By 5:00 p.m., the horizon already showed a thin rim of pale light, and slowly, the sea, clouds, and sky lit up as the new day dawned. Today was different, as there was already a stiff breeze before daybreak. Once the sun rose, the winds became ever stronger, making any permanence on the open decks a challenge. The sundeck was one of the few places where one could get out of the wind and contemplate the distant horizon whilst chatting and drinking a coffee. There was an almost total lack of birds. At one point, we spotted some Manx shearwaters and a little later five terns. The rest of the morning, the winds went on unabated, and the lifeless ocean remained unchanged.

As is customary, sea days offer good opportunities to listen to presentations, and this morning we had the chance to attend a talk entitled, “Climate Solutions – Part 1: Residential and individual actions,” given by Bud Lenhausen. This was followed by a coffee break and then a chance to hand in images to our photo team, which would be part of a “photo critique” scheduled to take place later in the day.

After lunch and maybe a brief siesta, we had a chance to learn from Almirzinho Gabriel, our resident musician for this leg of our journey. What a joyful time we spent with him as he shared aspects of his life as a musician whilst singing and playing to help us understand more about the music from the region around Belem.

After the obligatory teatime, the “Photo Feedback Session” took place, which led us into cocktail and recap time. By this time, the coastal hills were visible in the distance. Numerous small fishing boats dotted the seas, pitching about quite dramatically in the windy conditions. Suddenly, we spotted flashing strobe-type lights in the distance. Upon closer inspection, it proved to be a large, offshore wind farm.

After sunset, darkness took over and more lights were visible along the shore. Above us, the skies had darkened quite dramatically and then opened up with a good shower of rain. It only lasted a short time, so typical of the tropics.

The day closed with a sumptuous asado dinner that was followed by another music session with Almirzinho and his fellow musicians.

Off in the distance, the ever-brighter lights of Fortaleza were visible as we headed to bed for some rest before tomorrow’s adventures.