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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 29: 1:40AM: NOW I can test something else: how to combine two pieces of files, since THIS disk, which is good at 720K, doesn't contain the files I put on the 1.44Meg disk, which I assume I can read IN here, and then store onto THIS disk (however, sadly, I LOST the first part of the file when I reformatted, not losing very MUCH, but losing it nonetheless). Disastrous return from Susan's: leave about 12:10AM and wait for the downtown local which PASSES Chambers Street because the LIGHTS WERE OUT! The conductor has no idea how long it's been dark, and he can only say that if we want the downtown #2, we'll have to go back up to 14th Street! Wait a long time at South Ferry for the schedule to turn around, then go back up, STOPPED at the UPTOWN side of Chambers Street, though it's true that the lights are off at the downtown side, so continue to 14th Street, get off, cross over, and sit on a bench for a bit until the wind just gets TOO cold to bear, and stand with my back against a column until the downtown express arrives just after 1AM! Down to Chambers, slow, and though the platform is VAGUELY visible in the dimness, and people are standing at the doors waiting to exit, the announcement comes that the train will be bypassing that station and the next stop will be Park Place, where those who wanted to get off at Chambers would have to wait for the uptown express to take them back one stop. And then we continue to Clark Street, and try not to shiver on the way home, even though it's only 28 degrees, but it sure FEELS colder than that in the wind. Had gotten about a dozen 720K double-density diskettes from Susan, and am NOW pleased to find that the recharging of the computer batteries DOES work, and I can type blithely away, using up 3% of the memory, and finish now at 1:50AM, hoping my bed is warmed up, and will save THIS to disk at the PROPER density.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1: 6:50PM: So MUCH going on! Get Springer-Verlag check at last, the trip-reading from Pope, pick up laundry (where they charge 65ยข for a HANDKERCHIEF), and phone MEI to find they'll have to MAIL me my $350 refund-check, and want to charge $50-60 EACH for the bus from Tilbury docks to Heathrow Airport! I call Don as he's talking to Ann Alix, and he says bluntly, "She's a bitch; she won't come down to $800, but I think I'll pay the $1000 anyway." Then we talk about the car rental, and he finds that the closest (seeming) rental is in Romford, which is WELL on the way toward WANSTEAD. But he has to call them at midnight California time to get them at 9AM Saturday morning THERE, so I should call him when I get up tomorrow. Just learned how to reformat---this isn't a bad machine! Keep trying to phone Suzie, just about the last thing left to do, since it's now too late to try to vacuum, which I'd wanted to do earlier before the day got complicated.

SATURDAY, MARCH 2: Keep packing, FINALLY finish vacuuming, and end up the day knowing that my duffel bag weighs about 50 pounds! Eating quite early, but keep working and get out for the Times about 8:30PM, happy to find it there so early, and get chicken and walnuts from Fortune Cookie and eat that, feeling curiously distant from the fact that I'll be traveling so far TOMORROW. Do the first word of the doublecrostic, and then decide to keep it for the plane, and read the rest of the Times by about midnight, take a sleeping pill, and get to bed.

SUNDAY, MARCH 3: Wake about 7:30, feeling pretty good, have breakfast, phone John to find he doesn't want milk or yogurt, but Dennis does, so I go down there about noon, chatting with him before leaving, and then John DOES say that he'll let me use his phone number for forwarded calls. Phone for the car at 2:45, but since Aerolineas Argentina said that I had only to be TWO hours before the 7PM flight, and the car service said it would only take 45 minutes to get there, I accepted it at 4:15, figuring I had even MORE time, so I had lunch and brushed my teeth and watched the last bit of the round-the-world-alone program and started filling up the shoulder bag. Recorded the phone message, and was getting the last bit of stuff into the bag when the car-service rang and got my message! Stuff the rest into the shoulder bag, barely able to close it, and dash down to the car to write the following note: Still rushing! packing since 5PM yesterday and STILL not DOP kit packed when car phoned at 4:13PM. Down at 4:19 and away at 4:22, to the LIE! Traffic ALL the way! But GET to the airport at 5PM, greeted, into SHORT line ($1.50 for no-use CART), and 30 are on flight list! "Good group," she says, and "You're boarding at 6PM!" Duffle bag weighs 46# and the shoulder bag 25# on the airport scales, for a total of 71 pounds. UGH! "Mr. Lindsay will be your guide," she says. Through check at 5:15, NO gate announced yet. $16.95 for Southern Comfort, WAITING For it at 5:55PM. Get it and push IT and my sweater into stuffed shoulder bag, taking about five minutes to close it! SWEAT at 6:05PM! EVERYONE talks about freighter trips! At 6:23 there's no sign of loading, but we board at 6:30 and move out at 7:10. Simon Winchester sits next to me and is besieged by woman sitting in from of him (Diane Mew), and dinner of chicken is pretty awful, though tuna salad appetizer isn't bad. I take a Rohypnol at 10:45 and then pills and Buspar at 11:30 but can't really get comfortable because the seat is too far from the wall of the plane. We leave the coast quickly, and Puerto Rico isn't visible when announced. Clouds above and below plane. Outward burning circles of fire, reflections of full moon glinting in narrow streams typify the South American jungle. Village and town lights below, and other planes' lights.

MONDAY, MARCH 4: At 1:05AM we're halfway there! General haze, a moonrise, some bumps. Land at 8AM, OUTSIDE city, NO views. Off plane at 8:20AM, rear; long immigration wait til 8:40. Get bag immediately, and cart, and woman says "Bus 50," which I can't find, then it's around to left. Board at 8:55 with lots of old people, cool in bus but 72 degrees in Buenos Aires. Leave at 9:30AM on bus. Through bustling city with some great nude athletes in a park of statuary that I hope to pass again, and get to elegant Hotel Presidente. Get an orientation talk from the city-guide, told of tours this afternoon, and I'm up to my SUITE to unpack a bit, and think to try my transformer in the outlet and it's TOO NARROW! Ask at the desk and get told to try across the street and buy another for $10, determined to return the old one. One peso = One dollar. Then I join the walking tour, nice parks, some sexy guys, some interesting plateresque architecture, and get told to have lunch in Big Ben. Join three old ladies, and when another joins the manager pulls up another table. I try the Mambrado(?), which isn't great, and an orange juice, then back to the room and down for the 2:15 El Tigre trip EARLY, but it leaves early, going on the bus to about 10 different hotels, then to the train, where we stop at a pleasant mall, bit I don't feel like buying anything, then to the catamaran for the brown canals. Gone are the VERY elegant and VERY poor properties, and undeveloped sections, that I remember from 30 years ago: it's all very middle class now, but maybe I'm just tired. VERY handsome young man with a sexy blue-eyed balding determined-looking gay man, but on the boat I stay to myself away from the other tourists, taking my own videos in the shade. Back to the hotel about 6:15, and wander looking for a MacDonald's or other fast-food place, not wanting to wait until 9:30PM for fancy dining places to open, and around the corner find a bistro where I have jamon crudo and a 3/4 liter of beer for about $7.50, perfectly good, and exhausted to my room at 7:40PM to take sleeping pills and get into bed and fall asleep.

TUESDAY, MARCH 5: I'm already awake when the recorded alarm goes at 3:30AM. (From little notepad): 3:40AM: BACK seems to have been OUT yesterday and today. Hope it STOPS. 3:50AM: LAST check, and find I forgot the DOP kit! Check out (fee $2 for lock) at 4, and in for GOOD buffet breakfast: tea, yogurt, OJ, croissants, GOOD toast, butter and jam. Out at 4 to check bags, and onto bus at 4:45, still dark but WELL-rested and NICELY-fed. AGAIN cautions about ROBBERY of group (TOTALLY dark city to local airport at 5:10, told to go RIGHT to gate, SHE cares for 50 bags for 38 or so people. KEEPING asking to "Be stowed away in luggage" and "For a present, a million dollars," so she'll get no tip from me! Board lists flight AR1616 at Gate 3 at 6:24AM: STAGGERED leavings: 6:18, 6:21, 6:24, 6:33, 6:35, so there's no WAITING for EIGHT planes to take off at the same EXACT time! Seems like there's more men than women on the trip. Mariet (?) now says we CHANGE planes in Rio Gallegos! THAT'S why the flight takes 4:45? Eyes TIRED when I try to read "Old Curiosity Shop" (OC), and I close them at 5:38AM. Airport FILLING by 5:50AM. Flights announced, ours at 6AM. Into GREAT seat 15A at 6:08AM. (Left seat front of wing versus good RIGHT 26J seat in BACK of wing yesterday). Plane is LOADED at 6:10AM. Tear out map (I stashed mine AWAY!) of the flight when it's still PITCH dark out. NOTHING like writing INSTANT notes! 3:05 hour flight, 31,000 feet, TO Ushuaia. Pull out at 6:25AM, SLIGHTLY lighter blue light, and OFF at 6:33, INTO SUNRISE! Talk to Sheila and Seymour (who used to work for Con Ed in Pelham!) and TINY breakfast ends at 7:30, as does flat, unpopulated coastline. Wait in line for john to shit for first time in two days? Crowded (first plane of 190) about 150-seat plane. Gallegos is pronounced Gah-YEG-ohs. Seymour moved into the only empty right-hand window seat, and he TOO hoped for a sight of the Andes. My "check-in" friend (Armand Forte) was design consultant for the military "long ago retired." Over LAND again at 7:50AM, but STILL tired from sleepless flight, at least no partying COLLEGE kids on this flight. Rear exit REALLY ends the corridor in a box. MOST of us had suites in Hotel Presidente last night. Smoking in rear HERE, too. Still land below at 7:55AM. LAST flight before London flight home! By 8:35AM EVERYTHING is under clouds, and flight IS 3:05 long, so only an HOUR to GO at 8:38! At 9:20, sadly, STILL clouds on the way down, so NO sights. Then FANTASTIC mountains and bumps landing at 9:40AM, on a strip jutting into the Beagle Channel with Ushuaia visible across the bay. We flew THROUGH the backdrop mountains, circled to the left over Beagle Channel, and landed to board three busses to "Terminal" with about 120 other tourists and FLEETS of taxis and a few backpackers (and I forget BREAKFAST pills!) Dramatic, steep, snow-salted peaks, totally overcast, about 12 degrees Centigrade. Lots of dusty cars, and the lowest shelf of clouds moves fast. I think the blue-bottomed boat is ours (driver expecting 34 passengers and maybe got more?), and I'm starting to feel UNREAL, and hungry after two tiny finger sandwiches, one croissant, but GOOD dolce de leche, like soft caramel. Some CUTE guys on plane. SEXY Buenos Aires men, I forgot to say. Bus goes at 10:10. The double-peaked hill in Indian is Olivaya: Harpoon-Point, but in English it's Olivier. Five-point peak WAS Five Brothers, now Five Kids. Average 1000 meters in height. At 10:40 TO ship (take photos and panorama) and get told the ship isn't ready yet. Susan says "FOUR HOURS late, Freddy will take us to Tierra del Fuego National Park and return at 3:30. Passports collected at 10:50. At 10:58 we stop for SHOPPING at a main intersection in Ushuaia, and I buy $2.65 in stamps, get town-map, and back to Hotel Albatross to piss, and on bus at 11:52AM. at 12:05 two are still missing, so we leave without them at 12:06. Top building is 4-star La Glaciere, next is 5-star (NAMETOCOME). Long drive from town past clouded hillsides, getting out to see beaver dams, and then it starts to rain, and I buy $2 beer to take Buspar and two Bonine before boarding boat, and at 1:20 I go to quiet bus to READ to get away from noise in chalet-restaurant. See ducks after seeing male woodpecker on low tree, which is a rare sighting. To 2:15PM. Another panorama: end of Route 3 that starts in Alaska---and rabbits! To 3PM, we'll NEVER get back, STILL raining. Boat at 3:40PM, pass room 304 FIRST, and Dancy appears NOT to be here. Bill Davis at 5:18 is the leader; we're on Boris Petrov, 1984 Russian Research ship, ice-class hull, all-Russian crew. Keeps saying 52 days, but we have only 48. Again, only 34 people. Seven staff plus 27 crew SAME as passengers. Lecturers: Bob Lindsay, from DC, an underwater man; Graham Bell, birds; Andy Wenzel, whales and rorquals; Ian Shaw hotel manager, and Simon counted as crew here? And Katie? Breakfast and 8AM, lunch at noon, dinner at 8. Kevin Beal, from Canada, is the cook. 48-hour laundry. Bridge is 34 on phone in case of emergency. Dinner TONIGHT at 9. One long bell: dress warmly and go to dining room. Seven short and one long: abandon ship! Briefing over at 5:56PM. I find men's john, just two for all? Ask for a transformer PLUG. Rearrange stuff. Out at 6:15 to deck: school of inch-long fish. Climb four stairways to sit on TOP at 7PM, and it starts to rain. Professor Khromov is from Vladivostok, Professor Multanovskiy from St. Petersburg, and Petrov from Kaliningrad. Took notes on the flights and some of the tours in Buenos Aires, and the trip to Ushuaia, various tours there before we boarded the ship, though it was too dark to bother (and not very interesting, visually, either) photographing the Krumov hauling up its gangplank and sailing away in a rainstorm (though I was sad that I wasn't catching the dramatic effect of the wind, brightly illuminated by uplighting from the deck, whipping rain off the life-raft covers. Then the Multinovskiy clumsily unmoored from OUR side, backing away only to have the foredeck railings almost crash into the side of the Petrov, coming back to try to realign, being blown by the wind to various sides, and then finally taking off just as we were called down to dinner. That was served about 9:10PM (oh, forgot to mention the SEVERE hunger that prompted me to order a half-and-half (half sweet vermouth, half dry) from the barmaid so that I'd have an excuse to scarf down handsful of lovely potato chips), cafeteria style, after having a rather skimpily-dressed salad, with a tall black chef adding a shapely "egg" of mashed potatoes to the side of a back-leg combination generously selected for me by a Spanish-looking chef, and then putting on a few sliced carrots. Simon suggested we share a bottle of wine: he'd buy it tonight, I'd buy it tomorrow night, and I agreed. He got something like "Pinot Pot" which I tasted and "jokingly" said it might be bad, but he tasted the dry, acidic, tannic fluid and pronounced it rather good for $15. So we had that, ending with a very scanty serving of a checkerboard-square of flan, a chocolate-covered mint that he had some name for, and a dollop of whipped cream. The leader announced that we should come on-deck to watch OURSELVES being cast off, but hardly anyone moved, but then I DID join Simon on deck to see what appeared to be the dock moving away from US (as we had appeared to be moving away from the Krumov, rather than vice-versa, even with "its attendant dock" (which is an awkward way of saying that we AND the dock seemed to be moving away from the Krumov when the Krumov left us), and as WE appeared to be moving away from the Multanovskiy, rather than vice versa. We were sorry not to be able to see the Beagle Channel through which we sailed that night, nor to catch sight of Puerto William, on Navarino, the southernmost TOWN, which only appeared on a map on the dining room wall this morning. But I did go out later to see the full moon shining down over the vanishing lights of Ushuaia and the calm waters of the Channel. I went to bed directly at 10:30 and had no trouble falling asleep, though I had to wake about 2:30AM to piss.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6: Woke fairly early, feeling surprisingly good, and went onto the deck to see the last remnants of the continent to my right as I looked off the back of the ship, and the last island to the east of the continent to my left. Giant petrels, rather plain grayish birds, soared in our wake and so perfectly rode the wind that they hovered just feet off the railings on our right for minutes at a time. Breakfast at 8AM started with corn flakes in milk, followed by artificial-tasting (oh, yes, added a rather nice peach yogurt last night, too) scrambled eggs and badly burned bacon from which they'd neglected to cut the rinds. Up onto the top deck, above the bridge, for Graham and his bird-talk, and I quickly found the best place to stand was between the stairway and a four-leafed net against the wall out of the wind, and when the fellow who'd been so crude as to monopolize it BEFORE left, then I proceeded to monopolize it. Spotted a number of black-browned albatrosses, among the smallest of the genus (reviewing that the species [black-browed] could not fertilely interbreed [they might produce sterile mutant offspring] with other species of the genus "Albatross" [whatever that technical term might be]) with a six-foot wingspan, and a single Royal Albatross (one of the largest, or maybe even, by a few inches, THE largest albatross) with wingspans up to 14 feet. Many shearwaters, too. 11:07AM: NOT the happiest person here (feel SICK!)! At least at last I got a tiny insert that I could add to my wall-plug, so that I could add my new transformer (as opposed to the old, too-narrow, transformer, which might just possibly fit into the TOP plug). THEN I began to feel slightly ill, so that lunch of that same awful vegetable, now in soup with chicken that I didn't find at the bottom of the pot, and cheese tortellini was left unfinished as I rushed to the room, mouth filling with nauseating saliva, to lie down and groan, happy at last that I did NOT throw up, though coming rather close to it. 5PM: Simon on Falklands: "My experience in the Falklands began in Simla, in 1982, where I was writing about shortcomings of fire brigades putting out massive fires with hand pumps." Borges said: "Falklands War is like two bald men fighting over a comb." 6PM: And then I felt the gorge rising and had to lie down again! So to take up where I left off: and added to THAT the power unit for this PWP, which, when I put the whole shebang into the plug, promptly overweighed the poor little plug, which pulled out! Luckily, I noticed the shelf-slat on the shelf above the desk, which had come loose and which I happily jammed in against the bottom of the shelf so that it could hold in envelopes of various papers, safeguarding them against rolling off---so I took THAT slat and wedged it between the blanket on which I'm sitting, and the SEAT on which the blanket on which I'm sitting is sitting, and the wire-attachment boss on the bottom of the PWP power unit. Then Simon, in his talk at 5PM, made me happy by "referring to the large number of people who seemed to be slightly ill today," so at least I'm not the ONLY one. THEN found that I'd not brought the CONNECTING wires between the ship's VCR and my camcorder, so at the end of the Zodiac-introduction, I asked if I could ask, and the Walter-Huston-type said that HE had the wires that I could borrow, and it DID work, except the first time I unwittingly showed it in the PAL system, which played it in black and white, but Simon suggested the NTSC-430, or whatever higher number, would probably work best. Ugh, now at 6:32PM, good times writing, I feel slightly nauseous again, so I'll stop this and put the line back to work recharging the battery for tomorrow's landings! Dinner of rather tough and (for me) rather underdone Salisbury Steak, though for others it was quite overdone. The food isn't AWFUL, but it's certainly not very good. I begged out of getting a bottle of wine with Simon, but I did have one glass with him and Diane helped him finish. Afterwards the Bird Guy gave a slide-illustrated talk on the endless number of birds on the islands, and I asked the barmaid if I could have a copy of the day's schedule on the door, and she said "But wasn't one slipped under your door this morning?" I said it wasn't, and she continued to insist that it should have been. I think this is a pattern of hers: SAY it's going to be some way, and then don't bother to do anything about making it HAPPEN that way. Got back and brushed my teeth for the first time since Sunday, and they REALLY needed them, and then felt so energized that I went BACK to her and asked if I couldn't possibly have some soap, and she said "One minute," and came back with a little bar! Things ARE coming together. Really MUST take a shower tomorrow! Then when I'm drifting off to sleep, decide that I really COULD try to buy a set of the "RCA cords" that Don lent me, and said he WOULD allow me to take into town as a sample of what to get, AND an extension that would permit me to put in my plug FLAT on the desk so I wouldn't have to prop up the unwieldy shebang. Then just before going to sleep, under the door came a PASSENGER LIST, which showed that we ARE 34 passengers, and which room everyone's in, including Armand Forte as the ONLY person in the ONLY cabin on the bridge deck. Get into bed about 10:30, confident in having a good night's sleep, but sadly that didn't happen. I kept tossing and turning, trying and trying to get to sleep, but the bed was vibrating so sternly that I almost debated saying, "Look, my cabin bunk must be RIGHT over the flywheel and the vibrations are just TOO much for me." Thinking of them as "Magic Fingers" and thus an ADVANTAGE just didn't work. Got up at 11:55PM to piss again (I seem to be doing a LOT of that, and my new shorts are QUITE yellow in the front, have to change them tomorrow, too), and then the lights in the hallway go ON, so I think it must be close to 7:30 and the announcement for breakfast, but it's only 3:45AM.

THURSDAY, MARCH 7: Finally decide I'm NOT going to get to sleep, so I get up and take a milligram Rohypnol, hoping for 4 hours sleep (at 2:05PM, as I'm typing this, there's a shout of "Dolphins to starboard," so I grab my camera and rush out without a jacket and only wearing my slippers, but don't see anything), but STILL don't quite get a restful sleep before they're shouting in to the PA at 7:30 about breakfast in half an hour. We've stopped alongside Carcass Island, in the northwest corner of the Falklands, and have breakfast. I'm in zodiac 4, so I'm out last, at 9:45AM, but I manage to catch up with everyone in time to see the Magellenic penguins swimming away from one pesky group of tourists and swimming toward ME! I photo lots of them as they swim past and land on the sunward side (pity), until more tourists chase them into the water again. Then back up the hill and join the group setting westward for the gentoos, and they're first sighted at a distance, and Simon can be seen peering down at them from the top of the hill. I take more photos, and then stomp down to the zodiac for a second landing at "The Settlement" where I join everyone in the McGill's living room for fifteen types of little cakes, of which I sample at least 10, and then take more pictures of the night herons, ignoring the unique "striated caracara" that everyone's making such a fuss about. Back to the ship with a Carcass Island helmet shell at 12:30 for a late lunch from 1-1:45, and then there's a pause for some immigration business, so I type a bit to 2:45, and then get dressed and get out onto the SECOND zodiac because there weren't enough people from the third there to fill it, and someone from the first (supposedly last) even joined us at the end. Over to put my rainstuff into a shed, unpack my camera, and decide to hop in the back of the Land Rover which will be driven up the hill. What a great choice! We get to the top effortlessly, I get a good shot of the inside, and of Simon jogging uphill in his shorts, and join Andy in the forefront of photographers of an incredible group of rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatrosses, all intermingled, all permitting very close gatherings of tourists before clattering their beaks in indignant rebuttal of our closeness. I take picture after picture, gasping at the poor little red-eyed rockhopper right IN the path, and everyone leaves but Andy, and he says I should tell him when I leave, and I said I'd figured to be following HIM. Take angle after angle, nest after nest, and then he's gone up the hill and I figure I'd better follow him. Get really most of the way after him WHEN I SLIP ON A ROCK AND DROP MY CAMCORDER INTO A POOL OF WATER!! A nightmare come true! I grapple it out, dripping, ignoring my sodden, dirty pants, and turn it every which way to see water dripping from various orifices. Try to eject the tape, but the time is blinking on and off and nothing works. Try mopping it off with my only clean handkerchief (this is at about 5PM), when Andy pops up and says we should be going. I mournfully confess I've dropped my camcorder and he makes consoling noises which don't help. Get a ride back with the cute helper of Napier, who's just had an appendectomy and has his lungs filling up with fluids, and get into the house to try to fix it, but he doesn't have a hairdryer. Andy phones down to the shore and says I should get right down there for a boat. See one leaving as I approach, and fear the worst, but then there's another with only about 8 people in it and I shout to be waited for. (Actually, they were DESPERATE for people to get into it!) Ask THERE for someone with a hairdryer, and Rose from 401 volunteers. Long time getting to the ship with Bill (?) stopping and fussing with the motor, and then I rip off my clothes (well, rainsuit anyway, the pants of which I hadn't even put on is my haste to jump into the boat) and rush to put on the battery to charge, then up to 401 where she's found her hairdresser and I find the switch to use it at 240V rather than 120V (she didn't think there WAS a switch!), and she says I can have it. So from 5:45 to 8PM I alternately dried the camcorder and tried to test it with the power, and about 7:15 actually mimed weeping "Thank you God" when the wet tape EJECTED: and it WAS wet, and I could now dry THAT separately and hope the camcorder would now work. But I didn't get it finished for dinner, which was a fairly decent loin of pork with apple topping, but awful-tasting (actually DIRT-tasting) scalloped potatoes which I gave to the zodiac driver, and good apple crisp for dessert. OH, lunch was vegetable ratatouille, and dinner started with consomme with some kind of noodles (but wheaten) floating in it. Back to the room to try to get the camcorder to work, but it's actually going rather backward now, but I STILL have hopes. Then decide I MUST take a shower, relocate the room right before the entrance to the dining room, take new and old clothes in (without glasses but with watch), and it's awkward but doable, but Don will LOATHE it! Lots of temporary passengers actually: the wife of someone is joining us tomorrow in Port Stanley and coming only to Grytviken, and they say ONLY Simon is getting off at Ascension, so I don't tell them that it's Olivia who said she's getting off in the Canaries. Buy a bottle of wine at Simon's insistence, after he insisted I pull up a chair at the END of his table, but then the zodiac driver came in and I figured to join HIM, and he was joined by the only cute guy on the boat, the other zodiac driver. Oh, and one landed ended up wet: the Russian tying the zodiac to the landing platform fell in, and Andy jumped in after him! Felt better after my shower, got down to type this entire day's worth of stuff (though there's still material from the beginning to fill in) by 10:50PM, we're now moving out to our next mooring, shouldn't be very long, and everyone talks hopefully about Volunteer Point, but if the wind's in the wrong direction we won't be able to land---like one year they weren't able to land, or even to SEE, Tristan da Cunha! So by now my hair's just about dry, and I'm happy that though the boat is rocking, I feel pretty good typing, and now this ONE file is up to 42% of storage after only 5.5 pages. OH! How I hope the video camera is working tomorrow!

FRIDAY, MARCH 8: Unfortunately I again remain awake over the throbbing of the engines, and then look at my watch at 2:30AM and again about 4:30AM, and then wake at 7:20AM with the memory of an astounding dream-sequence that I get up and dress and record by breakfast at 8AM. Oatmeal (and brown sugar that I'm a bit too early to get) is good, and they have slightly gummy pancakes as a change of pace. Pat Rader had the only perfectly-ripe peach. Leader announces that there's no chance of landing at Volunteer Point, so we'll have more time in Stanley, and I corner Andy to have him say that probably everyone there would know who Mario the electrician was. Here's hoping. My camera had its best moment when it ejected the wet tape, and it's been mostly downhill since then: the date refuses to be other than 91-1-1, and the time stays at 12:00:, though the SECONDS seem to change internally, to be frozen as I try to "set" them. Yesterday, at times, the video-monitor had LIT UP, but not since then. I DO seem to recall that the cassette holder had been "up", but now it's "down" so that I can close the cap, and "eject" will no longer work to open it up to air the insides. I'd thought to keep the electricity on it, to help it along (there HAS been some progress: when TIME is steady, the AREA will NOW cycle through 1-24 for the zones, which it hadn't done before, so SOME of the computer is working: if only I can BYPASS what isn't working and just have the recording and playback mechanisms work, I'd be happy. Of course I'm also considering buying another one! Back to the room about 8:35 to type, filling in more of my passenger-list descriptions, and now that I've caught up at 8:50AM, I can return to transcribing previous notes before 1) copying the DREAM file to another diskette and 2) renaming this NOTE1 and 3) starting NOTE2. Just found that "reformatting" reshapes those odd-ending lines caused by inserts. This really is a neat little machine! Finished with many of the notes (realizing that I'll have to physically MOVE the page-breaks when I've finished catching up, which, at this rate, should be around Madeira) and leave for the "choice and use of binoculars" talk between 9:30 and 10:20AM, sailing toward Port Stanley. Get something called the "light modulation(?) factor) which is the ratio of the diameter over the power, which only gives me 2.5 where he extols something like 7 or 8 as ideal for birding, with a diameter of something like 50 and a power of 7 or 8 as maximum. He also says to PUFF rather than just "fog" the lenses to help clean them. Also, held wrong way round, the MAGNIFY! Then back to write more, and they say we'll be having an orientation on Port Stanley at 11, which just gives me time to pack my stuff into my large bag, including an umbrella, since it might rain. Simon is persuaded by me to make me an additional reservation at the Upland Goose at 7PM, presumably the best on the si island, and we're standing outside chatting about the lack of need for lunch reservations, at about 11:50AM when we were supposed to have been in the first zodiac (the 7 of us who voted to have lunch ashore) at 11:45, when an announcement comes that the wind is so severe that the ship has to be repositioned ("So as not to collide with the oil refinery," observes Simon wryly.) and we'll all be eating ON BOARD. Groans from the 10-12 of the 7 of us who have gathered to go ashore, and we disrobe and I intend to go into the dining room with my wellingtons on, but Katie says we won't be eating for another fifteen minutes, so I go back, change out of wellies, and type this to 12:07PM, this is ENDLESS! Lunch is a rather good fritatta without bacon or ham, with a dessert I've forgotten. Then we're told that the first boat in will leave at 1:30, so I dress again and manage to be the last person on the first boat over. Ask at the information kiosk about Mario, and am given his phone number. She ALSO tells us that they'll accept American dollars at the Post Office. Decide to get that over with first, maybe getting a coin for a telephone call in exchange for some purchase. There's a line at the post office, which only has a few stamps, and she refers someone across the street to the Philatelic Bureau, to which I cross and find I can get about 80 pounds, or about $120 worth of all-different stamps with my Visa card. Ask her about coins for the telephone, and she said the last coin-operated phone went out off service at the post office last year, but that she'd phone for me. Turns out that Mario is on a boat, but his wife gives the name of another fellow who's now on the phone wanting to ask me questions. He's very informative, saying that to purchase the "setup" to treat ONE individual Sony model would cost more than a new recorder, the setup being needed to trace problems thorough components that work and components that don't work while keeping the components operating separately. I thank him very much and ask where I can buy a new camcorder. They suggest Fleetwings and I walk up and down Ross Road a few times (meeting Simon who's had no luck with dinner reservations and tries the Upland Goose to be told, as always, that there's an amazing number of local people making reservations for tonight, and there seems to be nothing more available in town! Also pass Graham, and he says there are three people interested in the penguins on the beach, but that I'd have to join them in 10 minutes, which I can't. Back and forth looking for Fleetwings and find it's INSIDE the large Falkland Islands Company store, where they have a small Samsung that's rather expensive and a 10x Sony that's 899 pounds, which would have come to over $1700 with taxes and conversions. I look at it, wondering whether I should splurge such a large amount of money, in addition to having to pay for the conversion from its PAL format to the US's NTSC format for EACH TAPE, but I keep telling myself to forge ahead while it's possible and then suddenly it becomes IMpossible: they don't accept credit cards, nor do they accept personal checks that aren't for the same company for which I HAVE a credit card. So with all that work in testing it out (and it had a color monitor, which was nice, though dot-grainy, and somewhat nicer controls than my old one, not to mention being lighter, but being made out of plastic might be more fragile and less durable than mine) (though if it'll cost a mint to repair it, I might NOT have a duplicate like Don Fowler, whose wife I talk to on the zodiac back, and SHE gets without my making it explicit that I WOULD like to borrow her spare, but when she looks somewhat bemused I say, "Trusting someone who drops his camera in a pool of water isn't very easy, is it?"), I've gained nothing. Back to Willowbrook or suchlike electronics shop, which doesn't have the kind of converter I want, and then to Homecare (which everyone thought was a nursing home and not worth looking into), where I was so impressed by the neatness and order and quantity of materials that I photographed it when no one was looking. Walked through the rain, but without a place for dinner, clearly it was best to get back to the boat, so I boarded the 4PM zodiac and got back to the ship to have to go around three times, Andy getting pissed at the new Russian who didn't know how to tie the rope to the zodiac, and in the bouncing waves and windy spray we managed to clamber aboard at 4:15PM. Go into the dining room to find Armand chewing on freshly-made chocolate-chip wheat-flour cookies of surpassing goodness, and I have tea and about six cookies as a few others come in to join us, and I find that Rita and Charles Gooding are a wonderful couple, she reminding me of a younger Mrs. Faust, and they're good company until Freda and Ruth join the group, and I ask them the same question I hear asked them twice more than evening: are you sisters? "No," says Freda, "but if you live with someone for 50 years, you pick up many of their mannerisms." And then I drop a few hairpins so that they'll pick up on my many male friends if they're inclined to. That goes on wonderfully to 7:45, when we have dinner til 8:45 of a salad, and a pasta like Linguini Fiorentini (it was Fetuccini Alfredo) whose name I can't think of at the moment, but the most common one, followed by ice cream in which is floated a mint; I try some of the strawberry ice-cream cream in my tea, but it's awful. Then I get out the pill bottles to sort out the next ten day's pills (the movie "Far and Away" with Tom Cruise was not one I wanted to see), and come across the billfold with only $80 in it, and immediately think I've been robbed of some $200! When I start making a list of what I had and what I spent [$29 taxi to airport, $16 for booze, $3 for Argentine stamps in Ushuaia, $7 lunch in BA, $7 dinner in BA, $36 tour in BA, $2 room-safe key-rent, $80 in billfold, $10 transformer in BA, $1.50 for the NYC airport cart, $2 beer in Ushuaia National Park, which leaves me with an "undecideable loss" of $10.18, and when I find that I'd actually had about $175 in my wallet, it turns out that the list tells me that EITHER I've been robbed of all of $20, or I'm completely mistaken. But that takes a bit of time, as does getting out all the pills and counting them out and putting them into the medicine cabinet (might as well start acting as if I DID own the complete cabin, rather than only half of it). That takes til 10:30 and I get into bed at 10:45PM, putting the pad near me so that I can keep track of when I wake and look at my watch all night.

SATURDAY, MARCH 9: At 12:45AM I'm up to check crashing noises from my cabin in the rolling seas, and I THINK I haven't been to sleep yet, but I may have. Then I'm in at 4:55AM to pee, and at 6:05 jot down a dream of waiting two hours for a meal at Boyer Les Crayeurs with Rita, then think I lie awake until I decide to get up at 7:30. Type the dream to 7:50AM by the time they announce breakfast in ten minutes, and I get out to oatmeal, bacon and a soft-boiled egg of too-soft white and too-hard yolk (little brown eggs) with two pieces of toast, and a cup of tea and a glass of orange juice, again rather too much, and get back to my room before I find I haven't taken my pills, so I finally get a glass for my medicine cabinet and take them. They announce the National Geographic 90-minute "Explorers" at 9AM, which goes off for a bit when the ship rolls so much a few passengers fall off their chairs, and then it's cut in the middle of Andy can do his photography talk from 10:20 to 11:25, and I actually learned: 35mm is WIDE angle lens, 220mm is telephoto/narrow angle lens, and magazines now want photos in which the action is BLURRED to give a feeling of activity. But I didn't know: a camera's light-meter AIMS at MIDDLE GRAY, so that a focus on WHITE snow will be TONED DOWN to make the snow look more gray, so you'd want to open the shutter to allow more light for an effectively whiter picture, just as if you were focusing on black lava, you'd want to CLOSE DOWN the shutter to allow less light and ALLOW a black picture that the light-meter would prefer to have in middle gray. INTERESTING! He said that new, expensive cameras have metering PATTERNS that are almost foolproof, allowing one to focus on an average of areas, or on a central portion, or on a tiny pinpoint focus with the rest not taken into lighting account. AND to try a SMALL aperture to heighten the "sun-burst" effect into the sun. Then grab my camera and go up to the bridge to see if it's right for my "Southern Atlantic" shot, but it's not stormy enough. The steersman is talkative, Bill shows me the switch that shows longitude and latitude, and I find that we're doing an average of 15 knots. Down and find "note 1" from the trip to catch up with, and get to lunch of a good club sandwich (except for the exceptionally tough ham) and crisp fries, with (and I have to lie down for sickness, which I have to do again NOW when I'm trying to catch up and can't at 10:45 on Saturday.) --well, I forget with what. Talk and try to write through the day, finally finishing the Times Crossword from Sunday, but it seems that concentrating on the print makes me feel ill. Rest until the start of the second part of "Explorers," from 2:35PM to 3:02PM, and then Bob goes into an agonizedly self-conscious explanation of the Big Bang, planetary accretion, iron cores and convection cells, plate tectonics and ocean-floor spreading, vulcanism and Rift Valleys, describing Tristan as older (farther from the central rift), and Ascension as youngest, nearest the point of formation. Back to try to write, getting some notes transcribed, but go to bed from about 6:30, after sitting chatting around banana bread (with ginger and cinnamon) and butter and tea for a long time, and rest until dinner at 8, where I get invited by Diane to share the wine she's getting for Simon, and they start talking politics while I talk with Joe Smith, who lives in Marin County about an hour north of San Francisco. Take down the daily sheet, put some things in order, and get to sleep at 11PM, minimal tossing and turning.

SUNDAY, MARCH 10: Wake at 3:10AM with a dream, and pee, and then wake around 7:15, so I'm getting better. Lay til 7:40, put notes away and get out to breakfast with the Kahlbaum's, delighted to find that her grandmother was a Leffert whose family lived in Leffert's Homestead! Back at 8:35 after breakfast of yogurt, UNDERCOOKED bacon to contrast with OVERCOOKED bacon of days before (the cook DOES seem to be trying: the duck breast yesterday was not bad, with beets and reddened carrots that only tasted like carrots when we were actually told they were carrots), and a pancake and juice, trying to eat less. Transcribe dreams til 9AM, when they announce a movie, and I forgot my morning PILLS again! Watch first third of "Life in the Deep Freeze" with David Attenborough, then try to get everything typed up, but have to leave at 10:15 for BASIC bird identification with Graham, where someone calls the raisable edges of the tables "fiddles." British "divers" are US "loons." Falcons have POINTED wings, while hawks, buzzards, and eagles have ROUNDED wings. FINGERED wings are fishing eagles and vultures. That ends at 10:55, when I notice a list of 308 countries for the Century Club, and add countries that were not on the xerox, and count that I've been to 112, figure that some here have been to more than 200, and wonder who would have the limit. Type more and tell the cleaner NOT to disturb my blankets on the seat, and he puts a NEW blanket on the TOP bed. Lunch is rather good meat (beef) chili, followed by bilious orange jello with a bit of whipped cream. Then I return for the FINAL reformat of NOTEBOO2, making a map of the pages and dates, and now, seeing that I'm down to 5% of storage remaining, and not wanting to get TOO close to any limits, at 1:10PM on Sunday, March 10, decide to finish off this FIRST full document, figuring I'd also better start an ARCHIVE disk that has ALL the files that I've filled out. So ENDING this on line 11. Starting the SECOND Notebook file, which I'll call NOTEBOK2, now at 1:15PM. So, WHERE AM I NOW? As close as makes no difference, ONE WEEK into the trip! I've CAUGHT UP with all the notes that I'd taken before, updated THIS with Archives #1 and #2, both of which now contain the 96% storage (i.e.: MR 4%) NOTEBOK1, finished the first sheet of my page-list, identified the last of the couples this morning at breakfast, and rejoice in the news that we're about 200 miles from South Georgia, where we'll be taking care of immigration tomorrow morning, putting us an entire day ahead of schedule! Next lecture isn't until 2:30, I don't feel ill, and though I hope Don does NOT join at Madeira since this is NOT his type of boat, I'm not finding it THAT impossible, though I suppose I SHOULD shit and shower this afternoon, going to a 3-day schedule, rather than the smellier 4-day schedule I'd started with. Thank goodness this machine is working OK, sorry my camcorder isn't working, particularly when I see the mating calls of the King Penguins on the program that I would have liked to duplicate on MY tape, but Sheila actually SAID that maybe I should use HER camcorder, since I would obviously do better pictures than SHE would. With the tiniest bit of pressure, I'm sure she WOULD let me---well, not THAT sure, but it IS a fetching idea if my hints to Ann Fowler aren't relayed to her husband, Don. Simon seems to have become my "best friend,"---it WAS nice to see his nodding beckon from the corner when I came to lunch late today. Diane is also a kick to talk with---THAT's it: I'll go find someone to play Wit's End with, which I'll do now at 1:30PM! But after I sort out the cards (having searched to find no directions anywhere in the vicinity) to get clues to how it's played, I can't figure how one gets to the "promoting square" and where one starts or goes on ANY of the levels, and then Ann wanders up and says that she HAS her Scrabble set with her, and she BRINGS it! By then Andy has started his talk on penguins at 2:30. They have light down for the first three weeks with which they have to remain under their parents, and then they get their second down and stay brooding for eight weeks, and then to the creche for 9 months, of which five winter months may be without any food at all. Then they have their first mold and go out to sea. Find that the name of the Attenborough series is "Life in the Freezer." About one million breeding pairs (BP) of kings, 10-11 million BP macaronis; the rockhoppers are the feistiest at about 3 million BP, and only 350K BP gentoos. White guano comes with eating fish, pink from eating krill, and yellow into green from fasting. There are 7.5 million BP of chinstraps on Deception Island. He describes all the penguins' "ecstatic display." The chinstraps raise two eggs and chicks simultaneously, while others hatch only one, or let the younger starve when the older shoves it out for the food. They're SHYER during molting, and should be treated with greater care because they can't ESCAPE by WATER. Chinstrap colonies are expanding while rockhoppers are declining. He speaks to 3:20 and Diane and I get to our first game, me starting with a bingo and winning 337-256, then stop in the middle of the second game at 5PM to listen to Simon talking of South Georgia, giving history, with Shackleton's saving ALL his men he ever worked with, and awful tales of the 1982 war with the British starting by settling 6 men down on an impossible glacier, losing two helicopters trying to rescue them, two rafts being blown away (the second found only after a number of days, having washed up on the last possible islet before the open sea), doing very well indeed, and I can HEAR myself picking up his speech patterns. He stops at 5:45 and Diane wins the next game 280-225. She wants to quit, but I rather insist on a third, tie-breaking game which I win 271-238, and she offers to buy me a drink, which I accept. This could be FUN, since she KNOWS she's a great player---and once she knows all the two-letter words, she'll be FORMIDABLE. That goes til 6:55, and I get back and feel the grit on my teeth from the brownies covered with a butterscotch type sauce on top which is VERY sugary---maybe because I licked it couple of times with my finger at the end. Finish this at 7:10, and decide to come up with a list of VALID two-letter words before dinner! Get treated to Southern Comfort by Diane, who has Campari and orange, and chat about the two-letter word-list with Bill and Graham, but Ann refuses to have an opinion and Diane, with a smile, says she'll take the list and memorize it. When I say I LIKE Southern Comfort, he says I should ask for Vahna Tallinn (Old Tallin) when in Estonia, or Yukon Jack in Canada. I very much like the filet with plum sauce that Simon detests, though he's impressed when I say I dine in Lespinasse at least four times a year, didn't care for Bouley as he didn't, and said he should try Le Perigord, C.T., and Chanterelle for lunch only. The mushrooms had probably been dried and reconstituted, which accounted for their meaty texture, which I liked and he didn't, and the yellow turnips, or mangelwurzels, were good too, as was the great salmon appetizer in a decent puff pastry, which did NOT work with the dessert plum tart, which I needed two spoons to pry apart into mouthsful. At the end, the lights went out and they celebrated (late) the "37th birthday" of Freda, who's the skinnier of the two, though sadly her special cake was pretty bad, and they had sad trouble getting rid of all of it. Our table was roaring with laughter much of the time, thanks no doubt to copious before-dinner drink, and Simon made the point of joining Diane, Olivia and Olivia's roommate Pam, and Graham and me, though he wasn't pleased when I said "As you wish" when he asked me if he should repeat the "Diana Clunt" story to the table: I think it would go better in more-male company, who would better enjoy the flucking and the clunting. I make a note that I SHOULD shower before the COLD of South Georgia, but I just don't feel like doing it. Brush teeth and get to bed at 10:10PM, feeling totally good today, maybe stop taking TWO Bonine's daily?

MONDAY, MARCH 11: To sleep fairly soon, wake at 12:30AM; at 1:40, too hot, to pee; and 5:45, nervous for South Georgia?; and 7:45 get up to see fog, which seems to be news to Joe Smith as indicating we've crossed the Convergence. Fried eggs and bacon for breakfast, and honey-covered oats eaten before the hot oatmeal comes out, with juice and pills at the end. To the bridge to see prions flying low over the water, storm petrels, and a black-browed albatross, and even the backs of porpoising penguins and the swiveling head of a fur seal looking at our ship (and speaking of SHIP, I FORGOT to record the HMS Northumberland steaming straight toward us, VERY disquieting, about 3:30 yesterday, and then steaming PAST us to display bare-legged crew doing some sort of relay racing on the aft deck. They're watching for fishing infringements (arrests for everyone but the Argentines, who thus ignore the ban) of the $100,000 licenses for fishing within South Georgia's 200-mile radius). Down at 9:05 for Bob's talk ("earnest and well-meaning; what an AWFUL thing to say, as Diane protested when I described his style, but she didn't contradict me) on Whaling: They now SHOOT the SICK stranded whale to LET the rest of the pod leave their compatriot and return to sea. The Brits have ROYAL records of strandings in the past, since the fish were Royal property, and they don't SEEM to be increasing over time. Whaling DID kill off the SKAGWHALES, which were Eastern Atlantic Gray Whales. Ambergris is believed to be digested REMAINS of giant squid BEAKS. Orcas would DRIVE whales to killer-ships for rewards: tongue and lips of whales. Whaling stocks in the 1910's paid dividends of 50% annually! Larsen was a multi-millionaire. The harpoonist, who was also the captain, running down a gangway from the pilothouse to the bow for the harpoon cannon, was paid his weight in gold. Blue whales now appear to be hybridizing, as a last resort to their decreasing population worldwide. This goes on to 10:05, where the clocks, which we should ignore for the present, read 11:05. I get to my cabin to type, but decide that it's warm enough to try for a shower, which is quite satisfactory: every four days will make exactly TWO cycles of underwear---well, somewhat short, since I can't very well wash SIX sets when I have to be WEARING the sixth when I wash the first five. Finish the shower (with hair drying quickly under the ceiling blower)---and I just saw the first example of a paragraph-widow NOT being separated by a page-break, by trying to reformat after the close-paren above and NOT getting a page-break. At 11:30 back to the bridge to see if we're in sight of land, and WHY, about 10 minutes ago, the Captain called Bill to the bridge! As we sail into the harbor, the bridge is closed, and then Sheila calls me in to their cabin to PERMANENTLY lend me their GE video-camera, which I very quickly (and sadly) find is NOT compatible with my tapes, but it's a neat little camera: it includes a battery-level meter, showing this battery is fully charged; has a lens-cap that works, a zoom comparable with mine, and a BACKLIGHT button for pouring more light onto a dark subject against a light background. I glimpse the mountains of South Georgia out the window, and dash out to take some pictures (GOT to get some kind of system going: call the 24-exposure that I finished in Ushuaia "0", then the one just finished "1", so I start "2" with pictures of the mountains around Grytviken) before the call comes down "It's noon and your lunch is getting cold." Chicken ala king on a large roll with a salad on the side with a glass of water finishes at 12:15PM, and I dash out to the deck to catch Graham throwing bread upon the waters to attract the gulls closer, and Bill wanders by and remarks blandly, "Breaking the rules." Initiate Sheila's camera (she insists she bought it for Seymour, but Seymour insists it's hers, and she endears herself to me by saying, seeing it dangling about my neck, "It's probably happy now to be in capable hands." Don wanders by with one of his two, looking sour, and I felt tempted to remark "I found another camera to drop," but I don't think he'd take it right. DO say that to Andy, and he jolts, "Did you buy a new one?" "No," I say, "someone lent me theirs," and he smiles "Fine." (What IS it that I do that makes everything caps and back-spaces WORDS, and now I find can be turned OFF by hitting Code-Next?) A zodiac goes off with Bill and the Captain, told he'll be back in about 40 minutes. It's now 1:25PM and we're all hoping the bright sunny weather will last forever. Paul K. says he thinks there's just about as much snow now as there was in December 1993 when he and his wife passed by here on their way to Antarctica. Dare I hope MY VTR works with a few days to recover. I decide to try it again and at 1:30 I note with glee that the TIME moves now! And then the VIDEO LIGHT comes on again at 1:39! Then, the EJECT works, but PLAY only speeds it ahead. REW works. From 1:45 to 2:02 there's a Grytviken lecture, saying they'll let us know when they know we can go ashore. I get back to working on the VTR and go AT it in the instruction book until I find that it also needs a LITHIUM battery! Take it out and it's slightly CORRODED, and I go on deck to moan that I probably won't be able to find anything like this, and Ian said they didn't even have a C battery in Stanley! I go back to reading the manual, with the time actually CYCLING so that at one point it reads 3/11/95! I keep hoping the lithium battery will recover, and then I read that the REMOTE HAS ONE! Shakily take it apart, and it looks like NEW! Insert it, and I can set the time and the DATE!!! But still the STBY light won't come on, and anytime I try to hit PLAY, the tape runs away. BUT SUCH PROGRESS!!! Then I try running the "wet" tape, and it takes a LONG time to rewind (during which I hope that I'm not MORE ruining the recording head), but IT doesn't play, either. Keep trying, but then wonder WHEN we're going to get an announcement that we're going ashore, and go to the doorway to find small figures outside on the shore! Graham's there and I ask when we're going ashore, and at 3:40 I'm told they're ASHORE already! Dash out with equipment and spend a little time in the museum before 4PM, when Bob starts a tour with the whaling equipment in the museum yard, the wrecked boats, and then back to the church, along the wrecked buildings in the back, along the beach to the cemetery, which I get to first and photo Katie on the left and the Captain's daughter on the right of Shackleton's tombstone. Try to climb farther, but it's VERY boggy and slippery and I clobber my shoes and decide to go no farther. Back down along the beach to use Shiela's videotape on the four male elephant seals, and take still pictures of the rare South Georgia Pintail, a solitary gentoo ill on the beach,, see another solitary one in the far field, and also a single tiny fur seal which gazes liquidly at me. Such slim pickings after the Galapagos! Walk slowly back in the twilight, watching the fog spill over the far mountains, the clouds pinken under the darking sky, and pick up a small piece of whalebone, my second "steal" of the trip. The SADNESS of the island gets to me: burials, hundreds of thousands of whale carcasses flensed and butchered and boiled and set out to drift away on the bloody tides. Even the sadness of the defunct whaling industry at this point, with the blubber cookers standing cold and rusting inside the factory buildings restored only for tourists' footsteps. Bought no stamps, since I'd gotten them all in the Falklands, and Armand said that the books were MUCH more expensive here than elsewhere. One part of me was a bit bored: 8 pintails, 4 male and 2 female elephant seals, two solitary gentoos and a single furseal aren't very great catches, but the ghosts of the whales moaned in the wind, their blood sobbed from the sodden wooden floors of the Plan, and the gulls mewed over their kills. Walked slowly back until 6:15PM, going inside where Bob said it was possible, nodding to the touring Russians, and get back to working with the VTR, finding that even though it doesn't SAY STBY, it goes OFF the lit screen in the requisite five minutes. But NOTHING appears on the inner screen, not even the room which I should be seeing. There's still the triangular "condensation" signal now and again, and a mysterious right-pointing arrow on the display plate nearly all the time, and I can't get it to RECORD, though the red light comes on inside, because the tape rushes forward, sometimes I even have difficulty stopping it. Stop in sadness and catch up with this, and at 7 they announce we're having people from the base for dinner at Happy Hour at 7:15PM. Change out of my muddy shoes into my slippers, record yet another page devoted to 3/11, and it has taken up 33% of this SECOND file. Got three folders from Grytviken, looking forward to the wildlife tomorrow (let's hope the wonderful weather stays put for the next two days!). Should I try the hair dryer again? Good thing I didn't try the TAPE in Don's machine; I'm sure it'll clobber every machine it's tried in. I keep trying NEW tapes, maybe wrecking them into the bargain. ONCE there was a FLASH from the video, which I hoped might turn into a representation of the room, but that never happened. At least Shiela and Seymour promised me a copy of whatever I took with THEIR VTR. Peek out at the cocktail hour, but am turned off by it and return to my VTR. The video is beginning to FLASH, as if it just MIGHT be getting ready for a view of the room! Will keep it connected all night to the power, just to see if that helps any. Back in at 7:55 to get "Where have you BEAN all day?" from Diane, and I tell her my "no announcement" room-sit. I guess Andrew is the awful white-beard brown-haired fat fellow who asks for three portions of everything; anyway, HE sits at our table, to my and Diane's obvious discomfort, but Seymour and Sheila prattle on, and Bill finally makes up the sixth, telling me that the Captain's 15-year-old daughter table-maid is named Tatiana, called Tanya. The harbor-master, Paulette Peck the museum- maid, Sam the hunky Royal Engineer, and the new female doctor are all introduced to applause, and Simon complains that he's been told he CAN'T see the Shackleton Memorial, but that the others just asked and WENT. Magnus, the harbor-master, offers to take us the next morning! Vern and Pat join me around Simon and Magnus, and I tell Bill to wake me at 5:15 in room 304. He then announces the morning trip to anyone who wants to be awake. We change our watches from 9PM to 10PM to agree with the ship, and I get to bed at 10:15, happy I've had lots of sleep with only seven hours left til 5:15AM!

TUESDAY, MARCH 12: BUT I look at my watch at 12:15AM, 1:25, 3AM, 3:20, 3:40, 3:55, 4:15, 4:30, and 4:45, and think of shaggier and shaggier dog stories: 1) Kayak and heat it, 2) Outboard motor, 3) Speech impediment, 4) Herman the Mountain Lion, 5) Shooshmaker, and 6) THE Shaggy Dog story. Then there's "Jesus Christ," "Read the Card," "Goddam it, tinkle tinkle," "And the Arab disappeared (bent over and sinned)", and "All in one piece." Then I'm up at 5 and dress and get into the dining room to make Bill happy that he doesn't have to knock me up. He also said the other pair, Richard and Andrew, were up, and with Vern and Pat, so the single male MUST be Robert Tucker, and with Tanya and Simon and me, there are 8 leaving at 5:30 in a zodiac over the CALM waters, waiting for sunrise at 6AM, people getting in the way of my pictures, then leaving early, back to the boat at 6:30, and get MORE video flashes and type this up by 7:07AM, wanting to write more, but we seem to be moving out of the harbor. Back on deck to watch beautiful mountains pass, but then there's this great FOG out of the protected harbor. In at 8 for a breakfast of Rice Krispies and scrambled eggs and toast, with an amusing Ann getting breakfast for the Lilian-Gish-like Dorothy Fleming. Since the Khrumov was bound for where we wanted to go, we turned back north (from whence we'd come) to try for Hercules Bay. I watch the zodiac leave at 9:20AM, watch it bouncing through the waves in the mile to shore, so of course when it returns at 9:40 they loft the zodiac back into its boat-top storage, whereupon Armand wisely observes: "If they're putting the zodiac away, doesn't that imply that none of us are going anywhere?" Indeed. So at 9:45 they announce that Bob will give a talk on the BANNING of the whaling industry, sponsored, oddly, by the heir apparent to the Shah of Iran (who was paid many millions when he LOST his heirdom when the Shah had a son), and Diane and I agree to play Scrabble during the talk, and I win the first and she wins the second, and we finish at 11:35AM, too late to start another. We're now steaming the three hours south that will put us at St. Andrew's Bay, which should have been our first stop anyway. Now at 11:52 I have a few seconds to try to recapture the vista this morning as the sun first brightened the clouds to pink in a false dawn as we climbed the hill before 6AM, and then faded to gray, then rose back to pink, which inspired me to move away from the cross and set up a wonderful vista with the mountains, the sunrise, and the cross, with the little group gathered in silhouette on the lower right, and then one of the group moved down the walkway toward me, and Simon, perversely, had to take a photo of the cross HEADON, right into ME, but then he relented and said the cross could be centered to hide me. But the sun really didn't rise CLEAR, but brought up its own clouds with it, so there was never the "bright ray" that I wanted to photograph. Took a great dawn-panorama with the video camera, lots of nice snapshots, and looked with affection on the pair of King Penguins that showed off for us on the walk, another down by the beach, and lots of birds in the air. The plaque was beautifully simple, though I didn't write it down: "On this spot died Ernest Shackleton who is commemorated by his comrades." I mentioned to one of the guys that "this was like leaving the performance after the curtain went up," since the colors were becoming more spectacular by the minute, but we had to leave to vacate the grounds to the occupying forces. Lots seemed to envy us our experience afterward, and when we went onto the top deck to watch our departure, the wind and cold picked up so that we were all happy to huddle in the lee of the superstructure. Nice smell of cooking through the rooms now just before noon, the ship steaming to what we hope is an open beach in a sheltered harbor, and I keep trying the VTR with brighter flashes of video, but still nothing of the room. Hope it isn't ruining all my tapes, and with them my chances of EVER starting the machine on STBY rather than just speeding ahead. NOW I keep wondering when I'm going to start writing something ELSE, like plays and books that I said I'd get into, and now it's almost a week since we've been on the ship itself. Lots are curious about our playing Scrabble, and many kibitz on my two-letter word list, but now that it's SET, we at least play as equals, and Diane's VERY good and VERY fast, and when she gets into it she may end up beating me more than I currently beat her. Others suggest a cup: I say "YOU have a cup, we don't." And now the call for lunch just as I get to another page. Lasagna is practically tile-like on the bottom, flavored with the ubiquitous cumin (someone tells me), with a dessert of Jell-O that someone ELSE says is used with twice the called-for amount of water. We finish about 12:45 and finally the announcement comes: boats should be ready for boarding in 30 minutes, and (Simon must have complained) Group 4 will be going first! So I try the video camera a few times (pity I didn't try the Yanofskis', since I probably had inadvertently turned on the camera, so when I tried taking a picture, the battery was almost dry. But I used it sparingly and got some great shots, as I verify when I look at it again. He admonishes us to use sun-screen, and I use the 20-year-old Sunblock 15, and by the burning of my cheeks, probably it isn't any good anymore. He moves the departure up another five minutes as I'm rushing to finish dressing with all the layers and gloves and scarves and two cameras and lens and binoculars and plastic bag, but we watch as the huge waves toss the zodiac about while it's being tied on, and then we watch the waves toss US about as we go about a mile to the beach which is JAMMED with Kings, front, left, right, and in the water with us. They beach the boat on a wave, the back sinking and filling with water which almost goes over the boots of those in back, which includes Graham who I guess always insists on coming on the lead boat. I lay down immediately but they're not as tame as those on Macquarie (nor do they come out to the boat in nearly the numbers or with nearly the closeness that enabled me to film them from the deck), but they're surely more numerous, though the main bunch is off on the left past an enormous glacial runoff that isolates the beaches into rough thirds, of which we have the middle with maybe 20% of the total number of what must be a million pairs. I make my way over to the far stream, fantasizing that I can cover the entire beach, and assuming they won't find the reindeer they say they can see twelve of near the foot of the central glacier (though Jenny Chapman later says she photoed them fairly closely and they're quite small, indicating their backs at about crotch height. The beach is soon loosely scattered with bodies from the ship, probably mostly getting in each other's photographic ways. I decide to sit near the far stream and soon find Graham edged just in front of me to the right side, and one of the Russian crew hard on my left. Simon HAD asked where I was going, but then he didn't bother to tag along, as Alan did at one point, ruining a shot that I was setting up. Left my rain-gear on the top of the beach, which gave me a few nasty worries when I was quite sure it was going to rain about 4:10, but it didn't, and I spent the last half-hour mesmerized by the near glacial stream collapsing at the sides as the current seemed to build up near twilight, which I guess is reasonable, since the glacier would melt fastest during the hottest daylight hours, and it WAS quite comfortable on the beach without the rainsuit. Took a couple of panoramas with the video, including catching some "ecstasy calls" and a neat flipper-fight, and a Sheafbill quite close. Same things on photos, almost finishing the third roll of film. I saw no deer, was quite content to be in the last boat of seven of us including Bill and Ian and Graham, plus Bomford and woman (and Simon had borrowed a clipping from him from his 1957 surveying job of South Georgia with the main surveyor) and Alan. I kept wondering what the birds were THINKING: still obvious is their obsession with height, crowing when they're proven tallest, nipping when they don't like the obvious decision. Their curiosity about us is greatest when we're tallest, because when we lie down to their height, they're only interested in tasting us, as was the Sheafbill that pecked my green boot HARD two or three times in the afternoon, to my pleasure and his puzzlement. We get on the final zodiac about 5PM and have a very bumpy trip over, though he slows for the big waves and Tony effuses, "Oh, good DRIVING, Bill!" He sounds even fruitier than Bill Mayhead, and his eyes under his white cloth cap are positively manic with brightness and determination to overwhelm with his presence and his gab. SHE, on the other hand, seems decidedly underwhelmed. Wash face, try my VTR which improves to the extent of MOVING THE COUNTER, but then it won't eject, so I go out for a muffin with butter as snack, chat with a pleasanter Delores Malone while we're talking about microwaving popcorn. Now it's 6:45 and I've determined to treat Diane to a drink for tying in Scrabble with me: she gave me a GLASS of wine AND a drink, so it BETTER be my turn, or she'll be pissed, and as she showed when she threatened to get mad if we didn't land in the afternoon, I'd not like to be on her bad side. I go in and she's not there, then return at 7:15 and she is, but she'll only have an orange juice. I'd surveyed the bar before and found they have Dry Sack, so when Katie arrives I ask for an orange JUICE and a dry SACK, and she pours a full glass of the one and possibly over a third of a glass of the other. Lots of potato chips. I choose to have dinner with the Goodings, and it's obviously fated: 1) Richard, their friend, has the beer-batter cod which he'd ordered at my table and lunch, and I can find that the fish is good but the batter is too much and underdone. 2) He asks if we know anyone with a Sony VTR recharger, and I say I have one, and it turns out that he has HEAD CLEANERS, which might be used to save my VTR! I get it right then and give it to him, and later go to his room (with Diane, who complains about the noise from their ham set into the night) to see his Radio Shack batteries, OBVIOUSLY compatible with Ricoh, Sony, etc. I'd also asked Don for the Sony manual, and it IS the same as the Ricoh manual, but doesn't give the parallel lines, though a round circle DOES mean contaminated head! The roast beef is huge, chewy, and has a rather good gravy, while the Yorkshire pudding STILL tastes like pastry dough, and the broccoli is still my least-favorite vegetable. At meal-end Bill announces an early-morning, before-breakfast landing tomorrow: calling us awake at 5:55 for a 6:30AM departure for Albatross Island. I get immediately to bed at 9:50PM (missing getting the itinerary page for which I ask Bill the next day, and he gives me a xerox of today's and yesterday's, making me swear to "don't tell anyone else about it, for God's sake!", so he won't have to make 34 wasted copies every day). Very tired from last night, hoping to sleep through, but it still doesn't work. Look at my watch at 11:05 and 11:50PM.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13: Then I have a dream which I recorded elsewhere, waking when it was HOT in the room (as it was when I returned from the outing yesterday, and I had to turn the controls way down and open the door to air out the place). Then I wake at 2:55AM for awful regurgitation, then look at my watch at 4:05, 4:55, 5:30, and get called out at 5:55AM. Note on the "sleep sheet" that I'd forgotten to mention looking at the wall-map a couple of days ago and taking my glasses off to look more closely and THE LENS FALLS OUT! How outrageously lucky that it didn't do that on some tussock grass! In to robe with all the sleepy others at 6:15AM, and we're off to Albatross Island more like 6:45, Katie (a very sleeping-looking Katie) putting me into the second zodiac even though the order was 1,2,3,4. Bill lets off the first zodiac way out on a set of slippery rocks, and I'm rather annoyed to see a reasonably fit and agile Armand being the cause of a lot of stumbling, waiting, and guiding around, until in the changing room he complains that he has to find a SMALLER pair of boots that FIT him, since he said "They didn't tell me I needed them." Jenny (rather proudly) says she fell flat onto the rocks, and Diane, on the zodiac returning, told of taking off her boot and emptying the water out of it. There's a perfectly good, though narrow, landing beach which is totally occupied by an elephant seal, which is finally persuaded to move off his beach (interesting effect: the porthole behind me is mirrored in this screen, and I just see a wave-spray wash it from top to bottom)(this is at 8:40AM the next morning) so that we can land there. We quickly find that the kelp is slimy and very slippery, so we'd best walk on the naked wet rocks. Lots of fur seals about, which we called sea lions in the Galapagos, very appealing with their large liquid black eyes, and the Captain and his cohort video them with smiles on their faces. I wait for most of the party to move excruciatingly slowly up the hill, and when I try to follow, the cohort thinks I must be having trouble, because he extends his hand firmly to me and leads me up the first few rock-staircases. I wouldn't think of denying his offer of help, even though it implies he lumps me with all these impossibly old and frail people. The lower climbing is slippery, but farther up there's more moss on which to walk, and finally we reach, on the left, a small plateau with a few nesting birds on it. Andy leads the way up the trail to the right, were I remember the map-trail being indicated, so I follow him, eschew the first nest around which three or four photographers group, and go up more to the right to spy a male waving his wings at a female who snaps her beak back at him. I take a few shots from the back, into the sun, then gradually move around so that the sun is at my back (at which time the Yanofski's video camera flares and makes the birds an unnatural pinkish hue), and am having a wonderful time taking shots of them when Bomford comes up behind me and says, "Andy told me to tell you we're due back at the zodiacs in ten minutes. Oh, my, look at THAT. Tell them that I'll be back down in NINE minutes." A little farther down some of the Russians are really only about two feet from the faces of frightened nesting birds, and the American birder praises his great shot of the hollow nares of the bird. Not quite the last one down, and take some shots of territorial sea lions gaping at the tourists. The first zodiac leaves about 8:40 with much splashing about, and I'm on line for the second, not wanting to give the impression of always being one of the last. Bob is the driver, and much more careful than the others of going slower in waves, so we remain splashless, with the compliments of Diane, who doesn't like many of the crew: they're simply not competent. They're JOKES!" There's a flock of stormy petrels grazing the wave tops, and a few albatrosses fly overhead. Back to the ship about 9AM, out of the clothes and into a welcome breakfast: Canadian bacon, french toast, ham, tea, hot cereal, and juice. We're barely finished when the call is made for the next landing at 10AM, on the Salisbury Plain, with which people joke "Where we'll see Stonehenge," and I make Graham laugh when I add "And Avebury!" Record on a page that I started the 4th roll of film just before climbing the hill to the albatrosses, using over half a roll on them. In to dress again after shitting, hands really feeling bad with arthritis at the base of the thumbs, making the last few manipulations of the wellies a real pain. Into the second zodiac again, about 10:20AM, and the trip is so long that the overcareful Bob finds himself caught up with by the rasher Andy, who lands alongside Bill's first zodiac before we land between them, stern first, which makes it easier for us to get out. The array of penguins strewn up the hill on the right of the beach reminds me of the rockhoppers or royals on Macquarie, so I head off on the right after securing my raingear with a huge rock. Come to a stream from the glacier which I decide is best to cross right at the surf-line, and maybe only get a tiny bit of my jeans wet. There's a solitary chinstrap penguin which the dour Peter Samson steps in front of me to chase away, but I take stills of it a bit later and video it on the way back. Simon strolls along with me, saying how fantastic he finds this (he who yesterday said he wouldn't care if he never saw a penguin again), and we come to the masses of kings which dominate that part of the beach. I climb onto the first ridge of tussock grass to find frolicking seal pups, and just behind a covey of kings examining an egg, which one proceeds to stuff up onto its brood patch. Pan (much too quickly) the area with the video, then down to sit on a projecting rock that I think might not be stable, just behind Simon, and in a few moments I let out a yelp as the rock gives way and I find myself sitting on a bunch of dirt, and Simon observes, "It could have castrated you." Others join us and I start back, backing away from a seal pup who tries to command his patch of surf, and the seventh wave of the seventh series sweeps up behind me to my knees, where my right boot ships maybe a half-cup of water, wetting my socks for the first time of the trip. Oh, and coming down from the tussock, I slip and the Yanofski's video camera rackets off some rocks, and then it gets wet while I'm waiting for a time to re-cross the stream, but I brush it off and stuff it in my bag with my other stuff and it doesn't seem to be the worse for wear. We all gather back at about 12:15, and again I get into the last zodiac---there are 13 of us and this is the 13th--- but nothing untoward happens on the return trip, Bob barely edging out the aggressive Andy in getting to the ship, where it takes a long time to unload because of the waves. About 1PM we're all starved in for lunch of spaghetti carbonara (made with VERY dry linguini, which Rita adds milk to, she tells us the next morning when we're discussing Joe's addition of yogurt to his oatmeal) and some kind of sweet dessert. Bill announces that we're going to try the three-hour return to Hercules Bay (I'd hoped it would be to the REAL Salisbury Plain, when Bamford made it clear that this was NOT Salisbury we were on when we landed) for the Macaroni penguins. I'd changed into slacks to let my jeans dry, and had to change even socks, so when we finished watching the second third of "Life in the Freezer" from 2-3PM, I had to change BACK when Bill announces that it looks possible to try Hercules Bay, and I grouse to myself when dressing for the third time that day, "I'm glad we don't have to get dressed like this FOUR times a day!" It looks relatively calm as we gather at the railing waiting for the zodiacs to be winched down, and we've anchored closer than before, so it looks hopeful. Then the first zodiac with Bill drives up, and the carefree Ian lets Simon and me into the zodiac first, and we have little trouble, but then Freda comes to the base of the stairs and is almost swept away by a huge wave. I'd announced to Simon that the waves seemed very Aperiodic: some big ones followed by a period of calm. Now it seemed we were getting a period of calm (when we entered the zodiac) followed by a period of heavy waves, because poor Freda struggles and got wetter and looked more unhappy, until even Simon had to agree "It doesn't look like we're going." We cast free and did a little display circle before the other passengers (Don even said he has us on video in the zodiac), and relanded and got off without too much trouble, though I took the precaution to pass my camera bag to Simon before leaving, who passed it back to me when I was safely on the landing stairs. As he came up I whispered to him, "I don't supposed it would do for us to say 'Nyah, nyah, we had more rides than YOU did' would it?" He laughed, saying before that that we should get together, maybe with his wife, to try some restaurants he hadn't been to, as his favorites were now Union Square Cafe and, amazingly, he liked America. Undress for the last time in a long time, and propose Scrabble to Diane, who agrees. I win the first and she the second, and I rather cheat on the third with "quieteth" across two doubles for 140 points (the "Q" was a blank) to win. But we agree we like playing. In the middle of the second game, Bill starts showing his videos, with a hilarious section of a propelling King trying obviously to fly, and other cute sections, along with a segment in which he says he filmed an albatross barrel-rolling! He says he'll leave his connecting wires there, and I ask if I can use them, and I race to rewind the tape and play it: some penguin shots are sensational, but the pans are too fast, I should use the FADE to segue between scenes to avoid blank spaces between, and sadly the albatross footage is unnaturally blue at one point and pink at another: too much white from the sun? Forgot to mention the distant blue icebergs that I filmed, which I forgot to film the first time through. Tell the Yanofski's I'll be showing it again after dinner, and others ask to see it too, including Bamford, who does NOT compliment me after seeing them after dinner. Diane and I finish the third game about 7:40, she (and not I) changes for dinner, and the Chicken Kiev is "authentic" with filled butter, but the herbs are bitter that line the cavity. Another "egg" of mashed potatoes, starting with a salad, and ending with banana-shaped lady-fingers in a too-sweet sauce. Announcement, and Graham almost ALWAYS goes on too long, and Ian (maybe drunk?) is coming into his own with his Jay Leno-like "Here's GRAham!" That's over at 9:15PM, and I show the video a SECOND time, and Rita REALLY laughs at the first penguin-snapping episode, so it seems to move quickly after that. The Yanofski's are very pleased. Simon says nothing, though he watched the whole thing. Bed at 10:05PM, very tired.

THURSDAY, MARCH 14: Wake once, then at 5:30 with a dream which I transcribe to 5:50AM. Think of what I'll put on the TRIP-LIST (described later). Up at 7:45, NO call yet, and call at "A few minutes to breakfast." Oatmeal and pancakes and bacon and Canadian bacon, then up to the bridge to watch the waves and back to catch up to here by 9:30, just in time to finish up and go hear Bamford's talk on South Georgia. He was just as officious a prick then as now (he doesn't put it QUITE that way, but he admits in nonetheless), and "the strong" Bill Cunningham was a DOLL. His color slides taken in 1955 are surprisingly true still. He passes out some stuff after his talk, and we sit talking with him until 11AM, when I pick out the pamphlet on Gough, happy that he'll be pushing for the slight detour which will take us in sight of this rare island. Finish that by a VERY tasty (and very salty) lunch of Eggs Benedict with a side salad, ending with pears in plum sauce from 12-12:45, and I'm sitting with the Goodings and their males and arrange to see Jules with my camcorder at 12:50 in room 407. Get up there and to make a test video he QUITE clearly focuses on my CROTCH, which he will undoubtedly look at in detail afterward. He agrees to everything I say, and finally makes a test with HIS video which MINE will not view, though through his magnifier (the poor guy as almost sightless with macular degeneration) he says it looks perfectly clean. My lithium battery appears to be going, too, but he DOES encourage me by saying that I could NOT have "fried" any circuit with the hairdryer, could only have done it good, and the "moisture" icon DOES return, so he suggests he keep it in the cabinet over his refrigerator heat-sink (where he would undoubtedly like to keep ME) for a couple of days. Now, at 6PM, he's listening to his contact in St. Helena that he contracted yesterday to hear today on his ham system that bugs Diane so much. Down to watch last of "Life in the Freezer" after a quick crap at 2, and that goes till 3. Feel like going to bed, but THEN figure I've got to take my "50's" picture TODAY, and get up to the bridge to see an incredible 12-13 black-browed albatrosses sitting in the water in front of the boat and then rising up in unison. So impressed I take photos #12 and 13 of roll #5. Then down to talk to Ann about why she isn't filling out her trip-list: she and Don love to spend months in rented villas in the Italian countryside, taking day-trips to see one painting in one museum at a time. That occupies about 3:30 to 3:35, then I make out MY list and come to AT LEAST 100 legitimate destinations, and ask to see Ruth and Freda's, and now realize I forgot to COUNT them: They included places like Albania, which WAS poorly organized, and Indonesian islands that I envied quite a bit; also Ruth confesses to being 74, so she says she does NOT have another twenty years of travel left in her! But an impressive list it was. I get up to about 80 and then go to the Century Club list for the final fill-out, with such goodies as Andorra, Belgium, Crete, Rhodes, Netherlands, Spain, Macao, Ceylon, and Thailand. About 117 for the Century Club list-additions. Then pedantic Andy (repeating each salient point twice) goes on about fat sea-slugs: true seals (without ears, like Weddell and leopard seals) and eared seals like sea lions, elephant seals, and fur seals, differentiated by the thickness of their furs. There are about 2 million fur seals, of which 200,000 are born on South Georgia each year. Fantastically, elephant-seals breath OUT before going down 4000 feet, their hemoglobin and incredible vascularity enabling them to metabolize when even their heart rate goes down to 4-6 beats per minute! Most of us nod out, but he stops at 5:50 and both Diane and I agree we have to catch up on our notes, so I'm back to finish this by 6:15PM. My room is always too hot or too cool, but I figure I should take a shower NOW to be ready for bad weather in the roaring 40's for the next few days, letting me time to clean my laundry. Finish shower and $9 laundry-bill by 7PM, then in to glance through a whaling book and rather ignore Diane on one side and Olivia on the other. At least eight entrants hand their sheets to Simon, and after dinner of a pancake topped with chevre and onions and olives, decent salmon, a hunk of squash, and rice (better than the orangish lamb stew), and Zabaglione that tasted more like Marsala-ed yogurt, Ian makes the plea for more entries and later is seen talking with Ann, whom I told him wouldn't participate. Finish this at 9:25PM and will consign this to the archives, starting NOTEBOK3, regardless, tomorrow, and THIS line eleven is 98%, somewhat LONGER than the first one, isn't it?

FRIDAY, MARCH 15: FORGOT that last night, before dinner, I SAT on my glasses, popping one lens out and severely bending the rims. I put the lens back but delayed trying to straighten the frames (for fear of BREAKING them!) until it appears I'll really NEED to straighten them. DAMN! Brush teeth and bed at 10:07PM. At 11:45PM there are crashes aboard in heavier waves and I put the board up to protect my cassettes from crashing onto the desk, and I pee. Then at 2:45AM I wake again, and it really is WAVY, at times giving that little shudder than boats give when the trough is deeper or the crest higher than usual---is Gough sighting in jeopardy? Have a dream at 4:15, at 5:50, and wake with the memory of a third at the 7:45 call. Dress (the spot looks ALMOST invisible on my new shirt) and to breakfast at the dot of 8 with EVERYONE there. Rice Krispies and a hard-boiled egg and apple juice and toast are all I need: got to get rid of the fresh apple I've stored for the past two days. Now at 8:30AM to transcribe those dreams, which I finish by 9AM, reformatting the pages and making another content-sheet, already up to page 7. Andy is giving another wittily-titled seal talk (yesterday's title: Antarctic Blubber Slugs: Seals of Approval) at 9:30, the 3PM slot is open, and Graham is talking about more birds at 5PM. Have to bug Bill about giving our position at lunch every day. Will go up to the bridge to verify that we've passed into the 40s, and to try to see if we DID slow down or stop ("We were just wallowing," said Diane) in the waves last night. Maybe ANOTHER sheet in the contents-drawer? At 9AM the reading is 49:12, leaving the Furious Fifties (and certainly the Shrieking Sixties) behind, crossing the Roaring Forties to get to Gough Island, they say, by Tuesday morning. Only a few birds, but still some tiny prions, dipping in front of the ship. Down for Andy's fabulous talk on cold water, under sea creatures: anemones, sea stars, green sea urchins, all from the mouth of the St. Lawrence from 9:40 to 10:30. He mentions being "in a concentrated state" while photographing these over the past six years, and I tell him about Szikszentmihalyi's "Flow," and when Pat Rader talks to him a bit later, I hear him mentioning "Robert's mention of "Flow."" Then read Diane Ackerman's article from the 8/10/89 New Yorker on "Penguins," recording that it's spelled SHACKleton, and that penguins have a THIGMOTACTIC "drive to press up hard against their neighbors." Dennis will love the term. Chat a bit and then it's time for lunch of tomato soup, toasted cheese sandwiches which taste MUCH better with the addition of jelly, which no one else condescends to add, and after Diane and I grab the game-table by the bar for our trio of Scrabble games, dessert of a small square of almost-fruitcake in a bit of melted ice cream and whipped cream that I finish with my mint tea. And that reminds me to get out the apple that I've been saving for 3 days (bowel movements are so HARD that it keeps reminding me that I'm not eating enough FRUIT!), to eat before the cleaner come through to empty the wastebasket that he didn't empty yesterday. Decided I might as well date and keep the three-game series/sheet scores, one from before I'd won 2-1, and from 3/15 also 2-1, the tie being broken by my changing "quicker" to "quicken" to attach the "n" to the free "o" for "no," and giving myself 140 points. That lasts into the start of Ian's first Russian lesson from 3-3:50PM, and he's CHARMING, but he hardly knows more Russian than even I, in a pinch, would be able to come up with. He DID tell a cute extraneous story about Jean Harlow's meeting with Lady Asquith, calling her "MarGOT," and being told "The "t" is silent, like the "t" in "Harlow."" He goes through Priv-yet for Hi, Pa-jal-sta for Please, Spa-see-BA for Thank you, the ship is a BAR-ris Pet-ROFF, Nosdrovya for Cheers, Kak dela for How are things, Horoshow for Good, Ochin for Very, Ochin Pri-yat-na for Nice to meet you, Kak ti for How are you (familiar), Pri-VYET-na appetite for Good appetite, Is-venit-yeh for Excuse me, Me-nya za-voot for My name is ---, Ya ni ponimayu for I don't understand, Ni-che-vo for No problem, Ya iz --- for I am from ---, Kuda for Where you from, Seen for Son, Datch for Daughter, Odin PEE-va for one beer, Dva is 2, Malenkii is Small, and Choot-choot is Tiny. Get out OC and chat with Robert Tucker across the empty "reading room" about his wife dying, four children moving away, selling the 6-bedroom house but still electing to stay where he's comfortable: St. Louis, the cemetery with lights. Read more OC until dinner-time with pea soup, veal scaloppini with roast potatoes, mixed (underdone) vegetables, and a hot cherry tart. They announce that there are 256 countries we all traveled to, and Olivia won the prize with her guess of 248, and Dorothy Flemming won the prize for most places visited with 158 (my survey of Simon's list brings my total to only 102). The next contest is to think of the only three English words ending in MT, and I go through the alphabet to come up only with DREAMT, which Ian says is one of them. Is UNdreamt second? Then we gather to watch "The Client," with a perfectly preposterous story saved by Susan Sarandon's and Tommy Lee Jones' and the boy's performances. Ruth started spouting off about how she couldn't understand a word, and I (by reflex only!) shushed her sternly, then added, placatingly, "Please!" She did keep quiet. Toward the end I tried realigning my glasses, and think I moved them back quite a bit, but the lens popped out again and I wore them "unhinged" through the movie's end at 11:45, and went back to the cabin to try and try with the old screw, but got out a REPLACEMENT which seemed longer but appeared to hold as firmly. Then remembered I'd forgotten the daily schedule, so I put my pants back on and went to find "The Library" (actually the dining room) closed from both ends. Bill's room-door was open as always, but I felt too self conscious to enter, and a moment later a Russian cruised past in the hallway and I was glad I wasn't in there. Back to the room latest: midnight!

SATURDAY, MARCH 16: Bed at 12:05AM, latest. Wake between with a dream, and again at 6:35AM with a dream, and pee, and not hear anything until a "wake-up" call at 8:08AM! Just about the last one in, getting hot oatmeal, toasting two pieces of toast before deciding they were moldy (ergot??) and didn't eat them with the scrambled eggs and bacon. Sat with the Fowlers and Trudy and Dorothy, who told how she traveled matter-of-factly with her husband, who (she teared up and then immediately cleared) died ten years ago, and she just kept on traveling, going to many more places than the 158 that Simon allowed her. She's a very enthusiastic talker, most of the time directing herself toward me, and I was pleased that I'd held her hand and "become friendly" with her BEFORE knowing of her "fame." Back to the "reading room" to read the National Geographic article on the abandoning of Tristan during the 1960s eruption, finishing just as Bob starts his 9:35-10:40 talk on ice. 20-50% of the land covered by ice in icecaps lasting 1-4% of the two billion years past the Cambrian era. 6/7 of northern (MORE sediment) icebergs are underwater, but only 4/5 of SOUTHERN (less sediment) icebergs under. Icebergs break into bergy bits (cabin size) and growlers (less than nine feet high out of water). Pack ice, also called sea ice, is salt water. Water freezes starting with grease ice, then frazzle ice, then pancake ice, then ice floes. He talks of the Roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties, and the (he guessed) Shrieking Sixties, and I look at the map to review that I got down to 78 degrees south in MacMurdo Sound. The blue in the icebergs is from frozen ground water. That finishes my recorded notes from the past two days (VERY lapse during that time) at 11:50AM, just time enough to pop up to the bridge for my daily "fix" and then back for lunch. At 13.8 knots, we're already at 45:47N, 20:07W at noon. Lunch is chicken curry with ice cream with raspberry sauce, lasting from 12-12:45, when Bill puts on a crewman's tape from his previous Antarctic trip with 80 passengers on the Ioffe to 1:15, with fairly hokey music, though he uses "Antarctica" for a bit. Then Dorothy asks to see my video, so I get it for her and an audience of about 6 people, all of whom seem to enjoy it. That goes from 1:25 to 1:50, I take a shit, and get in late for Ian's second Russian lesson from 2-3PM, going through the alphabet, all 33 characters including the "vanishing" hard-sound, and counts through 0-10, 20, 30, 40, and includes Das-vidanya for Goodbye, Pa-ca for Ta-ta (for now), Zaftra for Tomorrow, Da zaftra for See you tomorrow, Tak for Thus (French Alors), Ce-vod-nya for Today, F'-chent for Yesterday, and Pan-yat-na for I understand. My laundry comes back, complete, in one day. Then Diane and I play two games, but (maybe since) I win both, she doesn't want to play a third. Two bingoes in one game for me. I go to the roof of the fifth deck, and immediately Simon comes up to join me, flanked by Graham, to whom I point out a passing bird and he jumps up and down and shakes my hand for pointing out his first Velvet Plover (or something) of the season. The tiny black birds with white underneath are Little Shearwaters. I look at my watch at 5:10 and dash down for the last 25 minutes of Andy's talk on Seals, II, and he's very endearing with his emphasis on the beauty and fine qualities of his subjects. And a nice crotch with strange long areas of non-muscle above his knee before the swell of his thigh muscles. He mentions "lanugo" for seals, and I tell him that a very small proportion of human children are born with that, too. Then back to the top at 5:40PM to look at a fading red band in the west, the Captain nods to me as he comes up behind me, and it's comfortable with my newly-brushed shoes unmuddied from Salisbury Plain and my jacket, and I look at the nearly flat water-surface and marvel that we're more than halfway through the "Roaring Forties" without hardly any troubles, but of course realize that I might be tempting fate to describe our good luck. Simon talks of eating out when we return to New York, and is quite blown away when I say I'm not getting back until May 6. The dark has almost closed down when I descend to the deserted bridge, on which the central chart has been turned off, but I look at the detailed charts of Gough surrounded by seamounts that appear to break the surface of the ocean. Would love to see some of THOSE! Finish this by 6:25PM, not eager for any cocktail hour chatter, and will probably simply read OC until 8PM. I may have the first symptom of "the bug that's going around" with a slightly sore throat. Take Vitamin C? Read OC until 6:45, but find my eyes closing. DON'T want to sleep. So I decide to put in ANTPLAY and see what happens. It goes GREAT! Rattle off about three pages, transcribing old notes first, and get WELL into a tone that I LIKE by 8PM, when I pee and sit for dinner, telling Diane and Olivia of my play, but (wisely?) neither of them express the SLIGHTEST interest in reading it. Ruth monopolizes the conversation on her half of the table. A GREAT salad of fresh greens, soy-based dressing, tiny dried tree-mushrooms with a scattering of herbs and nuts overall---which some don't like, with duck-breast on the side. Sadly, the breaded pork (AH, I thought it was tough for chicken!) cutlet with almond cream is chewy and not very tasty, though the carrots were OK and the red beets slightly better. Then raspberry mousse had almost more cream than raspberries. They announce that TOMORROW will be our last full day at sea before Gough, meaning we made up TWO days of travel! Also noted the great charts of seamounts around Tristan and Gough, and the other islands look CLOSE on the small-scale maps. Olivia talks about her life in Albuquerque, and Diane about her two daughters, one of which is married to a pushy Evangelical. UGH! I'd seen the ship's chronometer set at 7PM, so wasn't surprised when we were told to set our watches an hour ahead from 8:55PM to 9:55PM, leaving only ONE hour difference between us and GMT. Take my pills, take down the daily sheet, type out these remaining notes, will then brush my teeth and get to bed by 10:45PM.

SUNDAY, MARCH 17: (St. Patrick's Day) At 3:45AM wake with a dream that I'm a project leader where I have to take two computers on a flight to check late FILES, but have no place for phoning/demonstrating/working. Wake again at 4:15 to list numbers of words ending in AMT: foamt, roamt, blamt, unblamt, slamt, flamt, screamt, streamt, steamt, ashamt, shamt, unashamt, untamt, besides dreamt, and undreamt. Then I'm determined to jerk off, so I get out the rubber bands, then try the towel, the sweater, the scarf, but resort to the good old fingers to just bring myself OFF, just to do it, finishing at 5:30. Up at 8 with a jolt and am dressing when the call for breakfast comes at 8:03AM. Breakfast of fried eggs and bacon and toast and juice, and chat with Olivia, who had EIGHT kids, in reaction to her sibling-ness, and IN reaction to which NONE of her children have children. This goes to 8:50, then I'm up to the bridge to take picture 6:14 of sunlight on water for the 40s, having found one MORE 200ASI roll of film. Andy talks of photography from 9:30 to 10:20, showing me my EV + and - on top: to make it lighter, move EV to the plus side, to make it darker, move EV to the minus side. ALWAYS recheck settings before shooting. A 20mm wide-angle lens is expensive, distorting of faces close-up, but PERFECT for depth of field, since the WIDER lenses are BEST with smallest aperture. Andy: a good expensive normal is a 60mm MACRO lens, enabling 1x1 shots: objects are THE SAME SIZE ON FILM. Then someone mentions that the contest isn't for words ending in AMT, but words ending in MT, so I come up with redemt, claimt, disclaimt, reclaimt, blaimt, bloomt, doomt, groomt, strumt, becalmt, calmt, filmt, charmt, stormt, and squirmt, (and even LATER add exclaimt, dimmt, rammt, brimmt, rimmt, trimmt, slimmt, skimt, and hemt) but Ian says NONE of them are any good (and this computer TWEETS of a misspelling on all of them, too). Then it's time for lunch, a buffet of cold cuts, cheese, potato salad, and pasta salad, which I don't eat much of, with a bowl of berries in cream for dessert. Then Diane and I play two games, which we split, but Ian starts his Russian lesson at 2, so we're there to leave Znayu as Know, Eta as That is or There are, Mosh-na is both May I and You may, Nush-ne is I need, Shto is What?, Kak is How? Shto eta pa-ruski being What is this is Russian? as is Kak ska-zat: How do you say? and Kak eta za-voot: What is that called? Ian loves Me-dly-nye-ye for Slowly, and Chas or Sechas is Now, Dva minUTes is Gimme 2 minutes, Ya pak-a-ju is I'll show you, while Pak-a-djit-ya is You show me. G'dye is Where, Kuda is Where to, Kog-da is When? Kto is Who?, Pa-che-moo is Why? Skol-ka is How many or how much, and the captain from 8-12 is Sacha (who speaks English but needs a deodorant), from 12-4 is Pyotr, and from 4-8 is Chief Mate Sacha (blond, mustached), and the ship is owned by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Previous research was off the East coast of Russia for illegal nuclear waste dumps, and an Akademik is one step ABOVE a Professor, and our assignment is to look up Moo-stick. That's over at 3, and I go up to look at the waves, thinking I see a spout but probably don't, and Simon and two maids are running. Back for two more games which I win, back up to look at waning sun before going down at 5PM for Antarctica, hearing we're only 180 km from Gough, arriving there about 7AM tomorrow! And that the 214 km to Tristan will take 18 hours. Bob has tons of data, getting names and people mixed up but still entertaining, but not as entertaining as he THINKS he is. He talks between 1790 and 1888, leaving the EARLIER history for a time when we're closer to the islands concerned in that history. We stop at just before 6, listen to questions after (oh, forgot that the 4PM smack was VERY dark banana bread with butter, which Diane and I interrupted our game for), and then get to the cabin to type this all by 6:40PM, disappointed to see the sun ALREADY set at 6PM, since we set our clocks back last night, and now it's almost completely dark, the seas REMARKABLE calm all day: so, lacking a disaster tonight, we're TWO days ahead of schedule! Simon KEEPS asking about partners, homosexuality, and who's seeing who. Sorry he's so not attractive. Joe donated Gore Vidal's "Screening History" to the library, and when I pick it up, Joe says, "You'll enjoy some of the stuff in there." GAY stuff? None of that, but entertaining all the same, since I read most of it before dinner, avoiding the "green beer and Guinness Stout" of the St. Patrick's Day party, had the potato-leek soup and roast duck with potatoes (two for men, one for women) and peas, and "Tipsy" trifle for dessert, with jello, fruit, cake, and whipped cream. Then updeck to sight Orion, Southern Cross, Sirius, Rigel, and Betelgeuse on the rocking deck amid the Milky Way. Down to finish "Screening History" at 10:10 and this at 10:15PM, hoping to rise early as we anchor off Gough pre-brekky.

MONDAY, MARCH 18: Got to bed at 10:35PM, then wake at 5:05AM to think about NYC, not a good idea so early. At 6:35AM go to the porthole, and there's Gough Island! Dress and go to the bridge to hear Bill talking with the South African captain of a fishing vessel who's willing to sell us crayfish and Tristan first-day covers dating back to 1970: "I don't want to get rid of them, but someone might like to buy them." Then he talks to the leader of the 7-man South African meteorological station (which I photograph and Simon assumes the long antennae means they're monitoring submarines!), and this is the very middle day of their 413-day posting: day 207, so they're going for a walk in the hills. They talk of the "perpetually snow-capped peaks," but we can tell from there boat that there are no snowcaps and no waterfalls to be seen. Photo what may be their "Christ" on the southwestern tip, and then Hag's Tooth is rising into the clouds over Entrance Rock with an orange hut from the past. We sail through HUNDREDS of Dusky Dolphins, and then return to sail through them two or three times, everyone out with binoculars, cameras, and camcorders, including me. Breakfast is corn flakes, juice, and pancakes with blueberry sauce, of which I have three, though Simon doesn't care for the sauce. He complains about scheduling ALL of tomorrow to GET to Tristan, for if they left at 6PM this evening and sailed for the 18 hours they required, we'd be there at NOON tomorrow for an extra day that we're not scheduled for, and Bill is doing no talking to anyone to GET us this extra day. Diane is amazed that we've scheduled 6 days for a 4-day trip to Tristan, and then 4 days for a 2-day trip to St. Helena. I remark that they must have expected storms. Feet of footage of dolphins, some of which I hope are good, and a few snaps that might turn out well, too: now on roll 6, about 1/5 through my supply about 1/4 through the trip. Put on sunscreen in the bright sun, though a jacket is still needed, though Bill said it was 20 degrees Centigrade yesterday in the sun, which would be 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Now it's 11:05AM and we're STILL drifting for "half an hour," which was announced at 10AM, after the last pass through the dolphins. I sat on a stanchion on deck until I felt like I was drifting into sleep, then came down to fill this out. Let's hope we move SOON. Photos: 6:15 of Gough, 6:16 of "Christ, 6:17 of South African Meteorological Station, and 6:18-28 of dolphins! Told Shiela that I might watch the footage NOW, and she protested she wanted to stay on deck to see what happened next. Not much, though the birders are excited about a yellow-nosed albatross. Andy chatters inanely at me, and I guess I SHOULD talk to Jules to see if the heat has helped MY video at all. We start to circumnavigate the island, but pause for lunch of awful spaghetti and meatballs, of which I eat very little, and a bit of left-over cherry tart with a dab of whipped cream and two butter cookies. Turns out the authority on Tristan won't even let the ship ANCHOR, let alone come any closer to the island, so we have to be content with "going around the block." Almost every crag is filled with rockhopper penguins, and some beaches look filled with mice turds: elephant seals at this distance. There are spectacular waterfalls the entire length of the cliffs, there are double waterfalls, there are waterfalls surrounded at the base by penguins. Seals play in the water, albatrosses fly through the air, and we sail in the water from inlet to inlet, from dyke to cave to plateau to cliff to waves dashing against perpendicular rocks. I take video and stills, hoping to keep the memory of (in one sense) a wasted day because we didn't step foot on the island and of (in another sense) a glorious day because we have views that few on earth have seen. Bill broadcasts that we're going to go one last time through the dolphins and then rendezvous with the Hecla at 4PM for its captain to come aboard. The dolphins stay with us forever: diving and weaving and jumping in front of the bow-wave, dropping off to the side and then shooting into the front lines again, turning total flips way off to the side, glancing up at us as they flop on their sides, smacking the water for our camcorders to hear. Eight, and then five, and then six again play immediately in front of the boat, and I take video after video, using close-up and distant ranges, hoping to capture the number and variety of activity. Then we park and see the tiny boat setting off from the Hecla, and (OH, forgot the other boats leaving a HUGE fish that's NOT a sea bass (later called as "Bluefish"), and we watch the crew decking four or five Soldiers, red large-mouthed and -eyed fish, one of which has its swim bladder sticking out its mouth beneath its popped-out eyes. Eugene comes aboard with Joy, from Tristan, whom Diane knows the aunt of, and he's been fishing for 22 years and this is the worst year, so he wants to sell some of his Tristan first-day-of-issue stamps: some complete in an album, some with ship cachets, others on an individual basis for $8US apiece, except for some two-envelope sets for $16, with a total of just over 4 pounds of stamps on them---I think it's a rook, but we'll find out in Tristan, which (at this moment at 5:45PM) I think the captain announced we're about to leave for in fifteen minutes. I'm in and out with my sweater, jacket, beret, gloves, binoculars, macro-lens, and camcorder five or six times for angles and new film and battery recharge. Raisin cookies come out just after 4PM for the snack, and asshole Glen RETAINS his two when he asks Ian if he can have two, and Ian nods at the five cookies remaining in his tray and the dozen or so waiting for cookies and says, sarcastically, "Sure." Thankfully, a second tray of cookies arrives, at which point I have another one too. Diane buys five covers for $40 American, I buy nothing. Back up on deck to watch the sun set behind Hag's Tooth, hoping that one or more of the overexposed shots gives the detail in the cliffs without totally whiting out the sky, but I'll find out later. Binoculars on the cliffs reveal levels and meadows of green velvet, cashmere, and boucle with bushes and folds and rills empty of snowmelt, since the icecaps have all melted, but this is the end of summer and it'll soon be snowing anew. Eugene laughs and says that it's good weather in Tristan today, so it'll be nice for the next three days at least, except that it can be wonderful at the Settlement and storming on the back of the island. I look at the birds, see no more seals so tiny that I'm convinced they must be sea otters, which Graham says don't exist here, and finally it gets so cold that I'm down to the cabin to get out my laptop and start clacking away, feeling tired from being outside all day, watching Simon and maids gallop around the fifth deck like the passing figures on the ledge of a Grandfather's clock in a Swiss village. Now it's 5:55PM, and I'm too tired to think of doing much more, though I SHOULD take a shower, which I might see about now. No one was there, so I left off my SOCKS this time and went in with fewer items than ever. Easy start with a stable ship, then someone tried the door and the ship started underway and I got out, dried, changed, and started reading OC, but just couldn't stay awake, brooded for a bit, and went into the dining room about 7:35, to find everyone involved, so I went to the reading area and could find nothing but the old Cycle World and went thought that again while Dorothy started playing checkers against herself and Don made a fool of himself playing the piano abysmally. I waited til most were seated and Vern and Pat were all alone, so I joined them, soon to be joined by Bill and Andy, and Bill treated the whole table to a bottle of wine! The beef carpaccio was quite good, so I envied Pat when she god Andy's unwanted portion, and when Ian, for a joke, put down another portion, Bill just passed it over to me! Sure made up for the gummy spaghetti this noon. The potatoes were roasted well, almost home fries, and everything being so good made the broccoli edible---the main course being trout, but so like salmon that Andy suggested it was salmon-trout, and I said I'd only recently been introduced to it. Bill repeats the report he gave our table: THIS was his most incredible day, with the dolphins, sights, fish, and Eugene and Joy. Bob (I think a maximum of THREE people left this time) finished, at last, his dyslexic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and Graham raved about seven species of albatrosses in one day, a record, and 22 species in all, probably a record. We're due to arrive in Tristan at 5PM tomorrow, but can't go ashore till morning, but Simon will do a history lesson on the deck, pointing out places of interest. Pat and Vern, very touchy-feely, challenge each other to a game of Backgammon, others leave, and I come to the cabin to finish this and debate reading more of OC just to digest more before trying to go to sleep. Do read, but eyes close and get to bed at 10:20PM.