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Christmas on Europa

Well……. It was 4 days late but…. Nonetheless we had a fantastic meal (how do they produce such great food all the time?) served with panache at tables with tablecloths, place settings, wine sommelier etc. etc.….. Thank you so much to the crew for all you do on top of what I perceive as your normal duties! We were asked to dress up for the meal which nonplussed many of us but some people came up trumps – Nick in his naval uniform jacket, various people who had purloined tinsel off the Christmas tree which has mysteriously moved onto the main deck and some who even sported skirts… mainly the females.

Starter – Salmon with avocado and salad

Main – Roast Lamb with ratatouille and potato

Dessert – Passion fruit ice cream, cream and passion fruit coulis

Wine – “Benjamin” Malbec from Argentina

Post dinner entertainment – Philomene on guitar

We had just had our first landings on Antarctica on Barrientos Island, part of the Aitcho archipelago within South Shetlands – 4 species of seal (Elephant, Crabeater, Weddell, Leopard) plus our first experience of penguin colonies: sound, smell and sight – Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins not only entertaining us by the side of the ship diving and feeding but also delivering the fruits of their labours to the nest where there might be a chick waiting or at least a hungry incubator. That’s if the ever present Skua didn’t manage to interfere. The sheer size of the male Elephant seals dwarfed their harem of females all of them in full moult.

For many of us we had ticked so many boxes in the last 24 hours – whales, wheeling birds, penguins, seals and icebergs – if it all came to an end now, we would have had the experience of a lifetime.

We are told that every landing from now on only gets better so if today is at the bottom of the league then roll on the next 10 days….

Thank you to all the crew and Happy New Year

Written by:
Myles Ripley | Voyage crew

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