Panama Canal Transit

Oceans and Seas » Caribbean » Gulf of Mexico
January 16th 2017
Published: January 16th 2017
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January 14, 2017

We are arriving at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, HAL's island in the sun. The sky is overcast and the temp is 73. I am enjoying my morning coffee in the cabin whilst ML is working hand at exercise class.

While waiting for the port shuttle we chatted up a Canadian couple who had been in baggage claim at FLL when the shooting started.. They saw people running in all directions, seniors in wheel chairs unable to move and bodies covered with blankets. It was a horrendous scene and being Canadians they helped where they could. The were trapped in the airport for 13 hours and the car rental agencies were closed. They took the shuttle to our hotel but there were no rooms so they slept in the lobby. Then they headed to the Keys where it was 53 degrees. They couldn't wait to get back to Toronto.

January 15

We just dropped anchor and the newest HAL ship, the Koningsdam, is lurking. That means the island will be a zoo but all we want to do is walk the beach.

Yesterday we did a bit of shopping and lunched at a Cuban Restaurant . The place was jammed, always a good sign, and the food and service were excellent. We both had marinated sautéed chicken pieces with onion, peppers and garlic along with rice, black beans and fried plantains. Lucious.

The fact that the largest and newest ship in the fleet is in port appears to have relegated us to poor relation status. Not sure why we had to wait for the K tender to load and unload before we could enter the channel but our arrival was nicely timed to coincide with a sun shower. Ever dauntless we braved the rain and found a nice spot and started our walk. Actually the rain only lasted a few minutes and we were headed for water anyway. The beach was quite crowded but the sand was soft and cool and we really enjoyed the walk. Stopped for a Run Punch and grabbed a bite at the BBQ and that was quite tasty. We lounged for a bit before heading back to the ship for my pedi.

Met our table mates; Pat & Karen from Washington State, Allen, Donna, Lorena and Sumie from Canada. The Canadians are with the Canadian Motor Club group. Promises to be a friendly group.

Met up with the group that is touring in Costa Rica together. There are six of us. One man was born in Romania and the communists sold him to England, seriously! In the sixties there were a number of minority's in Romania; Jews, Gypsies, Hungarians, and others. The government wanted them gone and the International Community, especially Israel wanted them. Ivan was a young man with no particular skill and Romania had too few jobs so he went on to England and eventually the US. He thinks his sale price was around three hundred dollars. He had some mechanical engineering training and landed a job where he learned coding for the burgeoning computer industry, ending his career with General Foods. The things you learn when traveling.

I played in the Hold 'em tournament and was second out so headed to the Lido for Pasta Primavera, explored the ship a bit and ended up in the Crows Nest for trivia. Here is one of the questions. What is the heaviest of the radioactive noble gasses? What do you call a group of flamingos? Obviously I did not do well. Have I mentioned I love my sea days.

The food has been very good. One night I had a perfectly prepared prime rib, another a rack of lamb, escargot, always a winner and a luscious chilled coconut, pineapple Pina Colada soup for desert one night. Last night I had my special cinnamon ice cream. Our table stewards are friendly and helpful. Life is good.


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