Today we awoke early as the Clipper Adventurer prepared to enter the famous Narrows of the Amazon River delta. Most of the passengers gathered with the naturalists on the top deck to welcome the tropical dawn and watch the early morning activities of parrots and other birds. We were rewarded with wonderful views of chestnut-fronted macaws, the energetic calling for a red-billed toucan, and most spectacularly, the sight of a magnificent king vulture, drying his wings in the crown of an emergent rainforest tree. Shortly before breakfast, we also spotted a tucuxi, the smaller of the two freshwater dolphins of the Amazon, breaking the muddy waters.
After breakfast, our first Zodiac excursion brought us close to the forest and to the houses of the caboclos, the local inhabitants of the river banks. At the door of every small house, children smiled and waved – and many pursued the Adventurer during the course of the day, shrieking with laughter as they “surfed” our wake.
Following an afternoon rainshower we had our first recap from the expedition team, and a leisurely passage through a narrow channel at sunset, with the naturalists pointing out a variety of hawks and other birds, with several sightings of boto, the large pink Amazon river dolphin. Then it was time for the captain’s welcome cocktail party; the animated conversations filling the dining room reflected everyone’s excitement at our first full day of expedition cruising.