A Different Direction: Panama Canal, Friday 24th January 2020

We didn’t leave our berth in Colón until some time after one in the morning, although we had been scheduled to leave at eleven. We had hardly any distance to go, however, and just looped out of the harbour and into the channel for the Panama Canal. Having fallen asleep early yesterday evening, we both … Continue reading A Different Direction: Panama Canal, Friday 24th January 2020

A Fruitful Few Hours Between the Rain: Colón, Panama, Thursday 23rd January 2020

We awoke to grey skies and a squadron of boobies attending the ship. Our first Brown Boobies of the trip at last, accompanied by Red-footed Boobies and a couple of Masked Boobies as we sailed past the headland east of Colón. Odd showers during the early morning became constant rain, and there was little to … Continue reading A Fruitful Few Hours Between the Rain: Colón, Panama, Thursday 23rd January 2020

Grackles and Grockles: Cartagena, Colombia, Wednesday 22nd January 2020

We were at the pilot station at six and were already passing the Isla Tierra Bomba, the island off Cartagena, when I got up on deck at sunrise. It was a humid morning and everyone’s optical equipment was misting up, but my travelscope seemed worse than anything else – which was explained when I saw … Continue reading Grackles and Grockles: Cartagena, Colombia, Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Picnic Guests and the Problem of ‘Just Pigeons’: Curaçao, Monday 20th January 2020

Curaçao was formerly part of the former Dutch colony of the Netherlands Antilles. This was dissolved in 2010 and the constituent parts are now officially part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curaçao, Aruba (which had already become self-governing in 1986) and Sint Maarten are described as ‘constituent countries’, while the smaller Bonaire, and two … Continue reading Picnic Guests and the Problem of ‘Just Pigeons’: Curaçao, Monday 20th January 2020

Been There, Done That: Madeira, Sunday, 12th January 2020

I was quite looking forward to visiting the Azores and exploring São Miguel looking for wayward American ducks and waders, so our diversion to Madeira was a bit of a disappointment. Madeira, while scenic, does not have the same attraction, now we have done two winter visits, seen the endemic pigeon and the endemic firecrest, … Continue reading Been There, Done That: Madeira, Sunday, 12th January 2020

Stormy Weather: at sea, 8th-11th January 2020

A huge storm hit Faroe full-on on 8th January, although Shetland was obviously also affected. We left Rotterdam and headed into calm seas, but things were getting rougher, with gale warnings for almost everywhere except the channel, while the Atlantic seems to be fairly churned up at the moment. The shipping forecast for 7th January … Continue reading Stormy Weather: at sea, 8th-11th January 2020

Around the World in 120 Days aka Jules Verne plus 50%: Tilbury, 6th January 2020

I am inordinately excited about the prospect of being able to say I have circumnavigated the entire globe. We will not be quite as quick as Phineas Fogg - or Michael Palin - but, to be honest, I'd like to take longer; there is never long enough in any port. I'm also a tiny, little … Continue reading Around the World in 120 Days aka Jules Verne plus 50%: Tilbury, 6th January 2020