Amazon River, Brazil
We boarded the Royal Princess on January 7th in Ft. Lauderdale for our journey to the Amazon River in Brazil. We sailed for two days before arriving for a one day stop on the 10th at St. Barthelemy, or as some folks call it, St. Barths. The island has a population of approximately 5,000 people, the official language is French although English is widely spoken. It is a small island of only eight square miles.
We left St. Barths at 4:00pm and sailed though the night and made port in St. Lucia at 9:00am on the 11th.
At St. Lucia, Crystal went horseback riding and Lynn went on an elevated tram through the rainforest. Since Crystal was cavorting through the island and water on a horse she left her camera onboard. Lynn, however, took his and you can see some of the views of the rainforest excursion.
The next day we arrived in Trinidad & Tobago. Although it isn't shown on the map above it is located about the same distance south from St. Lucia as was St. Barths. When we left Tobago we sailed for a day and arrived at Devils Island around 1:00pm on the 14th. During the days sail we crossed the equator and entered the waters of Brazil.
As we approached the entrance to the Amazon River we encountered a cooling rainstorm. Although the temperature was in the mid 70's, we were surprised to see snow flakes falling.
Another surprise occurred around 3:00pm on the second day at sea since leaving Devil's Island. We were nearing the mouth of the river that was about 3 hours away. We had just finished a tour of the kitchen and returned to our cabin. When we looked out of the patio door we could see what appeared to be a stretch of beach in the distance. As we got closer we realized it was the muddy water entering the ocean. We estimate the muddy water ended about one or two miles to our left. We watched as the ship sailed into the muddy water that was to become our entry into the Amazon River.
Note the change in the color of the water ahead in the photo on the left. We sailed into the muddy (silt) water and made our way to the mouth of the Amazon River.
While at sea the ship desalinates water for use as fresh water onboard. Once we entered the silt laden water it could no longer function for desalination as the filters and mechanisms would become clogged. Thus, we began to use the water kept in the storage tanks for that fresh water purposes. We later learned that 550 tons of water is stored.
We had been requested to conserve our water usage when we entered the river. The first time we were able to take on water was at Parintins approximately 500 miles upstream. At that time there was only 50 tons left. We later learned that one of the actions the ship took was to close the laundry because of the water shortage. Of course, there were a few people who complained about not being able to wash their laundry but the ship had to do what was necessary. I guess it would have better PR if the ship had made mention of the action, and why, in the newsletter we receive in our cabins daily.
Join us now as we continue our travel 1000 miles up the Amazon River to Manaus where it is reported that there are flying piranha lurking in the jungle ponds.
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