February 08, 2019

Friday Feb 8, St Marten

The skies are sunny, there is a nice island breeze. Temperatures are probably near 80, the same as the surrounding ocean. We are the only cruise ship in port today, usually there are three or four. What a difference. The docks are not crowded, there is no line for the water taxi.

There are three large private yachts here. The largest is about 200 feet and has at least 5 decks. She is being reprovisioned, boxes and boxes brought by vans and carried up the gangway one by one.

The middle sized yacht soon leaves port. I only see a few crew members handling the lines and pulling in the gangway.

The smallest of the three, maybe 100 feet in length is painted a high gloss black, more shiny than the fanciest black limo you have ever seen. She sports a helicopter on the top deck and looks like a yacht right out of a James bond movie. Maybe she is.

I get all my emails as soon as I have cell service in each port. I learn that my brother passed this morning. Not an unexpected event as he was fighting a losing battle with brain cancer. That's two losses this week. As bad news like this often comes in threes, I wonder what is next?

My task for the day is to stop and see Nick at the Lazy Lizard, and purchase some Bananna Rum for my youngest daughter. I was surprised to learn that Nick bottles the rum himself, not using a commercial bottler. I expect that would be near impossible to do in the US.

Despite my maturity and failing body, one part that still  works remarkably well is my ears. I over hear a middle aged couple sitting several tables behind me at the Lazy Lizzard. They are not from the cruise ship, they did not come by yacht, but by boat.  What boat they did not say. They will probably stay about a month, but plans are not too firm as they continue on a round the world venture. The gentleman is so impressed with his food that he orders a second plate. I believe it was calamari.

A simple cheeseburger and diet coke for me. Much better than what is available on the ship.

Either some of the crew missed the life boat drill the other day, or needed additional training as several lifeboats are launched today. They do  their usual running around the harbor and then are brought back on board.

This was  our fifth island stop in just as many days, unusual for a Caribbean cruise. Deck 13 is almost unbearably hot this afternoon. Either the AC has malfunctioned, or more likely has been turned off. The lounges are full, but not over crowded.

Neither my waiter or assistant are in the dining room tonight. Within several minutes I am given several excuses. First they have been given the day off because they are "employees of the month", next I hear they are sick and quarantined, third I am told they have exceeded the maximum number of allowed working hours. The third is most plausible, but I will probably hear an official reason tomorrow night, that is assuming they haven't just jumped ship.

The pasta is not nearly as good as several days ago. The sauce lacks flavor, and appears to have been watered down.

When I return to the Concierge lounge the AC is working, and the noise level is tolerable.

For the next two and a half days we will cruise at about 18 knots on our way back to Port Everglades. Most passengers will disembark  and then I will begin an eleven day cruise to four different Eastern Caribbean islands with a return call to St Kitts.  I will learn how many other passengers are staying on the ship on turn around day, I am already aware of quite a few. The seas are forecast to be under two meters, essentially flat.

No comments: