Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015
After a full day and night at sea we awakened at an island in the Bahama chain owned by Holland America. The only inhabitants are a few people who care for the horses since riding along the beach is one of the attractions offered here. Glass Bottom boats, snorkeling, and lounging on the pristine beaches with water that is at least five shades of blue is all there is here. I think most of the passengers did get off and at least take advantage of a chance to walk on shore. “Thelma and Louise” were on shore for a couple of hours at the beach, and I read all day.
We were in the Crows Nest for Trivia tonight, but we didn’t do too well.
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Thursday, January 8, 2014

Thursday, January 8, 2014

There wasn’t much of a crowd at “Non Surgical Face Lift”. I didn’t really go. I seems to me that the best face lift is just a smile, and it does not even take ten minutes. So I’m not sure what Thelma and Louise did all morning because I missed them at breakfast. Since the wake up system on the phone was “challenged”, the cabin steward came by to wake me for Mass. The rest of the morning for me was spent reading in a lounge chair up in the crows nest where the view is spectacular all the way to the horizon. Calm sea and no wind made for a very smooth sailing day. After lunch I found Thelma and Louise playing their dice game at the big Lido pool which was unexpectedly closed for cleaning the middle of a hot afternoon because there are too many children – small ones. … more »

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 7, 2015, Wednesday, Philipsburg, St Maarten Island

A new discovery for me today was this odd little island split between the French and the Dutch: 21 square miles for the French and 17 square miles for the Dutch. A phone call from the south (Dutch) to the North (French) is an “International” call. It is cheaper to drive from one side to the other! There are two airports, power plants, water systems, communication systems, and distinct cultures. We docked at Philisburg on the Dutch side, and in contrast to many Caribbean ports, it was neat, orderly, clean, and obviously “Dutch.” The beach was beautiful, lined with hotels and restaurants, it was a comfortable walk for the afternoon. One block inland parallel to the beach is a pedestrian zone with the usual innumerable T Shirt Shops, Diamond Shops, and Shops for Watches, Linens, and hats. … more »

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A slow start to a “killer” day. Following a late breakfast, the Captain had the foredeck opened up at 10:30 for the best view sailing into San Juan Harbor. It is always a remarkable sight even though I have seen it three or four times. We let the crowds get off for the “excursions” as we took advantage of the cell phone service available since we were in a US port. After a sandwich we got off to discover that the warning about big crowds in the city today because of the Feast of Epiphany was no exaggeration. We walked up to the Central Square where Christopher Columbus stands on a high column, and then took a taxi up to El Muro for a look at the walls and the fortifications dating from the mid 1500s. … more »

Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2014 Grand Turk Island

A warm Caribbean day at an island named after a cactus. Imagine that, and look at the picture I’ve provided of the Cactus that many think looks like a Turkish “Fez.” We shared the Island with another ship as you can see which is typical for this season. There is no income tax, property tax nor sales tax in this British Colony. The only income comes from the “head tax” of cruise ship passengers and import taxes. 5,500 people live on the island, and it is the second largest population of the island chain.

We did not exactly rush off the ship, but after a leisurely breakfast we hired a taxi for two hours and drove the seven mile length of the island to the Light House at the northern end where a dangerous reef extends out quite a long way into the sea. … more »

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2014

They call days like this: “At Sea”, and the description works. We sailed along about an average of 18 kts all last night, all today, and will arrive at Grand Turk in the morning. It was windy – at the moment, (midnight) there is a wind directly head on at 50 kts which is substantial, so this 15 story floating hotel/resort is moving about a bit. 42 Catholics started the day at 8:00 am for Mass, and 38 Catholic crew members finished the day about an hour ago with 11:30 pm Crew Mass. This evening an officer asked me to visit with a crew member whose mother had died today back home in the Philippines. He will be going home from San Juan in a couple of days. … more »

Saturday Januray 3, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015 Westerdam

Here we go again! With the help of Msgr Fetcher at St Sebastian parish are Port Everglades, “Thelma and Louise” boarded the Westerdam for a week in the eastern Caribbean. Getting them situated down the hall from my room involved 4.3 miles of walking. We had a late lunch out on the back Lido deck, and it was so windy more of my salad blew off the ship than got into my stomach! It was a warm and muggy day, and because there were so many ships sailing this afternoon, we were late in leaving. There were 42 at 5:00 pm Mass tonight, and during communion I could see that we were finally underway an hour late. … more »