April 1, 2013 Sea Day

April 1, 2013  Sea Day

The history of April Fools Day, sometimes called All Fools Day is unclear. The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the New Year was celebrated for eight days beginning on March 25.th With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and New Year’s Day was moved to January 1. However, because news traveled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. The general populace labeled these backward folk as “fools.” They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on ‘fools errands’ or were made the butt of other practical jokes. This harassment evolved, over time into a tradition of prank playing on the first of April.

Our travel guide Ba,rbara, presented Things to See and Do in Cape Town this morning. Then Lawrence Kuznetz lectured on the International Space Station and the wide range of benefits that come from space exploration. He showed a video tour of the interior of the space station, which was fascinating. One of the astronauts showed the food they eat, where they sleep, where and how they use the toilet, where they conduct experiments and what you can see of earth from space.

We shared lunch with our friends Jan and Jan who had taken a five-day overland trip to India to see the Taj Mahal. They left the ship when we were in Sri Lanka and retuned the day we were in the Seychelles. They shared with us their photos and experience of visiting India. They had a wonderful time and were glad that they had gone but it was an exhausting trip with crazy flight times in the middle of the night. I hope to see India for myself one day soon. Kent visited India in 1988.  From what the girls said, not too much has changed.

The afternoon lecturer was George Sranko who lectured on the Mighty Ocean Currents where he talked about the ocean currents around the world and in particular those around South Africa. There are an billions of sardines found in the waters around the cape of South Africa, bringing out dolphins and whales that feed on them.

The weather was cloudy and drizzly today but we had a pool party with food, drinks and silly games at the indoor pool this afternoon. As part of the party they had a dunk tank where you could pay a dollar to try and dunk your favorite crewmember or the captain. The dollars went towards a fundraiser for the children with AIDS at the Bernard Noordkamp Center in Namibia.

The entertainer this evening was a gentleman by the name of Bayne Bacon who was a comedian and musician from Texas. He played the piano and the guitar and had a dry sense of humor. He was quite a good musician and had some funny lines.