Archive for: ‘November 2014’

Birthday Cruise

November 19, 2014 Posted by Deb

Deb put up an important number on November 1st and her first wish was Cuba. We looked at plane tickets and hassle factor and went with door number two, a cruise ship out of Jacksonville that was trying to fill up remaining cabins by offering Florida residents a four day shot for $200 and change. Other than my round the world trip on the SS Ryndam in the 60’s, we had only dodged cruise ships … never been on one.

Carnival Fascination

Carnival Fascination

The Carnival Fascination headed for Freeport and Nassau and started out nice. We were busy for several days checking out every nook and cranny and attending shows that had a chance of being interesting. In Freeport we grabbed a shuttle to the beach and chilled for $10 each. The official tour to the same place was many times that.

DebFreeportBeachShack

Chuck_FreeportBeachBar

For the Nassau stop we thought we’d check out one of the many “sign up” outings. We chose SNUBA since we weren’t sure Deb should be lifting heavy scuba tanks. At the last minute, the divemaster tried to talk all of us into the SCUBA trip and, since our entire group of five were certified divers and they were going to help Deb lift, we agreed. The cruise ship folks freaked out at that suggestion. We were soon to find out why the divemaster wanted to talk us out of SNUBA (diving with a respirator on a long tube towing a small raft).  We got out there and the wind was strong and in a lousy direction and we were facing at least a 1.5 knot current. The only option was to tie the Snuba raft to the main boat and dangle below it until we got bored going over the same part of the reef. We did straight snorkeling to check out the entire reef and it was a bit of a chore as the waves kept building. It was an interesting and expensive trip but the divemaster was right in trying to cancel and switch. Several on the boat were chumming all the way back and Deb came very close.

Dive Boat  Heading Out of Stuart's Cove

Dive Boat Heading Out of Stuart’s Cove

Our impression of the cruise was that the food was great, free, and there was a lot of it. The 24-hour pizza restaurant was my favorite, and the hamburger BBQ was open most of the time. Some of the small live music venues were excellent. We did a lot of time in the gym and Jacuzzis. But … we were going stir crazy on the final day and night. The weather got cold, the wind was screaming, and we had done the whole ship. The waves out there were impressive and we have to do that stretch of water soon. It definitely got our attention at 15 feet plus. We felt a bit strange about being part of a large human invasion, standing in line, and not being able to take our time and spend days rather than hours checking out islands.

 Watching the Big Waves Out the Window: This is the Way to do a Crossing!

Watching the Big Waves Out the Window: This is the Way to do a Crossing!

More Georgia Time

The RV cruised into Brunswick in mid-October and it was refreshingly hot. We grabbed a nice RV site about 11 miles away from the boat and started re-commissioning and repairing Neytiri. Parts have been rolling in ever since and the boat is getting there except for the big ticket items that lie ahead. The number one item is another attempt at lower unit seals and the next is a hugely expensive new rig.  Somewhere on the list is new refrigeration, a new galley, two new diesels, a paint job, and the list goes on for two pages.

Figuring Out New Solar Regulators

Figuring Out New Solar Regulators

Our plan is to move the RV to indoor storage in Jacksonville on Friday 11/21 and drive back to Brunswick to live on the boat until we can move south. The amount of juggling we have to do to shut down a land yacht and move onto a sailboat is impressive.

Getting Out the Racquetball: A Surprise Left by Squirrels in Arkansas

Getting the Racquetball Bag Out of RV Storage: A Surprise Left by Squirrels in Arkansas