15 April 2001 - Recife and Onwards North to Science
RRS James Clark Ross Diary
Noon Position : 3° 30' South, 35° 35' West.
Distance travelled since Grimsby: 29,908 nautical miles
Air temperature @ noon: 28.8 degrees Celsius
Sea temperature @ noon: 28.7 degrees Celsius
Recife and beyond...
This week has been a bit of a mixed one with arrival in Recife on Monday afternoon with all that entails when entering a foreign port. This was followed by the arrival over the next couple of days by the scientific equipment for the new cruise. Although people were busy loading and putting everything in place,there was not such a huge rush to sort everything out as there are five days at sea before the programme begins properly. The work therefore centred around making everything sea worthy and doing the must do in port jobs first.
Arrival in Recife
Click on either of the above images to see it enlarged.
Our departure, as you can see from the intinerary, was set for Thursday,but the need to do some personnel movements meant that we did not get away until Saturday afternoon. You, however, find us today steaming northwards to the equator and onwards to the start of the survey area set at 15 degrees north. We are due to pass back into the northern hemisphere during the early hours of Monday morning. Therefore quite a few people are waiting to pay their respects to Neptune later in the day. We won't be having a science bit in the middle just at the moment, but there will be plenty of opportunity to describe what we are up to over the coming weeks.
We would therefore like to wish all the best to those that have left us and welcome Tracy and Peter to our team, if only for the voyage home. It is only fair to point out that final editorial control of the webpage onboard has also changed as we are now sailing under Captain Robert Paterson. So the web authors slope shoulders once more and point out that as he has the final say here therefore any mistakes must be his! Well it was worth a try from our point of view, but we wish Robert all the best on his temporary promotion.
Recife is the Capital city of the Pernambuco State within Brazil and was founded on reclaimed land by the Dutch prince Maurice of Nassau in 1637 after his troops had burnt Olinda, the original capital.
The time in Recife allowed us to ensure everyone had a little bit of relaxation before starting forty days at sea. People did this in different ways though a popular choice was a couple of hours on the beach suitably protected with factor thirty sunscreen, you could say it's a little warm out there this close to the equator. It being near Easter there was an open air concert near to where the ship was berthed. Unfortunately this started late in the evening and was very crowded, so we were unable get a reasonable photograph to show you. We did get some of the beach as you can see below, it was wonderful. Click on the picture to see it enlarged.
The nice thing about the beach here was that everything, to us, seemed very reasonable with everything costing one Brazilian Real (about three Reals to one Pound Sterling) whether that is a coconut, a pineapple or a bag of quails eggs. These things are all brought to you where you sit, but the sellers do not badger you to buy things you don't want. This all helps to make the experience enjoyable and relaxing, just what the Doctor ordered. Below you can see on the beach entertainment supplied by a clown.
Those in search of a little more culture made the seven kilometre trip north of Recife to Orlinda which was the old capital and was founded in 1537. It has in recent years undergone some restoration partly funded by the Netherlands government since they declared it a National Monument and then it was also adopted by Unesco. It was very quiet during the visit despite the Easter holidays, but the churches were open to viewing and craft sellers that accumulate around places of interest. All making for a very enjoyable afternoon, before heading back to the reality of work.
Below are some images of the visit; (L to R) : Recife seen in the distance from Olinda; local children enjoying the Brazilian love of football outside a historic church, no wonder their country men are so good at it; and some local crafts. Click on them to see the enlarged image.