Our first so-called “Day at Sea” was very long, and open wide. Cloudy it was too, threatening rain in the morning, literally held up by the heavy, moisture-gathering wind. And the humid heat took possession of the open decks by mid-afternoon.

Just before leaving the Caribbean, almost two days ago, the wind picked up and the seas become rough. All the water, the wind and the ship were headed for the small gap (25mi) between Martinique and Santa Lucia. As I had already experienced a few stomach-hiccups during the afternoon, which I had been unable to quell with Pina Colada in the quiet windless and open blue ‘Crowe’s Nest’, sleep came difficult and haltingly. I was sure that I wasn’t seasick (never been before) but took a pill nevertheless. Placebo usually works as well!

At 7am we were in Bridgetown, Barbados, and I was wide awake although not in great form! My stomach was not yet quiet bowl, but the waters looked like mirrors. I decided on toast and jam, no more but also no less, because I had to step ashore and did not intend to faint, neither to throw up!

“Barbados with a professional photographer, learning to deal with tropical light”. The excursion was billed for beginner, amateur and professional alike. The latter should have made me suspicious enough to forego it all together and opt for a straight tourist excursion. The guy was pleasant, knowledgeable and passionate about his island and entertaining, showing and explaining us nice pictures that he had taken! His mother of 92 for instance, who had stopped teaching last summer and looked a healthy seventy, without tinkering!

We got wiser about other Barbadian secrets. Did you know that Barbados is #2 in the world for centanerians? Sure, a dive in the ocean each morning, fresh fruits, plenty of fish and clean air, purified over 4000km.

It is evident that rum is the national drink and they say that “one glass of rum a day, keeps the arteries clean and the liver okay”. Good to know isn’t it? He also mentioned that Barbados is leader in the civilized world for amputees. Helloo? Toes, mostly!

As we sailed away under a setting sun I was still smiling at the riddle that we were given: one sour, two sweet, three strong and four weak, rara what is it?

Today has been relatively rough, 25knot winds have whipped up some creamy waves. There are a few hooky pitches and elliptic rolls now and then – unexpectedly of course! -, but in general I had the impression that we were either skating or, perhaps skimming the waves. Tomorrow Devil’s Island, to meet Papillion!

Prinsendam, Saturday January 10, 2011, 1800hrs

6° N, 55°W, finally on the map, in South American Waters,