Today was the first seaday of two, while the ship crossed the Northern part of the North Atlantic Ocean, with an average speed of 15 knots. We were lucky with the weather, as most of the time it rains and blows here. Today it was just overcast with some confused swell rolling about. Confused means that the swell comes from several directions at the same time. In this case I recognized a south Eastern and a North Eastern swell. It made the ship wobble a bit, but nothing much to worry about.
For the guests on board the day was filled with shorex talks, port talks, and lectures about what there will be to seen in Greenland. As Greenland is for about 97% covered with ice, everything that is there to see is located on a narrow strip of land at the shore line. A total of about 40.000 people inhabit the island, of which 10.000 are Danes, as Greenland is still part of the kingdom of Denmark. Capital is Nuuk and there you have the wondrous situation that they have built an apartment building which houses 1% of the total population of Iceland. Just project that idea to a bigger country. You are happily driving down to New York city and while doing so, you see a co-op on the side of the road which houses 1% of the total population of the USAâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.
One thing I have never seen on another cruise ship is the choir rehearsal. Amid the option of doing deck quoits, shuffleboard, ping pong, golf putting, you can sign up for the choir, which will perform on the last day of the cruise. Among retired middle England it is very popular and the choir normally grows to about 40 to 50 people. Compare it with the fact that bingo here does not draw more than about 25 during the snowball, you have an idea about the level of interest.
The ship is not completely full, because of the fact that they had to reduce the numbers on board for safety reasons. Last cruise the ship bumped into another cruise ship while in Geirangerfjord and crushed lifeboat nbr 6. so the number of pax. carried is now reduced until the lifeboat has been repaired and put back on. This meant that for the captains welcome on board cocktail party, there was plenty of room for everybody. With a full house, it tends to get rather cramped.
The senior staff is mostly from Greece, including the captain. The Hotelstaff is an international mixture, with the chief cook being a Chinese from Vietnam, but who is a wizard at making Indian curries, and therefore very popular with the crew. Quite a few of the crew comes from India,the rest from the Philipines and Indonesia.There are also a number of the Ukraine thrown in.Page and moy staff and the entertainment is all British. As matter of fact the crew hosted a party in the crew mess last evening to celebrate Indian Independence day.
I had dinner with the ice pilot, who will take the ship into Prinz Christian Sund (Fjord)tomorrow, zigzagging between the icebergs. The pilot is a retired cruise ship captain who for decades pottered around Greenlands coast with a very small cruise ship taking guests into all sorts of nooks and crannies to see the local wildlife and vegetation. So he was there years before Greenland caught the eye of mainstream tourism.