November 24November 24, 2015 in Brazil
We left Las Palmas on November 18th and haven't seen dry land since. We came to within 24 kilometers of Cape Verde, but that was in the middle of the night and would have been out of visual range in any case.
We'd seen the odd seagull and cormorant as we sailed the Atlantic, but this morning I noticed there were many seabirds riding the thermals and trailing the Sovereign. I knew we crossed the equator around 9:30 last night, but we're still almost two days sailing from our destination. Where did all these birds come from?
The answer came just before noon. I was lounging on a deck chair and my attention was suddenly drawn to a crowd gathering at the stern of the ship. Land ho!!!
We were heading straight for a series of islands that featured a very prominent phallic rock outcropping. As we drew closer, the crew announced that this grouping of twenty one volcanic islands is known as the Fernando De Noronha Archipelago. It's located 350 kilometers east of the Brazilian coast and is home to 2600 people. The island is regularly visited by Brazilians who come to enjoy the beaches that are said to be among the top ten most beautiful in the world.It's a Unesco World Heritage site and an important breeding ground for sharks and dolphins
Surprisingly, while we were still several kilometers away from the islands, my cell phone received an SMS message from the local telephone company offering calls for only €3.50 per minute. I decided to pass, but was nonetheless impressed that this tiny, isolated island community had their own cell service. You have to be pretty far off the beaten track to escape technology these days.
It would have been nice to be able to disembark and explore the islands for a few hours, but we had to content ourselves with a glimpse of terra firma after 5 full days of water, water everywhere.
Only two more days before we can retire our sea legs until our next cruise.Read more