Penguin Island, Antarctica 2008

Saturday, March 12, 2011

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9 - Sailing the Amazon River

The internet has been impossible for several days now...even late at night, so we are way behind!

The ship is moving smoothly now that we are on the Amazon River. We crossed over the sand bar entrance, with about 9 feet under our keel, early this morning, around 2AM. According to the Captain, "with little problem!" When we look out there is dense green vegetation on both sides of the ship. We are sailing between two of the many islands that form the delta of the Amazon. The largest one, Marajo, the size of Switzerland, is on our port side. It is the largest island in the world completely surrounded by fresh water.
After breakfast we go to Terry’s lecture on the Amazon. She is so good and has a lot to say. Then we stay for the lecture on the Milky Way. The lecturer, Dr. Caisse has some great photos and video clips!

Dick goes back to the room to play on the computer and Carolyn goes to the outside lounge on Deck 6 aft to watch the river go by. There are rain clouds all around the ship and the landscape is interesting in all its greenness.
Trivia is a no go again today for Dick’s team. The river continues to hold our attention most of the afternoon as we pass small villages and lonely outposts.
About 3PM we stop at Macapa for a technical stop to clear with the Amazon River authorities and pick up our two pilots for the next week.
Earlier this morning the front desk called us asking for our yellow fever cards. We had wondered about this since they didn’t take them when we boarded two months ago. The stop was only to be about two hours, but we are anchored here for over four!
Carolyn goes to see Ray’ s pre-dinner show. It is the same one we saw on the second leg, but it is worth seeing again. She calls Dick when it is over and we meet in the Horizon Lounge for drinks. Earlier, we made Signatures reservation for tonight, but Dick canceled his when he saw today’s Compass Rose menu with oso bucco, his favorite dish. He walks Carolyn to the restaurant and the sweet little hostess says she is seating me with another couple. She knows Dick is leaving, but tells him they have the veal shank on the menu so he changes his mind and stays. The couple, the Ackermans, live in Colorado. We hit it off with many similar interest and have a really good time. The food is good...Carolyn has the shrimp on avocado, a crab bisque and a lobster pasta pocket which is to die for. Dick has the same starter and soup and the veal. He doesn’t like it as well as that in Compass Rose, but says it is good.

There is a star gazing program scheduled for tonight, but it is really cloudy so it is canceled. It is also the Mariner’s 10th birthday. At the end of Ray's show, they introduced the dozen or so staff and crew who have served on the ship since the first day along with showing off a huge birthday cake in the shape of the ship.  Also, they are having a big bash in Stars, but we pass and go to bed...we are such party animals!!

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