Saturday September 19 & Sunday September 20th : At Sea.

SilverSea really does a good job of activities for sea days. There’s everything from lectures to line dancing, as well as a variety of movies and other videos, books, games, and of course great food. Saturday was a scheduled sea day, and we all enjoyed the available amenities. Collette visited the spa and came back glowing, and I know there was some shopping. Cathy, Larry and I have joined a trivia team, and are in second place after 2 days of play. The winning team really is brilliant, but we’re determined to catch and even pass them. I also played some bingo and won one card. For most of the game I thought I must have a completely different set of numbers than the ones they were using! Just as we sat down for dinner, one of the servers spotted some whales near the ship. We rushed to the window and could just see them moving, one spouted, but none really surfaced. The seas continue rough, and the winds are still very strong, so it was a restless night.
Sunday morning we arrived at Dutch Harbor in very poor weather. 
[Above 2 file photos]The captain and local pilot tried twice to anchor the ship in the harbour, but the anchor would not hold. It was not safe to stay, so they turned the ship around and left the harbour without letting us go ashore. We did get a good view of the small community from the ship. 
  The winds were so strong that the crew tied down all the deck chairs, but some of them broke loose and actually became airborne. I don’t know if any actually went over the side, but for a few moments it looked and sounded quite dramatic. Some people saw a whale or whales jumping from the water, but we all missed that sight. The crew quickly organized alternative activities for us. I joined a line dancing class. It was kind of hilarious as the ship lurched about and we all tried to hold our places and balance while remembering the steps. Very good exercise. There was an amusing explanation of the International Date Line and what happens to the day we will lose this week. (We’ll get it back on the way home from Japan.) This afternoon we’ll do bingo and trivia again. It’s certainly relaxing being at sea, and although most of the time we can see nothing but water, it’s quite a stunning sight. We’re in the Bering Sea, and it’s very grey and steely, with the sun blazing across it and constant choppy wave action. Given that the waves are about 3 – 4 metres high, the ship is surprisingly stable, although we’re all glad we don’t have to pass any kind of sobriety test involving walking a straight line. The next few days will be at sea as we make our way to Petropavlovsk Russia. We will cross the date line along the way and lose one day before we get there on Friday[we are losing an hour a day for the next few days - should help our jet-lag]