beef and lobster hamburger, looked delicious..Each day there is a different special treat, today was Bagels, of many kinds, with great selection of fillings.
    A movie of epic proportions First Man,,the story of Neil Armstrong, the astronaut[.Released last year, so you may have already seen it.] Bravery on a huge scale, so many lives lost, but they pressed on, in craft that were so small, helpful that we had visited the Space Centre in Houston, and had looked at the very things. Cumulating in the moon landing, what a gamble it was, in so many ways.The toll on his Family, the story was very thought provoking. Also remembering where I was on that day, with my little class of infants ,listening in ,at Halfmoon Bay School, long ago.
    Charlotte Smith and her lectures continue to enthral ,she is a delight ,and so much to learn ,all of it a beautiful insight to her clothing collection, incredible ,her Grandmother a Quaker.
    Entertainment is very good and varied, a New Zealander Will Martin ,listed, along we went, thinking I have heard of him…WELL, this very young looking boy, ill at ease, came out ,looking like he was going to run away ,then he sang ,he was simply amazing.! From Elton John, Billy Joel to Pop Opera, he has recorded with a European Symphony Orchestra, and had that as his background , at times, played the piano, a professional ,amazing young man ,who wasn’t really so young .A voice like no other, such talent.. He received a standing ovation.! He will do one more show in a few days, we will be waiting.
    Evening World Café ,last night was a Chinese Buffet, beyond compare , such variety ,very good, have to be controlled ,so much that is so good.!
    The Viking way will make it very hard to go to another line ,so much is perfection, they have improved on every aspect of cruising. Its is so peaceful, quiet spaces and cabins, a few rules ,which are maintained in a nice way. All to add to the enjoyment for everyone.
    Toady the bathing suits were unearthed, and out into the sunshine, beside our Aft Infinity Pool , quiet and lovely…along came an elderly Australian man, right beside us, as I enjoyed my book, peeled off the shorts to reveal his ”Budgie Smugglers”, Don’t look Ethel ..springs to mind !! ,why Oh why ,would they wear them…at any age.!!! It was funny…!
    Sam swam in the pool and enjoyed that. The sea around us ,is dark inky blue ,5000 mtrs deep, and not a thing in it, it seems, away out here, our Naturalist is despondent ,the odd mutton bird, earlier days, but now so far from land ,nothing…I think, only us…That will change of course ,as we near Islands teaming with life that is so unique.
    Today our lecture on Madagascar ,was a wonderful insight to what is ahead. Things that are nowhere else on earth..just have to be lucky enough to see them of course.
    Communication from here is not reliable ,and my emails not always received, but I will try this and see what happens. Half way today and it is passing quickly. I hope all the kindness and caring is making a difference in NZ. We love to hear from you all,Love from us, away out here, Faye and Sam
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  • Day22

    Mauritius

    April 6, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Mauritius
    In excess of 30o today , so good time to BLOG…
    Arrival into Mauritius in the early morning, hot and humid, with the jagged volcanic peaks above, green ,very much so, as this side of the Island receives a lot of rain ,the other side ,of beautiful resorts is much dryer. Unforgettable as described in our Port talk, well, not quite what we saw ,but a wonder ,that was so on my list, was up to expectations and beyond.
    An independent nation since 1968,and colonised by many over time, Dutch, French, British, now of Chinese, Indian, Malay descent. Sugar cane its main export and earner in the past, now superseded by Tourism. The Local inhabitants do not like to work the sugar cane, so people from Bangladesh come for that. There are stray dogs, and quite a few, with pups, as it is in many parts of the world..so getting used to that again Not starving, seemed to be resident in the terminal area ,many more dotted around the city and surrounds…
    Rubbish everywhere ,simply how it is..A new waterfront part recently developed ,with modern shops ,a very nice Craft market ,beautiful fabrics, some hand painted, and clever work in bags and clothing ,woodwork of the inlaid kind , so clever ,so our early city walk was interesting .Tall very straight palms, line the streets ,and a few modern buildings, but a lot that is run down ,and very sub standard. China is here, building roads and bridges and much more and possibly a hand in the large Harbour development. Bright and beautiful flowers , huge growth in the climate, so keeping it all under control, is a challenge I’m sure..Fine looking people.
    We didn’t stay too long in the intense humidity, as we had an afternoon tour. Rain often on all day, misty showers, growing heavier by afternoon. We went off to the Pamplemousses Gardens ,seeing the suburbs ,some not good ,but some cared for, the rich dark reddish earth, was cultivated in many places, for small gardens. The sugar cane fields, lush and tidy. The Botanical Gardens were not carefully manicured, but had many kinds of palms, and spice trees of many kinds, bats, huge…but at that time of day not a lot of birds which was disappointing, a few very pretty ,smaller ones.
    Then we saw the Giant Water Lilies, which I had so wanted to see, huge, like big patty pan papers, of all sizes, so beautiful and worth coming for. !Such a highlight, we both loved them ,and further on the Lotus ponds, which were so elegant and lovely, as well…So very special ,and many photos later….!!! A tourist shop for a stop ,and full of cashmere ,in the heat ,unthinkable…Heavy rain ,so back to the comfort of our vessel, umbrellas waiting for us at the bus, bucketing down now, we still got wet, but its so hot, it didn’t matter.
    Those who travelled further afield ,saw some of the nicer parts, but we have to remember, there are far more people in this world ,who live in poverty, than live as we are so fortunate to live.
    A lovely meal and shared our day with several, one, the Financial Officer ,Rosa, from Uruguay ,who entertained us with stories of her Camper van adventures in N Z ,something lovely in every day.!
    This morning the Baby Hats have been set out, photographed ,then boxed ready for 3 destinations . The Captain and Officers came, took many photos, and we had cocktails. There will be a presentation tomorrow in Madagascar, a Church Group is being represented on board, on the huge screen will be our photos…as we will be on tours.
    There has been a collection of clothing and toiletries as well.
    Maputo, Mozambique ,are receiving more hats, and a donation of $50,000,plus linen and things, for their cyclone relief,2 days later, and further on in Durban ,the Hospital will get the rest of the hats…we are still knitting…. It’s a really nice thing to be part of.
    We marvel at technology, still …Cetrece enjoying Stewart Island, and all the Family ,catching cod today, and sending instant pics…! We loved seeing everyone, her weather is perfect.! Bye from us ,heading for Madagascar .
    [Sorry Mum ,not a Postcard to be found in Port Louis yesterday…]
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  • Day40

    San Gimignano

    April 6, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Morning edition- San Gimignano beautiful view from the roadside stop: vineyard, church, and friends. When we arrived we took a stroll to the center of this quaint village. World famous gelato was a great treat, pretty storefronts, excellent meats and cheeses-which we made into an indoor picnic.

  • Day13

    Last day on the Atlantic

    April 25, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Today was our last day on the Atlantic Ocean. We will pass through the Strait is Gibraltar at approximately 11:30 pm tonight. Enjoyed our walk on the deck this morning in warm weather and attested the port talk about Malaga and Cartagena. Looking forward to Spain again. Tom who was our port expert the first time we crossed the Atlantic was brought out of retirement and gives lots of good tips for seeing the ports on your own.

    Attended the cooking class this afternoon before we met Vic and Garry at the jewelry auction. Not many people bought at auction but three items were purchased, two at minimum bid. HAL is getting out of selling jewellery and will rent the space to a third party. I expect they will make more money that way.

    The florist was changing his arrangements this afternoon and we stopped to chat with him. As a result he shared three anthurium each with us since they would go to compost anyway. we appreciate his generosity.

    Dinner this evening was wonderful and the seas gave calmed as we look forward to entering the Mediterranean. Shades of Buble will sing this evening, their last concert on our ship as they are joining the Rotterdam in Malaga tomorrow.
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  • Day135

    Threading the Needle

    May 1, 2015, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    As we have mentioned numerous times, we have had an extremely smooth passage around the world. I feel I can safely say that now that we are heading north through the Caribbean and toward home. We had 4 days of rough seas out of the 134 days we have been sailing and we have only had 2 1/2 days of rain while we were in port.
    There have been a number of cyclones or storms that have occurred just before or after our visits to certain ports. A cyclone developed within 12 hours after we left Tahiti and there was a tremendous storm the day before we sailed into Hong Kong. The seas were quite rough in and out of Sydney, but nothing compared to the 40’ seas that the Carnival cruise ship endured last week waiting outside Sydney for the harbor to reopen after huge seas and the 30” of rain in one day wrecked havoc for all harbor activities.
    A volcano erupted just after we left Guatemala and another just before we arrived in Tonga - the latter eruption created a whole new island!
    There was a hostage situation in Sydney shortly before we got there. The terrible kidnappings and shootings of the students in Kenya happened a couple of days after we left and the social unrest that has led to violence and killings in Durban, South Africa occurred only a few days after we left as well.
    This trip has impressed on us that the world is a continually evolving place in both natural and social arenas. Now that we have visited so many new countries and spoken to people that live there about their lives and daily challenges, it gives a new perspective on the world as a whole. It is interesting to speculate about what has been successful and unsuccessful, the ways that various countries have chosen to handle issues and what the outcome has been. We find the world news fascinating now that we have walked some of the streets where these current events are unfolding.
    In addition to traveling on the ship, we have been on motorboats, a zodiac, a flatboat and a kayak. We’ve taken trains, subways, an air train, a double-decker bus, countless big busses, small buses, mini busses and vans. We’ve been in hired cars that looked like they couldn’t limp around the block much less get us to our destination, taxis that required 10 minutes of price haggling before getting in, tuk-tuks and bicycles. We swam, snorkeled, floated, waded, run and my Vivofit tells me I have walked 675 miles since leaving home on December 19th.
    Will I remember how to cook? Will I remember how to drive - and on which side of the road? 85% of the places we visited drive on the left side of the road. And I shudder to think of how much wine and Proseco I have consumed. We’ve changed time zones 29 times so I’m not really sure what time it is.
    We’ve met many wonderful people on this trip and even though we’ve been on vacation, we feel a bit exhausted and have much more to process. Among mixed emotions of our trip ending, we’ll get off the ship with big smiles on our faces and maybe a tiny tear in our eyes.
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  • Day127

    Devil's Island, French Guiana

    April 23, 2015, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    We anchored off of Devil’s Island and were happy to hear that we could tender in even though the seas were fairly rough.
    Devil’s Island is an infamous French penal colony that was well-known for the horrific conditions in which prisoners were kept, in many cases for quite minor infractions.
    The story (movie and book) Papillon tells a very graphic story of a prisoner who spent time on Devil’s Island and eventually escaped. 72,000 prisoners were imprisoned here over the years and almost all died here, their bodies being cast into the sea.
    We visited on an overcast and windy day - the island had a very ominous feel to it. It is very green and jungle-like with agutis (small animals that look like a cross between a large rat and a squirrel, but stand on long skinny legs) and monkeys everywhere. The prison was actually in operation until the 1950’s before word got out about how bad the conditions were and it was eventually abandoned.
    Devil’s Island is an archipelago of 3 small islands surrounded by very rough, shark-infested waters. This is what made escape from the island virtually impossible.
    The first photo is Jeff as "Papillon".
    The second photo is an agate.
    The third photo is a local monkey.
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  • Day134

    At sea

    April 30, 2015, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Apartheid was a system of segregation and discrimination used by South African Afrikaners of Dutch decent until the early 1990s when it was abolished. The South African government carefully divided the population into black, colored and white designations, even using guides for hair curliness or skin shading to make these assignments. The blacks had the lowest rank with no voting rights. Coloreds were those of Asian, Indian or mixed descent and were one step above blacks in socio-political ranking. Even though blacks were by far the majority of the population, they were restricted to living in less than 20% of the total land area of South Africa, an ironic situation for these original inhabitants.

    As the country developed, blacks in rural areas migrated to cities where there were jobs. Large portions of the cities, termed districts, gradually began to be integrated with their own music, artistic cultures and economies. Integration was antithesis to the concept of apartheid so bulldozers were brought in to level these districts during the 70s and 80s, forcing the residents into designated areas outside the cities called townships.

    The townships were hastily constructed dense collections of buildings with inadequate water or sewage infrastructure. The government built some block houses in the townships but shanties filled the spaces between the government houses to accommodate the many people forced to live there. The location of the townships outside the cities led to blacks spending high percentages of their income on transportation to city jobs and aggravated the poverty and income disparity.

    The apartheid policy had even more sinister societal goals. Certain areas of the townships had designated housing for single male workers from rural areas. Their wives were allowed to visit only one night per month and a significant charge was levied for this one night stay by the government. However, girlfriends were allowed unrestricted access to the male residences and there was no charge for their visits. The goal of this scheme was to actively break down the family and social structures of the rural blacks.

    The resulting escalating internal social unrest as well as economic pressure from the rest of the world lead SA President F.W. de Klerk to negotiate a peaceful transition to democracy with Nelson Mandela and others in the early 1990s. Mandela had been in harsh prison conditions for 27 years and we had the opportunity to visit Robben Island where he was held for 18 of those years. Our tour was led by a former inmate who described the cruelty they experienced. The political prisoners were treated particularly aggressively because, unlike common criminals, they were a real threat to the government so the leadership wanted to “break” them. It was therefore remarkable that Mandela promoted a future of national harmony, inclusion and forgiveness without revenge. For example, we were surprised to learn that some of the former prison guards also work for the Robben Island tourist site and they are now friends with the former inmates.

    The national Truth and Reconciliation Commissions brought previous apartheid practices into the open for the country to address. Many townships and racial disparities remain, as do several of the razed districts, but the population appears to be surprisingly integrated. Even with setbacks in the process, we were impressed with how the people we talked with faced down the horrible past and were actively working toward a more integrated and accepting future.
    The first photo is District 6 in Cape Town.
    The second photo is a Cape Town Township.
    The third photo is East London razor wire.
    The fourth photo is East London Township
    The fifth photo shows the inadequate garbage collection.
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  • Day2

    Glücklich!

    September 12, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Wir sitzen im Flieger und warten auf den Abflug. Die kommenden 8 Std geben somit ein bisschen Raum, sich ein paar Gedanken über folgende Fragen zu machen: was erhoffen wir uns eig von unserer kleinen Reise? 🤔 Haben wir Erwartungen? Wobei ich diese ja prinzipiell versuche zu vermeiden. Können vieles kaputt machen. Aber manchmal lassen sie sich ja nicht umgehen. Für Puml verkörpert die Reise viele kleine Herausforderungen, die viele Möglichkeiten liefert über sich selbst hinaus zu wachsen.

    Eben gab's unser delikates 3-Gänge-Menü. Von einem Foto davon sehen wir allerdings ab, der Plastikverschleiß war nicht schön anzusehen. Aber was soll die Beschwerde, wir befinden uns auf einem Flug, dessen CO2-Fußabdruck uns direkt in die Hölle statt nach NYC bringen könnte. Ja, ich trug vorher schon einen schwer gefüllten ökologischen Rucksack mit mir rum. Und ja, ich schäme mich dafür😌
    Mir ist auch bewusst, dass ich mein Bedürfnis nach Abwechslung, Abenteuer, Unabhängigkeit und Freiheit zu einseitig betone. Mama durfte das beim Kauf ihres GPS Trackers nochmal intensiv zu spüren bekommen (was mir leid tut, womöglich hab ich zu überreagiert 🙄😇😘). Aber vllt. ist eine Langzeitreise ja auch das beste Mittel, um zu lernen, dass Konstanz, Routine und Beständigkeit auch ihr gutes haben und gewisse Notwendigkeiten & Einschränkungen unvermeidlich sind im Leben. Schließlich hat Fernweh auch Heimat zur Voraussetzung und vllt hilft sie mir darüber klar zu werden was Heimat eigtl für mich bedeutet. Sie mehr zu schätzen, statt immer nur weg zu wollen und dass es schon Kleinigkeiten sein können - wie ein pünktlicher Bus, deutsches Brot oder gar vernünftiges Hochdeutsch 😅 - die es zu vermissen lohnt. Vllt ist das meine Erwartung: weniger getrieben fühlen. 😌 "Die Reise zu sich selbst führt einmal um die Welt" sagt man doch schließlich. 😁

    Aber gut, der Exkurs sei hiermit beendet. Zündet die Räucherstäbchen an - jetzt folgt ganz viel Emotionalität! Denn nichts desto trotz ging mit dem Abheben des Fliegers um 15:57 ein kleiner (sehr großer!) Traum in Erfüllung! Einmal vollkommen frei, unabhängig, ungebunden, spontan sein können, ohne Plan und Ziel. Wobei mir meine Naivität schnell vor Augen geführt wurde und ich mein Verständnis von Freiheit wohl neu überdenken und schon hier Kompromisse eingehen muss.😅 Absolute freiheit gibt es nicht, das ist schon klar. Aber die Welt machts einem auch schwer. Wie bereits erwähnt benötigten wir für die Einreise in die USA ein Weiterreiseticket, weshalb wir uns für ein Ticket nach San Jose, Costa Rica entschieden haben (bitte bekomm kein Herzkammerflattern Mama, es ist sicherste Land Mittelamerikas & Impfungen sind abgedeckt. Und Finger weg von der Seite des auswärtigen Amts☝️wenns danach ginge, dürfte man auch nicht nach Österreich reisen. Zumal noch nichts fest steht. 😉). Da dort aber ein Bekannter von Puml wohnt, erschien uns das am sinnvollsten. Jedenfalls werden wir uns auch dort zu gegebener Zeit um ein Weiterreiseticket kümmern müssen. Schon wieder ein Art von Einschränkung, die mich aufgeregt hat. Ich will nicht wissen müssen, wo ich in 2 Monaten hin möchte. Aber das sind heutzutage die Notwendigkeiten des Lebens, die ich nicht ändern kann und lernen muss zu akzeptieren. Daher ist es jetzt halt so. 🤷‍♀️😌😁

    Dass ich nachm Studium nochmal bisschen durch die Welt reisen wollte, hab ich ja schon immer erzählt. Aber selbst als wir uns im Mai zu der Reise entschlossen oder im Juli den Flug nach NY gebucht haben - selbst in Amsterdam noch - fühlte es sich so surreal an. Auch die Vorfreude kam erst sehr spät. Genaugenommen am Tag der Abfahrt nach Magdeburg. Die Sorgen und der ganze Stress der letzten Wochen und Monate lagen für mich wie ein Schleier über dem ganzen Trip. Erst jetzt im Flieger, während des Abhebens brachen sämtliche Emotionen über einem ein. 😅 Fassungslosigkeit, Freude, Dankbarkeit. Man kann dieses Gefühl nicht mal annähernd beschreiben, alle Begriffe der Welt würden nicht ausreichen oder dem gerecht werden können, es wäre ein Ringen um Worte. Für eine Erklärung solcher überwältigenden Glücksmomente ist die Sprache einfach unzulänglich. Irgendwie tragisch. Da kann man nur weinen. Deswegen ist es schön einen Menschen dabei zu haben, den man liebt und es mit jemandem teilen & gemeinsam erleben zu können, der einen ganz genau kennt und weiß wie man ist. Ich hab dich so lieb mein Pumlchen. 💕 (PAROLE OLI!✊😂)
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  • Day111

    Die Inseln von Vestamannaeyjar

    August 30, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Schaut aus wie Stone Henge. Ist aber ein Vulkansystem südlich von Reykjavik. 1963 ist hier die Insel Surtsey entstanden. Menschen ist der Aufenthalt verboten. Da Forscher beobachten wollen wie sich das Leben auf einer neuen unbeeinflussten Umgebung Entwickeln wird.

You might also know this place by the following names:

North Atlantic Ocean, Océan Atlantique Nord

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