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Greetings from the Auckland Islands, south of New Zealand, on our way to Macquarie Island, in the Sub-Antarctic.   I’m starting this in the middle, which seems as reasonable as any other place.  So much has been happing, so quickly, that I just haven’t had an opportunity to write.  Also, circumstances often make it prohibitive.  Like the circumstance where I can’t stand up, never mind walk anywhere to use the wireless connection.  When we aren’t having an adventure, we’re hearing a recap of the previous day’s adventure, or details of tomorrow’s plans, or attending lectures on various interesting things.  There’s a great Expedition Team on board and they have much to teach us. We also have to spend a bit of time eating, drinking, and — dare I admit it?–dancing.  You can easily see why I’m knackered, and why I haven’t had time to write.

Who's Who of Orion Passengers

We are in Expedition Mode at the moment.  If you don’t know what that means, let me tell you that it is an excellent phrase to have in your lexicon.  It simply means that we are operating off the scheduled plan and making it up as we go along.   How handy is that!?

For now, I’ll just post the one article I dashed off yesterday.  Tales–and photos– of fur seals, penguins, and sea lions will have to wait until next time.  I’m not going to try to keep the stories in any sequence.  I’m in Expedition Mode.

Things That Go Bump In the Night

We have a game on board the ship; it’s called “Find the Shoe.”   It’s simple enough to play: you merely lay in bed and listen to things flying around the room and try to guess what things are bouncing or rolling or flying where. Then, the next morning, you get to look for them.

This morning was a particularly fun round.  Everything that wasn’t bolted down had been rearranged.  Amazingly enough, I didn’t get hit in the head even once as things were hurled around the room.  Earlier in the day I had asked Antonio, my cabin steward, to retrieve my bags from his storage locker so I could get out some papers that I thought were in a side pocket.  (turns out they weren’t there.  Silly me, I should have known they would be in one of my gumboots).  Anyway, the cases were still there, and upright when I went to bed.  In the middle of the night I could hear them wheeling around the room—sounded like they were having a grand game of chasey chasey.  I don’t know which one was winning, but I do know which one made the biggest crash when they went face down.

When I lurched into the bathroom a while later I found everything that had been on the vanity was in the sink.  It was like a tossed salad of toiletries.  Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), we’re having swell weather.  In fact, during the night the swells were in the vicinity of 15 metres.  Not quite that big at the moment, but suffice to say, the stabilizers have been deployed.  At one point the ship was at a 23 degree angle.  We’re now heading west, though our destination is actually south of here, but this direction is easier sailing, apparently.  Seems a bit like looking for your contact lens where the light is best rather than where you lost it.  But I confess, I’m just as  glad to be taking the easier way out.  Meanwhile, I’ll let you know what happens.    Now, where has that paper bag gone?                           MM

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