April 19, 2013 Sea Day

April 19, 2013  Sea Day

We are headed to toward Brazil crossing the Atlantic Ocean, which is the second largest of the earth’s four oceans and the most heavily traveled. Divided into two sections, the part north of the equator is called the North Atlantic, the part south of the equator, the South Atlantic. The ocean’s name is derived from Atlas, one of the Titans of Greek mythology. An S-shaped body of water, the Atlantic extends from the Artic Ocean in the north to the Antarctic continent in the south and between the eastern coast of the American continents and the western coast of Africa and Europe. It’s surface area is about 31,660,000 square miles and if you include its marginal seas-the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the North, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black seas-the total area is about 41 million square miles. The Atlantic has an average depth of 12, 881 feet and its deepest point is in the Puerto Rico Trench, where the bottom is 28,681 feet below the surface. The Atlantic formed about 150 million years ago, when a rift opened up in the super-continent of Gondwanaland, resulting in the separation of South America and Africa, which continues today at the rate of several centimeters a year. The underwater mountain ridges have a more rugged topography than any mountain range on land, are a frequent site of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and can range as high as 2 miles above the ocean floor.

Travel guide Barbara presented: Things to See and Do in Belem, Brazil. We attended a cooking show with guest chef Chris Smith in the Culinary Arts Center where he presented two recipes on a chicken tortellini soup and a tomato and poblano chili soup.

We had lunch in the dining room with friends Ken and Fred.

The afternoon featured a lecture with Howard Walker where he discussed the spread of nuclear weapons, conflicts over natural resources, borders, national minorities, and terrorism. He also discussed cooperation against drugs and thugs, humanitarian issues, environmental protection and the international financial system. Howard has an incredible amount of information and statistics but it is often too much information to absorb.

The afternoon also featured a matinee concert, by concert pianist Naomi Edermariam who had performed a few nights ago. She presented a wonderful program of music written about animals, birds and other “critters.”

It was a formal dinner this evening, featuring a Carnival theme with the dining room decked out in bright colors. After dinner there was a ball in the Queen’s Lounge with all of the officers available for dancing. The lounge was beautifully decorated in brightly colored Carnival decorations. Many of the guests had festive colorful outfits and masks for the occasion although as the cruise has progressed fewer and fewer people have been coming to the balls.  Kent took some pictures of favorite passengers and crew and actually danced with Kathy (no underpants)…..first time he’s danced in about 20 years.  Mark and Jenn posed for photos and observed it all, as wall flowers.  We had fun and stayed until the bitter end.