Coda, Prinsendam Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage

  March 16, 2015, Sitka, Alaska How could this be my 75th post for a 68 day cruise?  OK, one post was anticipation and this one is a coda, written after we got home but still…  I averaged more than one post a day.  I’ve also posted more than 1700 pictures.  It’s reasonable to ask; did he do anything but blog?  Did he actually enjoy the … Continue reading Coda, Prinsendam Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage

Closing Campfire and After Party

March 13, 2015 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida The cruise is over and we are back in Fort Lauderdale.  I will probably have one more post after this one to sum things up.  I guess I have been working on USAID projects too long because I always have to write my “lessons learned, best practices” memo.   Right now I am still processing the lessons I’ve learned and … Continue reading Closing Campfire and After Party

Swimming a National Park Service Trail

March 9, 2015 St John, US Virgin Islands Today we swam a national park service trail.  I have hiked and canoed national park trails before but never swam one with my face down in the water.  It is the Trunk Bay coral snorkeling trail. We took the ferry from St. Thomas to Cruz Bay and had a good view of the British Virgin Islands in … Continue reading Swimming a National Park Service Trail

On the Bridge of MS Prinsendam

March 9, 2015 St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Not every Holland America officer likes serving on Prinsendam; at least that’s what our American Express representative tells me.  It has an old fashioned bridge, different from the other ships.  The newer ships have, what airline pilots call, a glass cockpit.  You sit surrounded by monitors and can control everything on the ship with the flip of … Continue reading On the Bridge of MS Prinsendam

Water, Sky,Light and Perspective, Getting Abstract in Barbados.

March 8, 2015 Sailing the Caribbean We are on our way to our final stop, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.  Yesterday afternoon, after taking the course/tour in photo composition we went to the beach and I was playing with my waterproof camera using water, light and perspective to create some abstract images.  I also took some straight out tourist shots.   On the way to and from … Continue reading Water, Sky,Light and Perspective, Getting Abstract in Barbados.

I Take Photography Lessons, Here are the Results.

March 7, 2014 Bridgetown, Barbados. Ronnie Carrington is a photographer, videographer, film producer and poet in Barbados.  He runs photo tours of the island, teaching how to make better photographs.  On the tour bus he lectured on picture composition and the history of Barbados.  Then he took us to places where we would have varied subjects, different textures, and changing light.  Sometimes he pointed out … Continue reading I Take Photography Lessons, Here are the Results.

The Devil Owns Salvation

March 5, 2015 Devil’s Island, French Guiana In the 1750s they called them the Isles of Salvation.  French Colonists found the mainland of South America disease ridden and many died.  These islands, several miles off shore did not seem to have the malaria and yellow fever present on the mainland.  Settlers went there for convalescence and evaluation.  Were they healthy enough to continue as colonists?  … Continue reading The Devil Owns Salvation

What Exactly Do You Mean by Remote?

March 3, 2014 Cruising the Amazon “If I mailed a postcard from here who knows how long it would take to get home?”  That’s what one of my fellow passengers said when we sailed into Santarem last week.  “This is so remote.”  We crossed the Amazon Bar about 47 hours earlier so I can see how he would think this is remote.  But depending on … Continue reading What Exactly Do You Mean by Remote?

“Wildlife, Science, History, Adventure.” and Joy

March 3, 2015, 7 AM Cruising past Santarem This is our last day on the Amazon. We reach the bar at the entrance of the river at 1:30 tomorrow morning.  We are traveling fast, faster than twenty knots.  We need to be faster than the river current to maintain steerage. Five days ago we called at Santarem at the juncture of the Tapajos and Amazon … Continue reading “Wildlife, Science, History, Adventure.” and Joy

In the Shadow of the City

March 1, 2014 Manaus, Brazil Manaus is the starting point for treks into the Amazon rainforest.  It sits were Rio Negro flows into Rio Amazon.  The Amazon is swift, muddy, coffee colored, and cooler than the Negro.  Rio Negro is slower, warmer, clearer, looking almost black but often reflecting blue sky and it is acidic.  The Amazon fosters wildlife, has lots of fish, and deposits … Continue reading In the Shadow of the City

Jungle Metropolis

March 1, 2014 Manaus, Brazil We’ve just finished two days in Manaus, the largest city in the Amazon basin.  Manaus started as a mission station and a military base to reinforce Portugal’s and then Brazil’s claim on the region.  I didn’t really take off until the second half of the 19th century when rubber barons created a jungle metropolis dedicated to the export of rubber … Continue reading Jungle Metropolis

A Pleasant Anachronism or Nintindo in the Jungle.

February 28, Manaus, Brazil It’s a pleasant anachronism.  The Manaus Opera House (Theater of the Amazon) was built by the Rubber Barons at the end of the 19th century.  The house is decadent; angels, theatrical masks, a painted curtain and a ceiling mural with a Murano glass chandelier hanging from its center.   It was designed for grand opera and grand drama.  Enrico Caruso was scheduled … Continue reading A Pleasant Anachronism or Nintindo in the Jungle.

Missed the Giant Cashew Tree, Got the Chocolate Pizza

February 22, 2015 Natal, Brazil Poor Natal.  This is the fifth port day in a row and we were low on energy.  Natal has huge sand dunes.  Some took dune buggy trips.  We watched the dunes as we sailed by on the ship.  Natal has a star shaped fort built by the Dutch. (Natal was New Amsterdam before New York was.)  Some went to visit … Continue reading Missed the Giant Cashew Tree, Got the Chocolate Pizza

Asparagus and the Birth of New York’s Jewish Community

February 21, 2015 Recife Brazil What you notice first in sailing into Recife (which means “reef’ in Portuguese, it’s surrounded by them) is what looks like a giant asparagus.  It sits there looking, I think, kind of silly.  When I asked about it a local told me it was a sculpture that represents humanity.  He paused, no he doesn’t get it either. We didn’t spend … Continue reading Asparagus and the Birth of New York’s Jewish Community

Oh Linda! It’s Not a Doo Wop Song

February 21, 2015 Olinda, Brazil Olinda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site six kilometers from Recife.  It was on high ground and so would be easier to defend than Reciefe, so the Portuguese thought.  They were wrong.   The Dutch took it and stripped the churches of their fine baroque fittings and made them into proper plain Dutch Reformed Churches.  Some two decades later the Portuguese … Continue reading Oh Linda! It’s Not a Doo Wop Song

Chocolate Colonels

February 18, 2015 Ilheus, Brazil Ash Wednesday, the churches are open and workers are taking down the bleachers and stages from Carnival and sweeping up the streamers and confetti.  The Prinsendam seems to be doing a little penance itself.  The shore crew told us that the port was walking distance from downtown.  The ship docked a little after 9, a little before 9:30 we got … Continue reading Chocolate Colonels