Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Voyage of the Vikings, Day 12 - Husavik

Finally, a destination I can pronounce, sort of.

Just in case any of you were waiting on the edge of your chair, we did cross the Arctic Circle last night (and then turned about and re-crossed it), but we did not attend the festivities. Too much power touring during the day. Don’t get us wrong – we thoroughly enjoyed the tour, but we were very tired when we returned. The narrow and low bus seats are killers on Keith’s back.

The other big news was a $191 win at the slot machine, after loosing $90 at the table. To celebrate her big win, Kathy immediately put $20 back in the machines, Netting $81 for the day.

Keith is topsides at 6am. Visibility is about a quarter of a mile in fog, and closing in. But it seems to be getting brighter in the east... Weather is cool (50deg). The wind was out of the NE at 35 when I awoke in the open ocean. Lots of whitecaps. Now that we have entered the Skjalfandi Bay, Wind has calmed somewhat and sea state is much abated as we proceed toward Husavik. Perfect weather for Kathy to sleep in.

Skjalfandi Bay and Husavik Harbor

Earlier there was a bright patch ashore where our harbor is located. Approaching the harbor, however, it has begun to rain. We hope the locals don't blame us for bringing the rain with us.


It’s Getting Brighter in the East!

Still no whales, BTW. An Australian lady sitting next to me tells me that this area is known for whale sightings. Oh well.

Looks like another relaxing shipboard day. It's 8am, Kathy is still in bed, we're docked about a quarter mile from town, and it's still raining. I can't say I'm chuffed; the older I get, the more these days of relaxation appeal, especially in a luxurious environment where there's always something going on.


Rainy Day Approach to Husavik


Kathy Approaches Husavik in the Rain

Fast forward to 2pm, and we've accomplished little, but have enjoyed it immensely. A liesurely breakfast, followed by time in the Library fiddling with the Blog, then time in the computer lab fiddling with photos, and suddenly it was lunchtime. A nap after a liesurely lunch, then back to the library for Keith, while Kathy consumes another novel.


A Small Part of the Lido Dessert Buffet

What happened to our ambition to walk into town? The weather has cleared and the merchants are waiting for us. Lunch is what happened to our ambition. In addition to the fact that Keith's back is aching pretty good after yesterday's long bus ride. , so we took a few photos from the deck.


Husavik is A pretty Northern Icelandic Harbor


Close-up of the Pretty Icelandic Church


Colorful Homes Cling to the Icelandic Hillside in Husavik

We are sorry to miss one of the museums in Husavik. according to the literature published by Holland America, "The Icelandic Phallological Museum... is all about science. Among Icelandic people, the subject does not bring so much as a blush - the museum's unabashed theme is the phallus. Male genetalia representing different species are preserved in remarkable ways, and the museum documents various (and perhaps surprisingly fascinating) facts about the organ."

The surprisingly fascinating fact is that the person who was fascinated by all this was not Keith. It is the same person who insisted we drive all over southern Nevada to photograph brothels.


Brochure Photo of a Husavik Museum

We can't wait to see what Holland America has to say about the red light district in Amsterdam.

Factoid: according to Liz, the fascinating artist we toured with yesterday, a common criminal charge in 19th century London was "For Unnatural Carnal Knowledge", often abreviated in the police logs. We also were told that the nickname "copper", later abreviated to "cop", refered to the copper buttons worn by early London policemen.

We don't endorse this trivia, we just pass it along. Best say no more, and segway to the photos


Keith on Deck, Checking the Dock lines


Triple Spring Lines Hold Maasdam Securely


Kathy Looking Out Over the Skjalfandi Bay


Tourists Look for Whales in the Skjalfandi Bay

Looking ahead to dinner, we should report that we officially gave up our standing 5:30 reservation in the dining room. We exchanged it for a system where we make table reservations each morning, as desired. We found it tedious to spend two hours at the dinner table every day, despite the pleasant company. We also found ourselves skipping the dining room in favor of the Lido, because of conflicting schedules. One of the things Keith most enjoys about cruising is sitting in the Crow's Nest watching the scenery, and the boat handling, as we sail away from port. That generally conflicts with the dinner time slot. Keith has been bribing Kathy with liquor to bypass formal dining on sail away days (most days, except those at sea).

While on the subject of dinner, we thought we would like to share one of the HAL moneymakers with you. Called the Six Courses Candle Light Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill, it features the following menu:


"The Maasdam is proud to announce that the Pinnacle Grill is once again elevating it's elegant dining experience by offering a one time only Candle light Dinner this cruise, to be held on Wednesday August 5th, 2009.

This evening filling event will feature a special Six Courses Candle Light Dinner Menu designed and prepared by our Pinnacle Grill Chef John. Ingo, our cellar master, who is blessed with a keen ability and a passion that keeps him in constant pursuit of the ultimate wine and food combination, has selected the perfect accompaniment for each of Chef John's culinary delights. Ingo and your Pinacle Manager Peter will explain each combination in depth at your table and can answer any further queries during thus special dinner.

To enhance the wine and food pairing discussions, seating arrangements will be shared by other guests, which is to surely enliven the spirit of the evening. You will be welcomed at 7:00pm in the Pinacle Grill where an evening of mouth-watering dishes, exceptional service and world class wines awaits you.


The Matre’ de Awaits Your Pleasure


Avocado Rendevoux

Domaine Ste. Michelle Sparkling Brut NV, WA, USA


Seenade of White Tomato and truffle essence Soup

Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling, WA, USA


Boquet of Fresh Greens on a bed of Sunset Boulevard

Rosemont Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia


Champagne Spoon to settle down

J. Roget Sparkling Brut NV, NY, USA


A Harmony of Lobster Tail and Seared Tuna

Conundrum, CA. USA


Rack of Lamb Seduced by a Garlic-Rosemary Mint Sauce and fleshy Vegetables with a Stimulating Espresso-Potato Gratin

Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc, CA, USA


Cupids Pinnacle Grill Dessert sampler

Graham's Six Grapes Port, Portugal


Coffee or Tea Friandise

Is this supper, or gastronomic poetry? Can somebody please explain to me what the dickens it means to say rack of lamb seduced by a mint sauce? And all for only $45 per person, over and above the cost of the dinner you've already paid for.

My dear departed father, who grew up on a southern Indiana dirt farm, would have looked at this menu and said "well la-ti-da".

That's all, folks!

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