|After a whole day at sea, we have finally left the Amazon behind. We are back to the more wavy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which has finally turned blue after 500 miles of being mixed with the big river. It was strange not having to get up at 6 to see the sun rise and jump on a zodiac to see the wildlife waking up. We hope you have enjoyed the new pictures in the gallery, of course this is only a snapshot and we will bore you with lots more when we return!!We had a real treat today, we were able to land on Isle Royale, one of three islands ( the most infamous being Isle de Diable ( Devils island for those of you that have read Papillon – more about that later). The reason it was a treat is, that the swells usually prevent any type of landing ending, and this only the 2 nd time the captain has been able to stop in 20 years. We have posted a few photos to give you an idea what it is like , very hot, sweaty and definitely not somewhere, you would want to be doing hard labour. Only 15 people now live on the main island (Royal island) but at its peak it housed 40,000 inmates and warders.We were able to see the hospital, chapel, cells and the blocks of the base of the guilotine. We were able to look across at Devils Island but no one is allowed there, even the local guides. After struggling to watch Papillon in heavy swells, we were told by the guide that he never escaped or lived on devils island and it was indeed a work of fiction …. Probably why it is the fiction section of library!! Anyway he did go on to say that the stories did happen but to other people! The most notorious and act of injustice to cloud the island was the imprisonment of Dreyfus who was eventually exonerated and returned to France in 1906 after a huge court cases which was defended by Zola. The changed many laws in France and was a case célèbre .Apparently for 60 euros a day you can rent one of the warders old cottages ( with running water!!) and stay on the Island. Can’t say it would be my first choice as a holiday destination, too spooky and a good chance of being stuck there!!!We are now at sea for two days so we may get a chance to load up some more pictures before we get to Tobago, which incidentally was where Gordon spent his 40th birthday!|
|Last night we anchored off Miritiapina, to allow us to go out on the zodiacs one final time, along the banks of the amazon. It is much more heavily populated here compared to what we have been used to. We talked local fisher people who were out catching their lunch! We did see a few dolphins who were following the zodiac.We then started out final journey down river to Belem through the Breve Narrows – our expedition team will be leaving us there which will leave a large gap in our crew as they have been a large part of the success of this maiden voyage down the river.The scenery thought the straits is amazing, many saw mills,and villages. The local kids canoe upto the yacht so that they can surf the waves it makes! The boat is very close to the banks in some places but the scenery is spectacular. Lots of the children come out of the schools to watch the yacht go by, and we saw our first two storey house since Manaus. We hit a very heavy squall as we approached Belem lots of thunder and lightening – it certainly reminded us that we were still in the rain forest.|
Last night we had a beach party with a local bomba band and dancers. There was a big bonfire and lots of marshmallows to toast! The crew worked really hard to get the cool champagne to the shore plus music and food! Before the bonfire we went on a zodiac safari and saw lots of monkeys, a iguana, a sun bitterne and a fish hawk. We also got buzzed by a light aircraft! We think it had just visited the Hotel Araiu Towers, it was a little surreal, a number of tall tower buildings in the middle of the jungle. Apparently it was where Predator was filmed This morning we were up early to swim with pink dolphins, we went to a conservation station where we were able to get into the water and help feed them. This the first time Seadream 2 has gone up this particular channel or visited the dolphins. We are now anchored off the Hotel Tropical, there have been some really fierce rain storms but at least it is warm and very short . We are going to move on to Manaus at around 6. We will try and up load some more pictures soon.
This morning we passed thought the wedding of the waters where the Amazon and the Rio Negro meet. We will be passing it again on the way back from Manaus. We really felt we had hit civilisation again to day as we passed by the City of Manaus – huge sky scrapers and huge container ships! We went under the bridge between the two banks of the river – about the same size as the Severn Crossing. We are currently anchored off Anavilhanas and have been swimming in the river – no piranhas here! This afternoon we are off on another safari and then a bonfire on the beach! Two blogs today as Gordon splashed out on wifi to watch Wales v Italy, well done Wales we are watching you from the jungle !