Bob and Joyce South
December 5 - December 25, 2002
Questions and Comments
We have had some comments and questions from some viewers. Here are some of them with answers when appropriate. Got a question or comment?
What kind of camera did you use?
Did anybody get sick on the ship?
Did you have trouble with money or language?
Internet and phone access?
Where did the ship go during the southern portion?
1. What kind of camera did you use?
My camera is a Nikon Coolpix 995. It takes pictures up to 3 megapixels. For most of the time I used a ~2 megapixel resolution (1600x1280). When we got to Buenos Aires I started running low on memory and went to ~1.5 megapixel (1280x960). I did not want to bother with a computer, so I had to have enough memory to store all the pictures; three 128 MB compact flash cards were used. I still had room for 5 more pictures when I got home!
Sometimes I increased the resolution to 2048x1536 if I thought I might want to severely crop or print 8X10s. It is always a compromise.
I carry three batteries for the camera, so I have a range of about 150 pictures before I run out of energy. The ship supplied 110V as did the Marriott in Santiago. The Marriott in Buenos Aires was 220V (more typical), but I had charged batteries for the two days there. Next time I will carry an adaptor for the foreign location.
The camera has the capability for flash and some of the outdoor people pictures have a fill flash to light up our faces when it is gloomy or shadowed. Indoors I can set the camera to adjust for incandescent or fluorescent lighting. In churches I placed the camera on the pew in front and take a delayed exposure. I seldom use a flash in a church out of respect for those in prayer.
For most purposes this camera works well on a project like this. The telephoto is limited when it comes to really close in pictures. Baby penguins from a distance needed a stronger telephoto to do great justice in intimate circumstances.
2. Did anybody get sick on the ship?
We know of one person who got sick. She was quarantined in her inside cabin for three days. Some people got seasick even though the ocean was mild (we thought). Many people had medications and devices for inhibiting seasickness (we did too but seldom saw the need after the first few days).
The Zenith crew was compulsive about cleanliness around food and bathrooms. Everything was spotless always. The daily program always reminded everybody that frequent hand washing helps everyone. Tours of the galley were cancelled. For the first five days all meat was medium or well; after that we could get pink even rare steak.
Of course, while on shore people ate whatever and sanitation was not exactly first class. But it all worked for the common comfort.
3. Did you have trouble with money or language?
We do not speak much Spanish, but generally good words to know are "dos" for two, "por favor" for please, "gracias" for thank you, and a big smile for everything else. "Habla ingles" -do you speak English? - sometimes works. We managed to get feed and transported.
We used Chilean pesos while in Chile (680 pesos to the dollar) and since the symbol for peso is the $ sign, it is interesting to pay $7000 for dinner (10 dollars) or $200 for an ice cream cone (30 cents).
In Argentina the dollar works almost everyplace (3.5 pesos to the dollar) and the stores give a better rate of instant exchange than anyplace. Banks were preoccupied with the national money problems and would not exchange or even let us enter the facility in most cases. Bank lines were long with some unhappy people.
4. Internet and phone access?
Internet access was available on the ship for "only" 50 cents a minute. That's about 5 dollars a message if you are fast composing. Phone calls on the ship start at 10 dollars a minute. We didn't see any need for the ship services.
Internet access was available in numerous places in Chile and Argentina, even in small ports and towns. Rates for fast access ranged from 30 cents up to 1 dollar an hour. The Spanish keyboard does not have the @ sign so one must cut and paste email addresses or learn the little secret called Alt-64. Phone calls were as low as 18 cents a minute to anywhere in the world. Locals calls in Chile were about that much and calls to cell phones from public phones were double the local call rate (or half the time allowed).
Cell phones are a way of life everyplace we went in Chile and Argentina. Cell towers loomed over the cities in every direction.
In the Falkland Islands the British are bit more reserved about communications. Tin cans with waxed string seemed to be the norm. No public internet access anywhere at any price. No visible means of making public international calls, although I'm sure it was possible. A few people did have cell phones so it must be there. The people do have web sites and email addresses.
5. Where did the ship go during the southern portion?
separate web page
shows the actual routing of the ship within the Chilean fiords, Straits of
Magellan, Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, and back out to Cape Horn. We were
in weather-protected water all this time. All of this is portion is in the
southernmost part of South
America between 50-56 degrees south of the equator.
Santiago, Chile to the Chilean Fiords
Ushuaia, Argentina and Cape Horn
Falkland Islands to Buenos Aires
Questions and comments
© Copyright 2002 Robert E. Graf