Monday, March 1, 2010

Cruise to the E. Caribbean - Day #7,8 and 9


Here's the the last installment of our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean vacation. Yes, it takes a long time to organize the photos (and re-size them).
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11 - This was a day at sea going from St. Thomas to Half Moon Cay, the Holland America ship line's own private island in the Bahamas. Rob doesn't like days all at sea (because of sea-sickness). After an early breakfast (and we learned that to avoid seasickness, you need to have food in your stomach often!), we came back to our cabin to find a note from our new friends Alain and his partner Alain ("A2"). We spent the morning on deck in the sun (and wind) as Tom worked on Sudoku and a crossword, while Rob finished reading his great book (The art of racing in the rain, by Garth Stein- as told by a family dog).
We learned that the Federal Gov't was again closed today due to the 2nd blizzard. After both getting sunburned, we joined A2 for a really fun lunch outside on deck, talking about dogs (we both have them), renovations and more. After we parted I ran into the woman whose uncle John came to me in the dining room the day before. She told me that he uncle was gay and never came out of the closet. She said perhaps he felt comfortable going through me to contact his niece. I assured her that he's happy in the afterlife.
TOWEL ANIMAL FOLDING! - We were so amazed by the folded towel animals in our cabins that we took a 1 hour course and bought a book. Today's towel animal was hanging from a coat hangar when we returned- and it was a Monkey! Rob successfully folded a towel puppy.
MENTALIST SHOW -We later joined A2 at a mentalist game show featuring Bob Lawson and his partner Mark. Rob was called on stage to participate in a dollar bill game. Tom was called on stage later to write down a song title. I leaned over and told both Alains that Tom would write "Only Yesterday" by the Carpenters (his favorite song) - Sure enough he did, and Rob got a photo of it!
Because Alain L. knew the host he and his partner joined us and did a handwriting analysis for us. We talked and shared stories until almost 7pm. A woman came to me during our discussion, and although the name I got didn't seem right, I'm sure it was her. More on that in another post.


FRIDAY AT HALF MOON CAY, BAHAMAS
- Overnight the ship was really rocking and Rob was up all night with seasickness. Turns out one of the Alains was also seasick all night. After breakfast, Rob felt better and the ship dropped anchor at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. It's basically an empty island that's a giant beach.
We got on a "Tender" or a ferry and arrived at the island after breakfast. We sat on the beach (the sand is like flour, it's so soft!), then walked the length of the beach. By 11am we left the beach (the water was a little cold, actually), and returned to the ship by 11am for a nap and lunch. By 3pm we got Tom's Sudoku and puzzle and checked the Internet. After a "Castoff Party" at 3:30pm. By 5pm, we noticed that the ship still wasn't heading home toward Florida. We had dinner, and people were wondering what was going on. By 9pm, the captain announced over the ship's intercom that for the last 4 hours we were dragging the anchor (that got stuck while being pulled up at the Half Moon Cay), in an attempt to pull it back up. So, the ship was circling at 3 knots (3 mph) for hours in the Bahamas in deep water - otherwise the anchor would have anchored us! By 11pm, there was a strong cold front moving in (that dumped 4" of snow on Atlanta the day before) and seas were getting rough. The Captain announced that we WOULD be in port the next day by 12 pm (5 hours later than scheduled) one way or another. It turned out to be "another" as they couldn't get the anchor up, so they had to cut the chain the held it! That's a $60,000 anchor!
Because of the approaching storm front, the Internet and ship to shore phones were down, and people were scrambling and ticked off that they couldn't change their flights (due to the long delay in arrival). They were not happy. We tried for 40 minutes on-line, and gave up... and went to bed.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 - We awoke at 5:30am, as the seas raged outside, with 15-foot waves, splashing on our 4th floor balcony. Winds gusted to 42 knots (about 47 mph) outside, coupled with the ship moving at around 24 mph, that was about 71 mph winds!! (almost hurricane force). By 5:45am we went to the front desk, and they made a successful ship to shore call, and Tom was able to change our flights home to the next day (Sunday the 14th) because the rest of Saturday was booked out of Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore. After breakfast, we watched the ship pull into port and disembarked by 12:20pm. We took a shuttle to the airport, then called a hotel shuttle- and stayed overnight at a Days Inn in Hollywood, Fla., getting up early Sunday (5am)for a ride to the airport and finally home! It was a nice trip, people were friendly and we made some new friends- but the rough seas and the anchor issue won't be forgotten... and we really want to go back to Puerto Rico

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next