Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.
Bridgetown, Barbados beckoned us this morning. We had the luxury of being the only cruise ship in port on a lovely, sunny day. Docked at 0745 and cleared for guests at 0800, they were off to enjoy the day. The last time I made a call here was during a cruise when I was ‘observer’. It was on the “Ryndam” and having recently joined HAL, I was on board to see and learn the operational aspect of cruise ship management, that was almost 16 years ago, how time ﬂies.
I stayed on board, plenty of work still to do, people to see, letters from guests to reply to. I managed to get to the gym for the ﬁrst time since joining, nearly killed me 🙂 I’ve been lax in that respect.
Barbados is famous for not only its rum, but also that quintessentially English sport of cricket. This, I know, is a subject of many questions from those who haven’t a clue of the rules, or how it is played. Having tried to do so, even I, (considering I played it in my youth), have difficulty and after a few minutes I know that whoever I am explaining to, has lost all comprehension; quite understandable really. (I no longer try and leave it as a game where a ‘bowler’ gets a (very hard) ball down a wicket, trying to hit some stumps…… O never mind!
Friso, the Chief Ofﬁcer took her out of Bridgetown harbour and we set courses for Belem, Brazil. This lies 1094 miles away to the south-east; it lies on the Para river, some 65 miles upstream from the Atlantic. The Para river is part of the Amazon River’s tributary system. I intend to arrive at the mouth of the river at 2 a.m. local (midnight Eastern), so we have Wednesday, Thursday at sea, during which time we cross the equator.
Captain Mercer is at the helm of Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage.