March 11, 2019

March 10, Sea Day

Again the skies are blue, the sun bright and the air and sea temperature about 80.

With the wind on our bow as we head Easterly towards St Lucia, there is a brisk breeze across the open decks. Many passengers will get a sunburn today. There is little motion to the ship.

Last year I had noticed a yellow brown biomass floating over much of the Caribbean Sea. It is present again today, but to a lesser degree. Several sources say it originated in the Indian ocean and is spreading around the world in tropical waters. I have no way to confirm or dismiss this theory.

For beaches that are positioned in its path it is causing major disruption. As it begins to dry it produces a toxic obnoxious gas that is not healthy to higher forms of life like humans. Getting rid of the stuff is very expensive and difficult. Installing protective booms such as are used in an oil spill help catch it, but the disposal problem still remains.

Another byproduct of global warming that some politicians in Washington deny?

This afternoon the hypnotist does another show, totally different than last nights show. Well attended but not packed.

The weather remains great, at least in the view of most passengers, one was heard complaining about the occasional light cloud that passed by.

When Adrienne arrives for cocktails it is evident that travel has got her again, large blisters on her right arm. She thinks she may have brushed some coral during her dive. With a known allergy to chlorinated pools, maybe it is just the salt water? Or the toxins being released by the bioslime? Regardless, ice packs to relieve the pain, and lots of Benadryl and topical antibiotics to ward off infection as the blisters break.

When we arrive at our dinner table, things are obviously running a little slower tonight. The table is only half set. Hurry comes ready to take our order, but quickly realizes we don't even have menues yet. Doesn't matter to me, but the others have no idea of today's offering.

As we are leaving the assistant waiter tells us if we don't see him tomorrow, it is because he is not feeling well. Now he tells us! This man has more excuses. No sleep, too busy, may be sick. I doubt he will make a career working on cruise ships.

There are about 5 tables still seated when we leave.

We gather in the Schooner Bar. Shortly Melinda and Eliza head for the show and the others head to thier cabins. I sit with Carly, our cruise director, for awhile, and then catch the last 15 minutes of Elisa Furr's show. Much better than a few weeks ago when she was struggling for some reason.

The seas remain under 6 feet, and the ship stable as we continue towards St. Lucia. We expect to be cleared by 8:30AM.

March 9 - Kralendijk, Bonaire

I sleep late, Adrienne has a 2 tank dive. Eliza & family expect to rest until noon. Pann & Terry are going to take a taxi tour of the island.

There are few passengers remaining on the ship with me. The weather is again near perfect.

Yesterday in Curacao was refueling day. No barge pulling along side the ship. A pipeline runs directly from the refineries, along the dock, thru filters and metering, and into a hose attached to the ship.

Looking down at the crystal clear water  many schools of small fish can be seen just under the waters surface. The few birds that fly overhead quickly make thier catch and fly on.

Again we are the only cruise ship in port. Sharing our pier is a barge loaded with concrete block and brick to feed the many construction projects underway. The economy of the ABC islands is so much better than most of the other Caribbean islands.

There are tentative plans for a walk to a nearby watering hole for a local beer later in the afternoon.

Adrienne's dives are  successful, no emergencies, and lots of "fishies" and other sea creatures to view.

I pass on the local brewery, and remain on the ship.

There continues to always be seating in the Concierge lounge, our meeting location on the ship. A couple of beverages are in order before dinner.

OK I have to digress. I arrive first and grab a seat at the bar. The couple next to me start a conversation about tipping. After being critical in general about how other passengers do or don't tip, he shares that he always tips his server after they have three drinks. Everyone does what works for them. The conversation drifts to other subjects. Twenty or so minutes later they need to leave for dinner, he confirms with his wife that they have had 3 drinks, each, and tips the server $1.00!  That's about sixteen cents for an otherwise free drink. 

While on the subject of tipping. I met  a couple on the last trip that had already been here 31 days. Having never been to Curacao, they proudly told me that with all they saved by cancelling all thier tips every day they were extending thier cruise another 11 days.

Some people can just irritate me.

We head to the dining room a few minutes early, tonight we are third from the last table to leave!

Our entertainer tonight is a hypnotist. A humorous show where he hypnotizes a group of passengers and suggests silly behavior. The victims comply.

The seas remain under 5 feet, with waves almost directly on the bow as we head to our next port of St. Lucia, a day and a half away.