The orcas in this area are called "residential orcas" because they stay in the area year-round and eat fish. The "transient orcas" further north devour warm-blooded mammals like seals and the calves of other whale species. They vacation off the northern Alaskan coasts when the humpbacks and others return in the summer.
In this narrow strait through which we are traveling at the moment the orcas will find schools of salmon, herring, and other fish to feed on. It is a sort of whale buffet. Speaking of buffets, we have had a day of feeding as well.
Following a light breakfast in the International Dining Room we went to the theater where Amedeo Scarin, the Executive Chef who oversees the preparation of 17,000 meals a day on board the Diamond Princess and Jacques Ghennai, the Maitre d'Hotel who oversees the staff of servers and stewards, presented an entertaining culinary demonstration. Following their presentation we joined several hundred other curious cruisers on a parade through the ship's main galley to see where this work was done.
The entire ship operation is fascinating to me. It is a floating city and the logistics are overwhelming. Yet everything from navigation to communication to hotel services to food services to travel services to entertainment to shopping services to engineering are managed with such amazing coordination.
Take food for example. Each day chefs use 205 kg of flour each day, 210 kg cheese, and 152 kg rice. During the seven days of the cruise they will use 920 kg of shrimp, 6691 kg of beef, 700 kg of King Crab legs, 600 kg of pasta, 6526 kg of chicken, 7710 kg of fish, and 548 kg of lobster. (For those who have forgotten, multiply by 2.2 to get pounds.) Passengers will guzzle 4,340 bottles of wine and 8,400 bottles of beer. In addition there are fresh fruits and vegetables galore. All of that has to be purchased, stored, prepared, and served.
Not long after our tour of the galley we visited the pastry buffet for a sampling. Then the won-ton soup buffet. After a brief retirement to our stateroom we went down to the Explorer Bar for an authentic English pub lunch. We chose the fish and chips. A while later it was time for Afternoon Tea in the Pacific Moon Dining Room. We'd not availed ourselves of that experience all week, so we gave it a shot. After visiting with one of our fellow travelers on the stern of the ship, we returned to our room for blogging and whale watching.
Tonight we pack our luggage, go to dinner, watch a magic show in the theater, and then spend our final night aboard ship. Sometime around 7:00 AM we will dock in Vancouver and by noon we'll be at the airport awaiting a flight to Seattle.