Days at sea in the tropics can be such multifaceted experiences. There are, of course, the classic experiences, like the opportunity to soak in the warmth, read a book on deck, or enjoy a chat with fellow passengers. These experiences are always taken at the appropriate “tropics’ pace,” nice and easy. The heat demands doing things nice and easy. At the end of the day, guests look forward to enjoying a cocktail, like a margarita, or in Brazil, a caipirinha.

But there are other experiences on these days. There is the vastness of the ocean. One can turn 360° and get uninterrupted views all the way to the horizon, and this scene plays out before our eyes all day long. Of course, there were a few small fishing boats and marker buoys warning ships that there are fishing nets about. But none of these detract from the humbling experience when confronted with the vastness of the ocean. It is a sobering experience for us humans.

During the morning, we went to the movies and watched the new version of Papillon. The film certainly depicted the hell that the prisoners experienced in the penal colony in the Îles de Salut.

During the afternoon, we also had the opportunity to learn more about the incredible birdlife in the neotropics. The colors and complex songs leave us amazed. This was followed by a presentation on oceanography around the vast region of South America.

Of course, the afternoon was broken up with the obligatory teatime, always a sumptuous affair on National Geographic Explorer. We all indulged ourselves with a cup of coffee or tea and some delicious cookies and cakes.

Our day came to a close with cocktails, recap, and dinner.

Days at sea are so very good.