At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.
-Robin Lee Graham, Sailor
It’s official: I have completely lost track of the day of the week. The only clue is the crossword puzzle is very difficult. Otherwise, one day follows the next, and the day of the week really doesn’t matter.
We’ve been sailing off the coast of Brazil for several days approaching the equator (we have just crossed it this afternoon). On a few occasions, we’ve sailed through a school of dolphins and other small whales. What gorgeous creatures! Sadly, my photos aren’t the best because it takes about 20 minutes for my camera lens to de-fog from the dry, cold interior of the ship to the hot, humid outdoors. There were literally hundreds of dolphins swimming, jumping, diving, and spinning alongside our ship. The Captain always slows down and will often turn and follow along so we can enjoy them for as long as possible. But the dolphins easily outrun us and go on their way.
Yesterday we landed in Fernando de Noronha, an island off the northeast tip of Brazil. Most of the island, 70%, is a national maritime park. It was raining most of the day, but we still hiked and enjoyed its beauty.
It’s home to a great many birds and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There is a small airport with flights everyday from Europe and Brazil. It has the best scuba diving in Brazil, perhaps South America. We had the director of the national park on our hike yesterday afternoon and she said they had 80,000 tourists visit the island last year. She said that is too many, they don’t have the infrastructure to handle those numbers, but apparently the government collects high fees from the tourists (which she is working on getting them to share with the island). They don’t let any large cruise ships stop here as there really isn’t a proper dock.
The philosophy of the park service is a little different from ours — they tolerate non-natives like this adorable cat we met on the trail. Barnaby and I are so starved for our furry friends that we couldn’t help but pet this one. She looked very healthy and stayed with us for most of our hike.