Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Steaming" toward the Falklands - and the air is balmy and tropical

1:35 am, ship time, the moon in the southern sky, at S 34 degrees, 34.877 minutes, and W 58 degree, 21.868 minutes.  We're aboard ship and we're making our way south to the Falklands.  I'm keeping track of the latitude and longitude so we can compare where Shackleton and other explorers traveled.  We  are having lectures in the morning aboard ship from experts on the ports, the animals, the weather, and the withering ice.  Before we boarded, we toured Buenos Aires in a bus so big it banged trees and branches hanging down in the most quaint sections of town ( a town of 3 million people).  You feel their Plaza de Mayo outside the orange presidential palace, is like Lafayetter Park outside the White House.  As it's late, I was struck with the art that abounds, murals, bas reliefs, statutes, often hard working folk, especially in the Boca section.  You see rick thickly bodied figures, makes you think of Goya in his dark period, you know, not his court paintings.  Expressive and dramatic works.  Everywhere there are the tangled swining legs of the tango and the music.  you can have cappuccino to a tango.  or lunch or dinner or a drink.  Don't get me wrong, there's a poverty that hurts your soul here, hand made cinder block buildings with corrogated metal roofs, painting in aquamarine and purple, poor and hungry people, and not that far from some of the best restaurants in the world.  But I've got to wrap this up.  There's an elan on board that everyone is engaged in a novel undertaking, only a few have ever been or recently thought to go to Antarctica, and perhaps it's because soon you may not be able to go.  That's it for today.  Will write more manana.  JPF

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