The Real Live Dawn on the Amazon

by Captain Bill

The Real Dawn on the Amazon

Dawn and family on Dawn on the Amazon 1

Dawn and family on Dawn on the Amazon 1

I clearly remember one wonderful early morning back in May of 1970. I was planting sweet corn and tomatoes in my freshly disked garden. I stood up and looked across the field of my farm. The clouds were still pink. Drops of dew sparkled on the grass. The lilac bush by the house was in full bloom.

I felt inspired. Dawn, the beginning of the day. My favorite part of the day. I knew then I would name my beautiful newly born baby girl Dawn.

I have lived a lot of life since that morning and many things changed but I still love my daughter Dawn, and early morning is still my favorite time of day.

Ten years ago when I first came to Iquitos Peru in the upper Amazon, I helped an old boat builder build my first Amazon River boat. There was never any doubt in my mind what the name of that boat would be. Dawn, the best time of day for fishing, bird watching, nature observation, and photography. My favorite part of the day, the name of my daughter; Dawn on the Amazon. Perfect.

I loved that boat. If it hadn’t been for Dawn on the Amazon 1, I would probably have missed out on one of the best parts of my life. I spent the next four or five years exploring the Amazon rivers and rainforest, experiencing adventure and romance, fishing for peacock bass, playing with monkeys, learning and having more fun than most adults.

Since then I have become an immigrant in Peru, built three other boats and a dozen dugout canoes and started four businesses in Iquitos. There was never any doubt what my first business would be named, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises.

My son Matt has been visiting with me for over three months. He has visited three times since I moved here. All together he has lived in Iquitos with me for a year. We have shared some unique experiences and have grown closer than ever.

We have laughed several times that Dawn has a small flotilla of boats and a company named after her, but she has never been to Iquitos to know first hand what her father’s life is like.

Now we are so happy because the real Dawn has arrived in the Amazon. She is here with her husband Dan and my grandchildren, Billy, Danielle, and Adam, and we are having a great family visit. I can hardly believe my family is together with me in Iquitos Peru.

Yesterday we went to the Belen Market, took Dawn on the Amazon 1 to the Butterfly Farm and watched pink dolphins. Billy said he would never forget the day. We all agreed.

Billy with his new friend Junior at the Butterfly Farm

Billy with his new friend Junior at the Butterfly Farm

Tomorrow we are taking an Amazon Cruise for 3 days. Dan and Billy are big time fishermen so we will try for catfish and stingray. They hope to catch peacock bass but the water is high and I suspect the Peacock Bass will be difficult to locate and catch because they will be feeding and sheltered in the flooded jungle.

We will do our best and will let you know what happens to us when we return to Iquitos, in a post titled, The Real Live Dawn on the Amazon Cruises in Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserver.

The Real Dawn on the Amazon

Bill Grimes is the father of Dawn on the Amazon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 billy bonebrake March 22, 2009 at 11:26 pm

bill thank u so much for this wonderful trip this was the greatest day of my life im not kidding this will be a day i will remember for the rest of my life and u made it happen so thank u and i know im speaking for the whole family

2 Doug and Debbie March 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Thank you for sharing this with your Indiana family. Uncle Doug says to Billy, I always thought you were a monkey, now I know you are. haha! Junior is so cute! Have a great time and take care. Love Uncle Doug and Aunt Debbie

3 billy bonebrake March 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm

well uncle doug i saw a monkey that looked just like u a bold head and a white beard

4 Dawn April 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Daddy & Marmelita, Thank you for the MOST wonderful time in Iquitos and on your boat! Dad, I know you are impressed that your technology deprived daughter found this and is able to comment. Love Dawn

5 Paul Costanzo June 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm


I have to stop reading your blog. My family is taking the Dawn I cruise in Aug-09 and everytime I read the blog I get more excited. We can’t wait! Where do you sleep on Dawn I?


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