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Around the World with Captain Mercer: Recife, Brazil

Monday, Jan. 16, 2012.

We arrived in Recife, Brazil, this morning. Tied up and all-fast at 0754. Like many of the ports we visit, there are no dedicated cruise terminals and we dock in the commercial area and then use shuttle-buses to take guests who are not on tour, to an area outside, where they can get taxis.

We, of course have spent the last 2 days at sea, sailing 1100 miles from the Para river to this port, on the north-eastern coast of Brazil. It is far larger than I expected and as we approached, the skyscrapers and taller buildings seemed to stretch for miles along the coastline. 10 o’clock in the morning and it’s already in the mid-80’s, it is forecast to be in the 90’s with heat index later. Our latitude is 8 south, so not entirely unexpected.

We have had good weather on our voyage here, although the wind has been quite strong at times, normal for the area with its easterly trade winds. We also encountered a quite strong equatorial current, unfortunately against us, which necessitated using one more diesel-generator for a longer period than I care for. Towards the latter part of the voyage, as we sailed further south, we lost some of the current’s effect and we took the DG off again.

Socially, the past 2 days have been busy, having had my (first) formal dinner in the Pinnacle Grill, a very nice occasion. It is the first of many, as eventually, by the end of the Grand World Voyage, I will have dined with every guest on board, that’s an awful lot of calories 🙂

Inspections, meetings and preparation for our forthcoming Health, Environmental, Safety and Security (HESS for short) audit, which will start today and continue until we reach Buenos Aires, so quite a thorough inspection.

I phoned Sam and Liz yesterday. Sam, Ant and Oliver are in Madrid, Spain, surprising a relative who is celebrating a 60th birthday. Oliver was given a Hugo Boss coat as a gift, that young man is going to have superb (and expensive) tastes when he’s older! Liz is in London and she and Laurence have been house-hunting. They found one which looked perfect, however it was 2-houses down from a pub and they were worried about noise at closing time, so did not put an offer in.

Captain Mercer is at the helm of Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage.

3 Comments
  • Deb

    Captain Mercer, I suspect many of us are having safety concerns and questions, with the recent event on another cruise line. Could you comment on your safety record/approach? Or perhaps, if that’s not “PC”, ask the powers-that-be if they might consider how to address it.

  • Geoffrey D Howe

    I would suspect that the answer would refer to the fact that Captain Mercer is not lkely to sail the Amsterdam anywhere but on the prescribed route!! Also, that his backgound should speak for itself.
    All the passengers should feel completely safe with such a man at the helm.

  • charlotte squarcy

    I should think that you would rest assured noting that the ship is going through its HESS audit right now–gives me the feeling that all will be ship shape under his watch…c van hoorn

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