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

Carnival in Rio!

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!

Surrounded by Acres of … Penguins!

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!

Antarctic Coda

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

Antarctic Metropolis and Teflon Rocks

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

Ice Bergs, History and Politics

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