Captain Jonathan Mercer
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012:
We had a later than scheduled departure from Fort Lauderdale, several factors attributed to this; we had fuel to take and due to the cooler weather and the number of ships in port, the pressure in the port’s fuel lines was lower than normal; we had an enormous amount of stores and luggage to load. So, we departed at 1820. We set courses across the Florida Straits, towards the Providence channels, the main shipping route through the Bahama chain of islands.
We cleared the Providence at 0430 this morning and set courses directly for the Virgin passage, the stretch of water which lies between Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I. As I write, we are to the north-west of San Salvador island and making 19.6 knots; the weather is cloudy, with periods of sun and it’s warming up.
My day has been spent meeting new crew, (we had 110 new or returning arrive yesterday); organising my cabin, (I didn’t have much time yesterday) and meeting guests. We have a “good morning Amsterdam” get-together every morning, where guests can meet ship’s crew and generally chat with them. As I was passing, I popped in and had an impromptu 10 minutes with them, however I will return for a longer ‘session’ soon.
Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012:
Sailing southeast, leaving the Turks and Caicos well to starboard, the nearest point of land at noon being the coats of the Dominican Republic, 84 miles to the south-west of us.
A few rain showers greeted us this morning and the south-east trade winds were against us, however although the winds didn’t ease, skies cleared up later in the day, providing us with our first hot day.
My ‘Introductions’ this evening, it’s been a long time since I introduced so many key staff, our norm is usually 5. Although I know the vast of majority of the people I was introducing, their personal details were another matter, so having gathered the information, I have spent 2-3 hours committing them to memory, I’ve never felt comfortable using notes.
All went well and as I completed the 2nd of the two receptions, we were at the northern perimeter of the Virgin Passage, thus entering the Caribbean.
Tomorrow we dock at noon in Rousseau, Dominica, a half-day.
Captain Mercer is at the helm of Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage.