Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012 – Santorini, Greece – Sunny - 87F

Distance from Rhodes to Santorini: 143 Nautical Miles

Local Information:  Santorini is in the Cyclades group of islands. Santorini is believed to the be site of a massive volcanic explosion (1450 BC). The explosion wiped out the Minoan Civilization and may have been responsible for some of the Biblical Plagues of the Exodus.  What is left today of that volcano is a massive water filled caldera and a ring of islands (the remnants of the original island).   Three main islands are Thira,Thirasia, and Apronisi.  Santorini is named for St. Irene (by the Venetians in 13th century. The main city, Fira (Thira), is home to 2000 residents. Fira is 890 feet above the little village of Skala – at the base of the cliffs.  There are no ports and the caldera is too deep for anchor.  Ships have to actively maintain their position in the caldera.  To make it even more exciting, the ship will not be using its lifeboats as tenders – local Greek Tenders will do the tendering.

Ellen is on tour today – I am staying on board because my talk today is at 4:30 PM (before the afternoon tours return to the ship).

We checked out the Hideaway on Deck 7.  The place, while not that quiet, does have a coffee service and some very unusual seats.  Ellen fit perfectly into the space age seats – my back was bothering me and I couldn’t get into them at all.

 E in the Hideaway Deck 7 (Small)  E in the Hideaway Deck 7 2 (Small)

Ellen trying out the seats in the Hideaway

I spent most of the day up in the Sky Lounge enjoying the every changing view (the ship moves slightly in place).  The Sky Lounge also has power plugs for my computer – a Panera Penthouse, you might say.

When everyone is off ship, its just you, the view, and your computer.  

 Working with a view of Nea Kameni (Small)

The very volcanic looking and uninhabited island of Nea Kameni was postcard perfect.

Nea Kameni Island (Small)

Nea Kameni Island

Ellen took some nice shots while on tour, including the caldera and the Celebrity Silhouette sailing in place

Nea Kameni and ship (Small) 

Silhouette in Caldera (Small)

Silhouette in the Caldera

Thera and tender boat (Small) 

Greek Tenders taking passengers to Santorini

Tip of Thera Island (Small)

Far tip of Thera Island

Thera and Quarry (Small)

Thera Island and Quarry

Ellen got a very nice shot of Thera (coast to coast)

 View across the Island of Santorini (Small)

Thera (coast to coat)

Noordam and Fira Town (Small)

HAL Noordam and Fira Town

 E and Sophia (Small)

Ellen and a new friend on tour

Sometimes, the ships change positions within the caldera.  The Spanish Cruiser, Ibero, moved past us to a new spot in front of the Silhouette.

Ibero Cruiser (Small) 

Although there was talk about waiting hours for a return trip on the tram, some waits were shorter.  

My Fourth Talk – “Search for the Titanic Child” was at 4:30 PM in Celebrity Central.  Although the ship didn’t push until 5:30 PM or so, the talk still drew a respectable crowd of 70 enthusiastic attendees.  Ellen showed up near the end of the talk.

Even though we have been to Santorini a number of times, I can’t recall taking in the Sail Away.  Today’s picture perfect Sail Away was captured in the sequence below.

Santorini Sailaway (Small)  Santorini Sailaway 3 (Small) Santorini Sailaway 4 (Small) Santorini Sailaway 5 (Small)

The location of the ship during the Sail Away was confirmed on the ship’s navigation channel.

Santorini Sailaway on Nav Map (Small) 

Showtime tonight was Variety Night – Uncommon Ground (below), Jon Courtenay, and Lisa all contributed to an entertaining night. Uncommon Ground did a great job on the choreography of both the Temptations and the Jersey Boys. 

Uncommon Ground - Temptations (Small)

Tonight’s second full moon of the month is a Blue Moon.  I was able to get a pretty good shot with my camera phone.

Blue Moon (Small)

Blue Moon over the Mediterranean

Tomorrow we are in Crete.

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