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
March 9, 2015 St Thomas, US Virgin Islands Prinsendam did not dock at the main port in Charlotte Amalie, West India Dock, but at, Crown Bay, a few miles out of town. It used to serve the US Navy. According to the St. Thomas port website Holland America, Princess and Cunard have signed an agreement to deliver 230,000 passengers a year paying $9.35 a head. … Continue reading Tropical Mall of America
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
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
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.
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.
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
March 4, 2014 At Sea Early yesterday evening we crossed the equator and early this morning we crossed the bar and are in the Atlantic, the Amazon behind us. We can do our laundry, get clean towels and take long showers again. Because of silt the ship cannot take in water for its desalinization plant when on the river so our water use is curtailed. … Continue reading Crossing the Amazon Bar
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?
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
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
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
February 25, Went to bed last night the ship was rolling, got up this morning and the water was calm. At sunset the water was blue, at sunrise it was chocolate brown. We have entered the Amazon. Still 29 hours from our first port up river. Good Morning! Continue reading Amazon Sunrise
February 20, 2015 Off the East Coast of Brazil Capoeria dancing is a combination of dance and martial art with ritual fighting. It is also a sport. Slaves invented it in Bahia state during from ritual African dances. It was banned by slave owners so practiced in the woods. It was a symbol of defiance. After the end of slavery it became popular as a … Continue reading Combat Dancing
February 16, 2015 Rio Sambodormo is the epicenter of Carnival. It is a street lined by concrete bleachers, 13 grandstands plus reviewing stands, holding 90,000, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, who designed the city of Brasilia and major soccer stadiums. The 12 major samba schools perform on the Sunday and Monday of Carnival in a completion to see which school is the champion. (On Friday and … Continue reading Carnival in Rio!
February 10, 2015 On the Rio Platta sailing away from Buenos Aires Buenos Aires has given me a lot to think about. How can a first world country become a third world country? Argentina was one of the few countries to do that. Some blame it on the leftist policies of Peron, some on the right wing military dictatorships. I wonder if it wasn’t the … Continue reading Thoughts on the Rio Platta
February 10, 2015 Buenos Aires, Argentina Sometimes you do see what you come to see. Several months ago someone posted an article on Facebook from the Guardian listing the 10 most beautiful bookstores in the world. Buenos Aires is home to El Ateneo Grand Splendid Book Store. It is in the Grand Splendid theater building built in 1919. The theater was built by Max Glucksman … Continue reading A Temple of Books
Feb 8, 2015 Montevideo, Uruguay “Travelers see what they see, tourists see what they came to see.” GK Chesterton. We honestly didn’t know what we came to see in Montevideo. Forty seven years ago Suzi and I came within a hair’s breadth of moving here. We were assigned to the Peace Corps in Uruguay but just before we left for our three week honeymoon trip, … Continue reading Forty Seven Years Late
Bertha Beach is the home of Gentoo Penguins. Some look a little rough, they are in the middle of their annual molt. They have finished fledging their chicks, took a swim out to feed and now have to sit very still, conserving energy for three weeks when they will have enough insulation to again go out and feed. These Gentoo Penguins are surfing. This tall … Continue reading Surrounded by Acres of … Penguins!
February 5, 2011 Stanley, Falkland Islands Dear Friends, Patrick Watts advertises a very nice Falkland tour in 4 wheel drive vehicles. He commissions locals who own the cars to take us around, four people to a car. Our driver was 21 year old Petra. She was born on a farm about 45 minutes by 4WD from Stanley. Her schooling was by telephone and then on … Continue reading Falkland Four Wheel
It’s a day at sea after the Falklands and the Captain, the Expedition Leader (A professor from New Zealand), the Ice Pilot (a retired USCG admiral with 16 years’ experience on heavy icebreakers) and the Chief Engineering Officer are giving their post Antarctic lectures and findings. We were in Wilhelmina Bay with the whales for 4 ½ hours. The plan had been for an hour … Continue reading Antarctic Coda
February 3, 2015 King George Island, Antarctica. I was startled when I got an SMS message sailing into Admiralty Bay on King George Island. King George is the largest of the South Shetland Islands off the coast of Antarctica and is one of the northernmost points of land in what is internationally considered Antarctica. The SMS message was from ATT welcoming me “abroad,” inviting me … Continue reading Antarctic Metropolis and Teflon Rocks
February 3, 2015 Antarctic Sound, Antarctica. Dear Friends, Antarctic Sound, at the very northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, is packed with history and ice. The ice is the reason for the history. It’s named for a whaler turned research vessel, the Antarctic, that was crushed in the ice here in the winter of 1903. The ship was part of the Swedish Antarctic expedition which, … Continue reading Ice Bergs, History and Politics
February 2, 2008 Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica I am used to photographing whales, but not this way. I am either in a small boat at sea level or on the second deck of a two deck Allen Marine catamaran. But on Prinsendam I am outside on 13 deck. Since we load tenders from 4 deck that means I am nine stories up. The whales are at … Continue reading …To Teach Them Whales to Dance