Motorbike taxis buzz by.

A few degrees north of the Equator, we have sailed under modern power for 6000 miles. The Atlantic is smooth with rolling deep-blue 2-3′ swells, clear skies with clouds on the horizon. Temperatures are 85-92º with humidity 60-65%. However, the sun is blasting directly overhead and makes an oppressive heat – and this is the dry season.

Benin is the size of Louisiana with a population of about 9 million, mostly living on its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin. It is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture. The official language is French. Roman Catholicism flourishes alongside a strong faith in the power of Voodoo. (more…)