We woke this morning to cloudy skies, but warm temperatures. A contrast to yesterday. We went down and had breakfast then arranged for our shuttle to the airport and a taxi to take us today at lunchtime for our sightseeing cruise.
We settled down by the pool to read for the remainder of the morning. We were sent indoors by a brief, but heavy, rainfall. We went down to the lobby for our taxi and discovered a congregation of today's cruise shop passengers waiting for their shuttle. We now know what to expect tomorrow!
Our taxi came and we had a drive through Ft Lauderdale where we discovered that traffic was regularly disrupted by bridges opening to allow boats past, just as we have railroad crossings, and, like trains, boats have the right of way. We arrived at the harbour in plenty time and boarded the "Jungle Queen". While we waited for it to depart, we were entertained by pelicans. These are Atlantic Grey Pelicans, smaller and darker than the ones which visit the lake behind our homein Sherwood Park each summer. The Jungle Queen set off for a trip down the Intercoastal Waterway and up the New River, passing luxurious yachts and even more luxurious homes on the way. Many of these multi-million dollar residences are second (or third) homes of America's wealthiest people. Every home had its own dock with a boat. Some boats were worth even more than the astronomically priced houses. The home nicknamed "The White House" is on the market with an asking price of $35M (US of course!), which, is realized will be the most expensive residential sale in Ft Lauderdale.
We stopped at an island to see some typical wild life, but this turned out to be a small private zoo, not the "Everglades" experience advertised in the brochure. Iguanas ran wild, but birds and monkeys were exhibited in cages and an alligator display in a relatively small concrete pond enclosure provided a wrestling exhibition which we decided to forego after seeing the somnolent reptiles resting in and around the pools of stagnant water. An ice cream cone seemed a better use of time and the display by the resident peacock was quite spectacular.
The return trip gave us a view of the other bank of the river and completed the afternoon's sightseeing. Upon disembarking we went in search of a pharmacy we thought we had seen from the cab, but, after walking for a fair while, we decided we had misjudged distances and retreated to an hotel where a gift shop provided the replacement nail clippers and we called a cab which brought us back to our hotel.
We proceeded directly to dinner and then retired to our room to update our diaries and read.
Tomorrow we join the Volendam and set sail for, first Columbia - our first venture into South America - then on to the Panama Canal.