The Isles of ‘Papillon’: Îles du Salut, French Guiana, Wednesday 31st January 2018

The Iles du Salut are famous, or rather infamous, for the penal colony that was on one of the islands for just over a century until the 1950s, and which was the setting for the novel and film Papillon. The islands were already in view when I went out on the balcony before half-seven and … Continue reading The Isles of ‘Papillon’: Îles du Salut, French Guiana, Wednesday 31st January 2018

A Day Saved by a Booby: at sea, Tuesday 30th January 2018

We started the day without even having retraced our tracks back to the main channel into the Amazon, although we had crossed the equator for a fourth and final time during the night. We ended daylight still well short of French Guianan waters. It was a breezy day with sunshine and showers. No-one put much … Continue reading A Day Saved by a Booby: at sea, Tuesday 30th January 2018

Jungle Conflict (of Interests): Belém, Pará, Brasil, Monday 29th January 2018

We were not due in to Icoaraci, the port for Belém, until twelve, so during the morning we were still sailing though Bahia de Marajó. At some time early in the morning we recrossed the equator again. The main highlight of the morning was discovering that there were about 50 terns following the ship. They … Continue reading Jungle Conflict (of Interests): Belém, Pará, Brasil, Monday 29th January 2018

If You Can’t Stand the Heat … : Alter do Chão, Pará, Brasil, Saturday 27th January 2018

Moving from the state of Amazonas to the state of Pará meant that the ship’s clocks went forward, and we are now only three hours behind GMT again. It was raining heavily, and had been raining for hours, when we reached our anchorage at Alter do Chão at eight in the morning. We weren’t that … Continue reading If You Can’t Stand the Heat … : Alter do Chão, Pará, Brasil, Saturday 27th January 2018

Nova Amigos: Parintins, Amazonas, Brasil, Friday 26th January 2018

Parintins is a large town on an island in the Amazon. Its claim to fame is an annual festival called Boi Bumba, in which two teams, representing the red bull and the blue bull, compete with each other in music, costume and dance over three days in June. For the rest of the year the … Continue reading Nova Amigos: Parintins, Amazonas, Brasil, Friday 26th January 2018

Halfway to Venezuela?: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil, Thursday 25th January 2018

We set the alarm for 04:00. Margaret woke at half past two and then hid in the bathroom to avoid waking me up. I woke up at 03:10 and dozed. We were both dressed by the time the alarm went. For the first time ever, the gym was empty as we went past. One insomniac … Continue reading Halfway to Venezuela?: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil, Thursday 25th January 2018

Prehistoric-looking Beasts: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil, Wednesday 24th January 2018

Manaus is one of the places that inspired the title of the blog, which is a quote taken from Joseph Conard’s Heart of Darkness. When I was a boy I could stare at an Atlas or a map for hours (I still can) and certain places inspired more interest than others. One was Walvis Bay, … Continue reading Prehistoric-looking Beasts: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil, Wednesday 24th January 2018

Dolphins and Dollars: Boca da Valeria, Amazonas, Brasil, Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Ship’s time advanced again overnight, so we are now four hours behind GMT. Awoke at about sunrise again, just before six, and sat on the balcony, but it was rather quiet. We were close in on the other side of the boat though, and when I went across I added Green Ibis and Rufescent Tiger-heron … Continue reading Dolphins and Dollars: Boca da Valeria, Amazonas, Brasil, Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Birthday Boat: Santarém, Pará, Brasil, Monday 22nd January 2018

Today was Margaret’s birthday. I was up and about dawn and thought I would have a quick look round the boat to see if there were any birds on board. I didn’t find anything, but missed the odd-looking fawn-coloured bat that Gina found later, and the Black Witch moth, although I caught up with them … Continue reading Birthday Boat: Santarém, Pará, Brasil, Monday 22nd January 2018