It’s been a while since I posted it, so here is a reminder of the route that this amazing long cruise is taking:
As you can see, we are roughly sailing south-west all the way from Southampton to Buenos Aires, before turning around and sailing back on a pretty similar route, albeit with different ports of call on the way back.
During the voyage to Fortaleza, our first port in Brazil, we put our clocks and watches one hour back on three nights as we gradually made our way westwards, as to be expected.
On Wednesday night we set sail from Salvador bound for Rio de Janeiro, continuing to sail west, albeit with a lot of south too. I, and many of my fellow passengers were surprised and a bit confused when we were instructed to put our clocks and watches forward and not back one hour, despite still sailing west.
The answer to this confusion is in the fact that we are also sailing a lot of south too. Brazil is such a huge country that while the northern part, being on or near the Equator, keeps the same time all year; the south has a daylight saving time from late October to late February, which is summer time there. Thus the clocks were going forward due to daylight saving time, and not due to the longitude changing.
After Rio de Janeiro we will be sailing on to Uruguay and Argentina, so the clocks will go back an hour; then on our return to Brazil they will go forward and then back an hour as we sail northwards. And I thought you didn’t get jet-lag on a cruise ship!
Each day we are at sea, the captain gives a report at midday about our current location, distance sailed from the last port and distance outstanding to the next port, expected arrival time there, and also a weather forecast. Occasionally he also gives other information that might be of interest. Yesterday he informed us that around 12:40 that day our latitude would match the angle of inclination of the sun. In layman’s terms, this means the sun would be directly overhead. While I am normally staying out of the strong tropical sun as much as possible, I couldn’t resist popping up on deck to take a couple of pictures at this time, just to record the minimal shadows:
After lunch, and a much needed siesta following the time change, I figured it was sufficiently late enough in the afternoon to venture back on deck. I spent quite a while watching and trying to photograph the seabirds flying alongside our ship. With their long wings they soared and wheeled apparently so effortlessly in the updraught from our moving ship, occasionally plunging headfirst into the water in search of fish. Here are some photos I took, where I did actually manage to get all of the moving bird in frame:
As it was such a clear day, I went back on deck later to watch and photograph the sunset:
Time is of the essence yesterday and today at sea, as it is very much the time to rest and recharge ahead of our extended stay in Rio de Janeiro. We will be one of ten cruise ships in port, adding thousands more to the multitude who flock to the city at carnival time. It will be an early start for me tomorrow too, as we are due to sail into port at dawn (6:30) which should be amazing, and not to be missed by me or by my camera. I have three shore tours booked in Rio, and I will add posts about those and the whole Rio experience as and when I can.
Postscript: I could not go by and not mention the band who sadly gave their final performance on this cruise for last night’s show. The band, called Ukebox, are Liverpool’s own all-singing all-strumming ukulele band. They entertained us royally with their own brand of music and humour, and were a breath of fresh air in the otherwise fairly predictable world of cruise ship entertainment: