Saturday, 12 February 2011
Day thirteen, Friday 11th February, Pilot Station at Macapa, Brazil.
We woke up this morning to see the first few islands of land in the Amazon delta passing us by. Yes folks, we are actually on the Amazon River. Amazing!
The ship stopped for the Brazilian authorities to do their thing. We had been warned by the cruise director that it could take 4-6 hours..... and it did. The ship dropped anchor at 7 am. At 12 midday, the captain announced that they had been given clearance and a couple of pilots to carry on. Fantastic!
We got up just before seven, and excitedly went out on deck to see what was what. Well you have to don’t you. Walking along the deck, passengers were talking about the moths, each passenger asking if you had seen the one on this deck or that corner? These moths were huge and amazing. I have added some photo’s for you. One you can see is on a mans knee. The others are equally massive, about the size of my hand. We also came across a couple of bats, and there were loads of smaller moths everywhere. Obviously they had been attracted by the lights overnight. It was fascinating, we spent a good hour just wandering the decks.
Breakfast, then back out on deck with the binoculars. We went right up onto deck 9 at the front of the ship. There were already loads of telescopes, massive photo lenses and binoculars there before us. Moss, our resident bird expert was pointing out and explaining the vultures, terns and egrets that could be seen above the little islands of land to everyone that asked. (A very patient man). I mentioned that our binoculars would probably not be the same standard that everyone else was using, but it turns out our jaunt to Jessops was a brilliant move. Our £50 binoculars were keeping up with the ornithologists £1000 pair. (OK, we know his were much better really, but the focus and sight were the same). So with that endorsement, we carried on scanning the shores.
In fact, this is what we have been doing all day. The binoculars have turned out to be fantastic. We can see the closer shores and trees quite clearly. We’ve watched families come out of their wooden homes and stand on jetty’s to watch the ship go by. We’ve followed skimmers and vultures, and looked out for dolphins in the river and monkeys in the trees. Unfortunately, we’ve not managed to see those yet.
We decided not to go to the show after dinner tonight, mostly because Peter has work to catch up on and we’ve been outside all day. We did have a nap this afternoon, but I blame that on waking up too early. (And before you say anything, I’ve been waking at about 5 in the morning and not been able to go back to sleep).