Monday, February 04, 2008

life on the ocean wave ...

The Navimag is a very strange boat indeed; it's almost as though it can't decide whether it is a cargo ship or a ferry. I couldn't either.

Once the 200 or so passengers had boarded the upper decks in various categories of berths; A, AA or C (why no B?), the next 5 hours were spent loading shipping containers and cargo of all descriptions before sailing at 5am the next morning as we were safely tucked up in our bunks.

Anyone travelling in Cabin 101 (most definitely C category, but suprisingly comfy) will appreciate the irony of that last comment. Just before 3am that first night and before we were even moving, I somehow managed to pitch headfirst out of my top bunk and land my head on the lower rung of the ladder opposite. I have a rather fetching 2-inch long scab across the top of my head to prove it.

Our four night journey took us the length of the Chilean Fijords amid untamed islands that in the first 48 hours of our journey yielded just one settlement, our only official "stop" of the journey as we transferred a handful of passengers into a motor launch that came to meet us.

When we weren't sharpening our card skills in the bar (with its refreshing BYO drinks policy) there were opportunities on deck to spot dolphins, whales, glaciers and volcanoes. And lots of fog, about 24 hours worth in total I reckon.

On the final evening the crew provided us with the opportunity to enjoy Famous Patagonian Bingo in the bar. Not heard of it? Basically it's like normal Bingo, but instead of "winners" receiving a prize you are required to make an idiot of yourself dancing in front of the whole bar. We abstained.

The prospect of getting packed ready and breakfasted for an 8am disembarkation had most of us scurrying to our bunks for a relatively early finish, although after a relatively quiet spell our old pal Enda was up to his usual tricks. Last sighted in the bar at 4.30am. Or 1pm this afternoon. Redecorating the baños at a service station as we made a brief stop en-route to our next destination of Pucon. Some things never change.

As I prepared my luggage this morning I heard that most unexpected of maritme sounds, the distinct sound of cows mooing, accompanied by a faint whiff of silage permeating through our cabin. Closer inspection from the outside deck revealed a herd of cows poking their noses out from the deck below.

At least I know what C class stands for now.


I bet the Editor of Conde Naste doesn't have to put up with this sort of thing.

I've just updated the beer league with the latest from Chile.

Quantity rather than quality seems to be order of the day. In fact if I wasn't doing just that then I'd be tempted to say "nothing to write home about".

No comments: