Tag Archives: Amazon River

Crossing the Atlantic at speed

 

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Flying fish from a flying (along) ship

12 February

 

We must have been seriously delayed as we have now left the Amazon delta having spent a night with little sleep as waves are crashing onto our ship which is now doing nearly 22 knots on our way to Cabo Verde.

A very grey day with the hardy sun bathers at a complete loss as to what to do other than sit out under the clouds.

A talk today on Devil’s Island, a former brutal penal island owned by French Guyana and on Cabo Verde with dinner in the Beach House, it saves dressing up again, and more singing of lesser known, but good, songs from the musicals sung by Gerard Bentall.

 

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Ploughing through the sea

13 February

 

Another sea day and an audience with Captain Box, Oriana holds the Golden Cockerel as the fastest ship in the fleet – we are still doing 22.8 knots (about 27mph) which is pretty amazing for a conventional vessel.

A talk this afternoon on Tenerife and the old capital but a leisurely afternoon watching the flying fish.

We establish that the reason we had to go back into the Amazon for refuelling (bunkering) is that there wasn’t enough fuel to give us down the Amazon at Manaus.

Tonight’s entertainment is from the captivating flautist, the very talented Andrea Amat: so good we bought her CD.

11:30 pm we are informed there is a deep fat frier fire in the forward galley on deck 6 with First aid response required. An unusual request to be broadcast to the whole of the ship at this time of night!

Not that I had had much to drink but try saying “deep fat frier fire” after a few alcoholic drinks!

14 February

 

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Valentine’s day

The final sea day before Cape Verde/Cabo Verde and it’s Valentine’s Day. A rose for Sal, but not from me or, John claims, not from him. Sal has a secret admirer on the ship but two days later he and Deirdre admit it was from them!

 

Still doing 22.5 knots, the ship has a top speed of 24 knots; are we trying to break the transatlantic speed record?

A final talk from Bernard Purrier on the type of dolphins or whales we could see around the migratory islands of Cape Verde and the flying fish which we have seen over the last few days whilst crossing the Atlantic.

As the clocks go forward an hour, we forgoe lunch, buy the first Costa Coffee on board and then listen to Martin P Lee’s talk on the similarities between Hitler and Putin. Scary.

The traditional chocoholics display for tea and I sit next to a guy from Wexford who also does a WordPress blog.

 

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Healiners Theatre Co. (Publicly available picture)

Tonight’s entertainment is the Headliners version of a tribute to Queen in the Pacific Lounge with it’s very poor seating but the ability to be up close and personal with the dancers and singers who, if you were in the front row, would be virtually on your lap.

 

A few older gentlemen were in danger of cardiac arrest with the very tight costumes the dance girls were wearing right in front of them. 40 minutes of energetic dance and singing routine and they make it look so easy.

James Michael Stewart provided the entertainment in the theatre and whilst his songs were good, his voice fantastic, the technical crew once again failed him as some of the videos / pictures were not shown and on at least two occasions he asked them to turn down the Mike or the backing sound, with them ignoring him on one occasion. Poor technical assistance.

Tomorrow, our last “new” country – the Cape Verde Islands (Cabo Verde). We are certainly on our way home now.

 

On our way to Brazil

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We have left the Caribbean Sea and are now off down the Atlantic following the South American coast towards the mouth (or should I say mouths as there are several) of the Amazon.

Today is a sea day and the port talk is on our last Brazilian call, Santarem which itself is some 300 miles from the mouth of the Amazon. This is followed by a talk on Police sketching by Melissa Little which was interesting and tonight’s entertainment was by Julie Scott with her Cilla Black tribute and Ben Makisi, the New Zealand tenor we have seen before – same routine but still good.

Weather not brilliant and we are battling a Force 6 or Force 7 all day so lots of people in their rooms being unwell.

(Spoke to a couple today who were supposed to join the cruise at Port Everglades on our first day but of course we had to divert to Port Canaveral.

They had no communication from P &O about the change, they had to find a hotel room for the night and when they finally got on board, the ship had no record of their booking and their pre chosen cabin was not available.)

3 February

Another sea day and a port talk on St Vincent (Cape Verde Islands), another talk on Police sketching by Melissa Little as we head, still in rough seas towards the Amazon. Cloudy today so no sunbathing which is obviously to the anger of many! Start our Malaria tablets, one a day for some time.

We manage to miss the start of the film tonight as the service in the restaurant was somewhat slow so we only have entertainment from Colin (Fingers) Henry; exactly the same routine as before, same old jokes. Missable, although John would disagree.

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Now we are in the Amazon and the brown water of silt with some vegetation slowly meandering down the river. Our last port talk today, on Tenerife, we must be nearing the return journey.

We pass the city that straddles the Equator, Macapa and stop an hour later at lunchtime for port duties, border controls and refuelling. Sal gets bitten out on deck, normally it is me who gets the bites!

Continuing on our way some 4 hours later, we pass close to land and have slowed to 6 knots as we pass over some shallow water, 2 meters deep.

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Customs duties and pilot boarding

Now most of the outdoor doors are shut as we try to keep the insects out.

There are several thousand different species of insects in the Amazon as well as the Caimans, the Pyrannahs and many other species of wildlife all ready to take a chunk out of human flesh given the chance.

Sal, John & Deirdre opt for the crew talent show and 4 Tunes whilst I go to see the film, “Get Back” based on the Liverpool music scene.

It is amazing that so many good musicians, not just the Beatles, have come from Liverpool although I am sure Manx people would object to the phrase near the beginning that Manx people were all miserable. I just get to see the end of the talent show and the crew’s rendition of “If I were not upon the sea” – always a good song.

5 February

A sort of sea day as we cruise up the Amazon towards Manaus.

Morning still reveals a brown river but now with some distant low lying hills behind the initial banks still covered with trees and vegetation.

Lots of logs float by all day with the occasional patch of vegetation but very little rubbish, a complete contrast to our experience on the Mekong river in late 2012.

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Trade up the Amazon

We pass a few settlements and towns which the captain points out to us and lots of little boats and ferries fully laden with people, and some with vehicles and oil tankers being moved to another location by the river.

A few large container ships pass us going out to sea.

By now it is getting extremely humid and walking outside is becoming uncomfortable although some burnt souls are still brave enough to bare skin to the burning sun.

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Cruising up the Amazon

With a river comes insects and this is no exception with moths and butterflies of various sizes settling on outside decks and a few venturing inside, probably not surviving for too long in the cool of the air conditioning.

Spend morning in Crow’s nest watching the river go by and opt, instead of dressing up in dinner jackets (why would you in the middle of the Amazon) have a more basic meal in the Conservatory, surprisingly crowded.

Evening entertainment by Ben Makisi and although we have seen him before, his second concert was a must.

Tomorrow we are in Manaus, 1000 miles up the Amazon – Wow.