Stumbled across this article,..."Why I Hated Antarctica"...Oh, oh...Unexpected "visitor" in the house!!!


With the sun shining, we opened the sliding glass door only to have a visitor come to see what I was cooking.  Three Magpies visit every day to see what morsels we have for the day.  carnivorous scavengers Magpies are always on the hunt for a tidbit of meat.
When sleep eluded me during the night I stumbled across an article on Facebook with a heading reading, "Why I Hated Antarctica," I couldn't resist but reading it in its entirety. 
It at this very spot that I prepare foods. He'd entered to do some "crumb patrol" without much luck since we'd vacuumed the previous day.
The moment I'd seen the title, I freaked out a little wondering what befell these travelers causing them to feel so negatively about Antarctica.  Had things changed dramatically since we'd booked this cruise so long ago?
Giving up, he checked out the garbage can for surrounding crumbs and wandered back outdoors.  He waited for me while I grabbed a few bits of ground beef and sausage which he shared with his partner and noisy fast growing chick.
After all, we've already paid the following for this upcoming Antarctica cruise on January 23, 2018, a mere nine months from now:

Prestige Stateroom
Charges Cruise (includes port charges)
US $34,410.00 (AU $45,498)

Government Taxes*
US $90.00 (AU $119)

Total Sale 
US $ 34,500 (AU $45,617)

Ponant Yacht Cruises (deposit)
MC 
8,625.00 (AU $11,404)

Ponant Yacht Cruises
MC 
US $2,000 (AU $2,644)

Ponant Yacht Cruises
MC 
US $2,000 (AU $2,644)

Ponant Yacht Cruises
MC 
US $2,000 (AU $2,644)

Ponant Yacht Cruises
MC 
US $2,000 (AU $2,644)

Ponant Yacht Cruises
MC
US $2,000 (AU $2,644)

Total Payments
US $18,625 (AU $24,626)

Balance Due 
US $15,875  (AU $20,990)
With the final payment due on October 16, 2017, we're left with six months to continue to pay toward the balance.  By the time the final payment is due, it will be greatly reduced to a manageable sum. This high fare was daunting when we booked the cruise but has become less worrisome as we pay down the balance.

With the fall season in full swing, the weather cools a little each day. Soon, as winter arrives, the beaches will have fewer sunbathers, swimmers, and surfers.
We've never spent this huge of a fare for a cruise.  Most likely we never will again.  But, Antarctica was on the "dream list" and if we didn't do it sooner than later, advancing age and possible health conditions may prevent it. 

A doctor's certificate of good health is required within 90 days of sail date.  This could deter some travelers embarking on this cruise. During the upcoming three and a half months (90 days prior to the cruise) we'll be living in Costa Rica, we'll arrange doctor appointments for the physical exams.

Surf boards, paddle boards, chairs and umbrellas for rent.
Seeing this article title sent me into a bit of a tizzy thinking perhaps travelers experiences had changed recently causing considerable disappointment since we'd booked this cruise some time ago.  I couldn't read the article quickly enough.
A sailboat slowly motoring through the bay in low winds.
Here's an excerpt from the article which may be found in full at this link:

"Everyone wants to experience the Drake Passage! I heard tales of how rough it can be, how everyone is sea sick and to me, it sounded like a real adventure. What did we get, you ask? Something, known as the Drake Lake. Flat, calm, next to no wind and smooth sailing the entire way to and back from Antarctica. Talk about disappointing.

Sunshine, bloody sunshine everywhere while in Antarctica. I am so lucky I had sunscreen and sunnies on hand for other travels. I can tell you I would have been burnt to a crisp if I had not had these. No one wants the sunshine in Antarctica; you are supposed to be a cold continent…..shame on you.

I am sure you have heard that only 100 people can be on Antarctica at one particular point at one time. I thought beauty no crowds here plenty of space it is going to be amazing! BUT, no one mentioned the PENGUINS. You would not believe how many there are, they are literally everywhere and to make matters worse there are rules. You must give way to penguins, GIVE WAY I tell you! Sometimes when they are running down their penguin highways, yes they have highways, they decide to stop right in front of you. At this moment you must stop and wait for them to move. Talk about invading your personal space and wasting your time."

The tongue-in-cheek article continues at this link making me laugh out loud at its humor and my mistaken perception that it may be negative after all.  If anything, it further confirmed our enthusiasm for this upcoming adventure.
Prices are high at the fish mongers, for example, the fish Tom caught in the ocean while fishing in the Huon Valley, Flathead Fillets are selling for AU $46.90, US $35.44 for one kilo, (2.2 pounds).  We prefer not to eat farmed fish this avoiding this pricey farmed salmon for AU $39.90, US $30.16 per one kilo.
It's not that we wishing time to pass quickly.  As we plan more and more events with our family and friends, our enthusiasm is sky high.  And, of course, we're immensely enthused about the upcoming cruise in three days, the cruise to Alaska in 28 days and arriving in Minnesota in only 37 days.  How quickly the time has passed!
Sunny day at the beach.
Today's additional mention in the post's heading about our unexpected visitor which was pure delight reminding us of visitors we can expect in South Africa in a mere 10 months. 

Living in the moment becomes a little challenging with so much on the horizon. Each day we strive to find joy in the little things including our visiting Magpie with whom we've become even more intimate friends than the visiting Kookaburras who've yet to come indoors.  Even a nosey Mynah hopped along the kitchen counter shortly after our arrival.

Expansive view of the bay.  Sydney Harbour is a distance to the right, around the point.
Every day is a gift, one we keep opening layer upon layer to wonderful surprises along the way.

May your day be filled with wonderful surprises!
______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, April 19, 2016:
A wall hanging in the casino on Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas last year on this date.  For more details, please click here.

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