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Explorations of mind, paths, and life

And the Boat went on…

Posted on June 8, 2008 - Filed Under self reflect

It is interesting that such a huge vehicle, like this boat, floats; with so much steel and wood and people, it towers over the ocean. I keep thinking the damn thing should be top-heavy as I have no concept of how deep it goes below the water. In the harbor it simply looks like a long dark shadow below the water-line. I think, after day three, my anxiety got worse and I resorted to a mix of Dramamine and Xanax to soothe my stubborn anxiety each night. I am surprised I wasn’t drooling at the dinner table I was so spaced out. During the day I could escape the ship and explore, but once we left the harbor, the shaking started. It wasn’t like I expected to die, or that the rocking was tremendous, or people were heaving and lurching around every corner. I expect I was the only one on the ship with any problem at all. People carried on easily, filled with adventure and, sad to say, gluttony. I enjoyed every minute of the trip, with the undercurrent of unease each night, some little subconscious tremor keeping me from completely relaxing.

Nassau’s waters were gloriously clear and refreshing. The sand was soft and white, and the only distraction was the ebb and flow of speed boats pulling up to shore and the noxious smell of fuel as they idled and waited for more tourists to jump on the next “banana boat” ride. Otherwise, the fish that followed us and the sand were enough to fill me with contentment. Yes, I forgot to mention the taxi ride – by far a flashback of taxi driving in NYC.

Gala night was interesting. Food, tremendously good. Dress – well, requirements were not held to heart and I felt pretty sad that Justin, who loved each night at the dinners (get what you want kind of menu, and try different things) didn’t come because we didn’t have a dress shirt. However, as adults began coming in with T-shirts, I regretted holding him back, and despite an hours worth of walkie-talkie calls, Justin missed the meal. So, I brought him room-service! I also tried Escargo! Really delicious, and I was surprised.

CocoCay, Bahamas was lovely. We took the snorkeling tour with Justin, and although a bit over priced, always worth it. I had some challenges enjoying the fish and underwater scenery in the ways I had hoped or expected. As soon as that current pulls me I can sense the onslaught of fear creep its way into my mind. As Gary took the boys out to some great rock reefs, I circulated from snorkling, to the back stroke, towards a raft they had out in the middle to decompress. Even with a blow-up snorkle vest, fully inflated, I just couldn’t keep easy-going. So I took my time, saw some great fish, and eventually made my way back to warm up in the shade. I had never been afraid of the ocean like this until I almost drowned in 2002. Since then it has been a challenge, but I keep trying because I love the ocean and fish.

The winds picked up as we headed to the Keys from Coco Cay, and I could feel the boat rock, regardless of the oceans lapping waters. I was sure the damn thing would topple over and I had to distract my mind numerous times. This was close to the last stretch and by this time I was getting close to feeling done with cruising. We have been to Key West several times and love the area, however, the cruise line just doesn’t give you enough time anywhere to really enjoy things. The drop off was a horde of tourism, so we wandered with Sam to Sloppy Joe’s (home of the annual Hemmingway look-alike contest) for a drink and food, then to a quiet secret garden behind the glass doors of a small shop called Pelican Poop. It was there that Justin and I snapped some amazing pictures of flowers. This was our check-in spot with email, enough to make sure the world was not burning down over the internet. Our final night was spent chasing eachother around the ship in order to make sure we were packed, had picked up our pictures, some final purchases, and an overview of our balance.

You can view my favorite images here <-- organized by day, and then extra's from Nana's camera. I would try another cruise. I am SURE that 4 days is plenty. We loved that each morning we woke up to a new place and things to do. I am not a fanatic about crowds or shows, however, there is something for everyone to do. I loved the formal dinner meals, and the rock climbing wall that Justin and Carlos climbed (I was official cheering committee). I loved the Latino dancing and that I had family with me. I am also grateful I got over my cold in time for the trip, and expect the ocean water really helped clear out any remaining sinus issues!

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