Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday (2/14/11) – Happy Valentine’s Day at Sea

Monday is the first of two straight days sailing to the Falkland Islands.  The previous night we signed up for a special Valentine luncheon at the specialty restaurant, the S.S. United States.  So, we decided to get up and exercise (both lifted weights on our regular routine and walked about a mile up on deck 11) and not eat any breakfast in anticipation of the five-course lunch with wine pairings.   We listened to two talks, one by a geologist on the geology of South America and Antarctica and the other on two of our four ports – Port Stanley in the Falklands and Ushiaha, on the very southern tip of South America.  Both are very tiny towns with highly unpredictable weather. 
After the talk, we ran across Cecilia and Joe who we had met in the Atlanta airport and also saw at the Recoleta cemetery.  They told us that they were out on their own in San Telmo and went to an early dinner (they had heard that you should not go into that area after dark).  They finished dinner at 4:15 and were walking down a street.  A bunch of locals were walking the other way.  As they passed, Cecilia felt something running down her back.  Next, the same thing happens to Joe.  It turns out that the locals had sprayed something on them.  They feigned trying to help them clean it off (distraction technique) and eventually stole their backpack.  Fortunately neither of them were hurt and they only lost minimal stuff (no wallets, credit cards, or cameras).  Julie had heard about these kinds of attacks before and it happened exactly as she had read.  As Pedro (our Buenos Aries tour guide) had warned, there is an awful lot of crime, even in this case in broad daylight.  It certainly is pretty scary, but had a happy ending.
After hearing that story, we went to the special Valentine lunch.  It was simply amazing.  An excellent set of courses and the wines were paired beautifully.

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