March 13, 2019

March 12 - Antigua

We arrive in port early, and the ship is cleared by 7:30. The Freedom of the Seas pulls in to the other side of the same pier.

The Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship Braemar is docked at the next pier. Fred Olsen, long known for land tours now has a few cruise ships. I think this is the first I have seen. Nearly 30 years young, she carries about 900 passengers. 

The skies are partly cloudy, the humidity is typical of the Caribbean, and there is the usual offshore breeze.

Antigua boasts 365 beaches, one for everyday of the year. Eliza and family head off to one of them. As often the case, I will stay aboard most of the day.

The Serenade launches all the lifeboats from the starboard side of the ship. A regular training exercise that occurs about once a month.

The Braemar has a small barge with a rolloff trash container on its deck pull alongside. Trash is thrown into the container piece by piece. No compactors on such a small ship, but also much less garbage compared to us or the larger Freedom. The barge begins to pull away, but a crewmember is waving them back. One more piece of paper, probably the one that will result in the trash hauler being paid.

By noon the the skies are mostly clear. I venture ashore to have gelato for lunch. Better than eating on the ship. Besides it helps the local economy. That is always a useable excuse. 

Actually I encounter an ice cream shop first. Vanilla with chocolate chunks. So much better than any on the ship!

They also have a good sign. "Sorry we don't have wifi - talk to each other". What they did have besides belgian waffles and ice cream was comfortable chairs in the shade.

Container ships transport all kinds of merchandise around the world. Only a handful of standarized shapes give no clue as to what is inside. There is a containership in port where the cargo is very obvious. She is carrying at least seven yachts of various types and lengths. Whether coming to or leaving Antigua I couldn't tell.

As departure time approaches, one passenger is missing. Just as the lines are ready to be hauled in she comes running down the pier to the applause of hundreds of passengers lining the rails. Just seconds from a 1300 mile swim to Florida, she is back onboard.

The seas remain calm as we begin our leg back to Florida. The next two days we will be at sea.