November 5th, 2007


Home From Cruisin'

We are home now; mostly unpacked, laundry started, catching up. Drive down proved delightfully uneventful. This despite the recent amount of rain on Baja Jorja's east coast courtesy of a High to the north and a Hurricane named Noah to the east. Overcast, and a bit windy, with light drizzle is all.

Arrived at the port a half-hour after boarding started, and proceeded directly aboard after parking. Ate a quick lunch after dropping off our bags in our dungeon stateroom, then took part in the Mandatory Life-Boat Muster. If you've never cruised before, this is sort of like when the airline flight attendants go through the safety schpiel, only you have to go to the lifeboat stations wearing your life preserver. Cruise lines take it pretty seriously too; they count heads to make sure everyone attends.

Out to sea on time (17:00) and into some very pleasant 5 metre (15 foot) swells. We didn't find it so bad, but a few members of our party and a lot of other guests aboard didn't agree with us. The ship's store experienced a boom business in dramamine patch sales. Some weren't quite so well off as even that. Somewhen around 03:00 the rocking stopped as we cleared teh Gulf Stream and entered the (somewhat) more sheltered Bahamian waters. Most everyone was able to take breakfast.

We were there (or at least I was) for the FCORN meeting, state-level OR Nursing business. So Saturday morning I dutifully attend our two one-hour sessions before we arrived in the Port of Nassau, capitol of the Bahamas. Finished up the business shortly after entering the port and shortly before actually tying up at the pier. Quick lunch, then off the ship to walkabout the city. Lots of folk hired onto tours or took a cab over to Paradise Island and a big casino resort. Herself and I, along with popperaussie and Dredd Phredd went walkabout about town. The last time we were here (five years ago) we'd done the same thing (sans ot-tarz)and mostly went directly inland from the port, only about five-six blocks and uphill, then to the east and back down to the waterfront.

We'd missed going to see a few sights though; The Water Tower built in 1928 and now the highest point onthe island at 216 some feet... and Fort Fincastle which is formerly the highest point on the island with 3 30-pounder coastal defense muzzle-loaders. Right next to them is an area known as the Queen's Staircase. It's a stretch of rock which was quarried out to build Fort Fincastle. By hand. By slaves. A long time ago.

Bit more walkabout after the climb, all downhill and therefor somewhat easier than getting up there. Rather curious behaviour on Dredd Phredd's part; he'd been rather excited about going on a sea cruise, but when we left the ship in the harbour, and he spotted two of Her Majesties Bahamian Navy patrol boats berthed right next to our cruise ship, he disapeered to the bottome of the tote bag Herself carried with us. Stuck his head out when we got off the waterfront, then ducked again when we walked past the Police Headquarters and teh Supreme Court building. In fact, he only came back out of the bag when we paused to photograph a couple churches, opposite side of town.

Overall, Nassau looks pretty good for having a hurricane pass over only a few days before.

Back aboard by or about 16:30 plus or minus an hour. Met up with the two people who wanted the commissioned portraits, and worked out the details. Sorry, folks, private commissions. Well, sorry for you, because you won't be able to see them. I'll enjoy the income though. Soak in the hot tub after that meeting, then off to the Formal Night dinner. Oh, BTW, Royal Carribbean does set a good table. Really. They told us we'd gain weight on this cruise (lots of people do). We didn't, but only because of that hill climbing and walking and more walking the next day on the private island, Coco Cay.

Departed Nassau about midnight, though I couldn't tell you exactly when as we were already ensconsed in our dungeon stateroom, and what we were doing is nunyas.

Two more obligatory CE sessions on Sunday morning, before arriving at Coco Cay. One of them was mine, creating a small dilemma: do I list the expenses for this cruise on our income tax deductions as for my presentation, or for my photographic commission? Decisions, Decisions. Still and all, wrapped up by 09:30 and so made the fourth or fifth lighter ferrying people ashore. Walked around the Cay to find the private place I remembered from five years ago is no longer so private (the beach is developed a bit past that spot). So we wandered a bit further along the beach and found another private spot which served quite nicely for the commissioned portraits. Then back to the main event area for lunch, and some photographs of sandpipers and surf. Back aboard about 15:30 or a half hour before the last lighter, and we left Coco Cay behind us as we sailed into the sunset... heading home.

The rest is fairly boring. Ah, yes, Dredd and Popper both came ashore with us on the Cay, and Dredd spent a lot of time pyrating everyone else's drinks. He made himself a drunken hit of the party at Dinner Sunday evening. Oh, and on the drive home from the port we got rear-ended. Only mild rumples, but Sidney SubaruOutback will need to go into a body shop soon. No one hurt.

Time to catch up with laundry and other stuff. Photos forthcoming. Probably (maybe) by this weekend next.