Friday, December 05, 2008

St. Pat goes cruising, followed by weeks of overwork

The good news is, I got a cruise in before I got sick. That was before Thanksgiving. It was a nice cruise, a repeat of the itinerary from our 2006 church cruise, from Melbourne to Nassau and back.

We went on a different Royal Caribbean ship called Monarch of the Seas. The ship we cruised on in 2006 was retired from the fleet. Monarch was very similar, but a little newer. The coolest thing about it? Our captain was a woman, and fantastic - a real sharpie!

The very most fantastic thing about the cruise was we sailed around 5:15 on Nov. 14 — the day Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off at 7:55 p.m. Captain Karen took us out and positioned the ship so we would have a great view of the liftoff from the decks.

It was gorgeous. It had already turned dark, and there was a fulll moon, the size of a dinner plate, hanging in the sky to my right, as I waited on deck. It cast ghostly white fingers atop the water.

Then, to my left, I could see a faint orange glow on the horizon, exactly where sea and sky appeared to meet. It grew larger and brighter. It was gorgeous, a huge ball of orange and red, lifting into the sky and arcing toward us.

It cast its own fiery fingers across the water, overpowering the pale and wan moon.

I held my breath, as I always do at booster separation. Then, the shuttle continued, like a bright white star moving across the heavens. Perfect.

We went straight from dinner to the deck, and I didn't have my camera with me. I decided that was better, even though I don't have photos to brag of - I spent the minutes experiencing it, instead of fiddling with the camera.

I did get a nice photo or two the next day, as we into Nassau Harbor, though.

When we got back, I was coming down with a bronchitis plus head-cold thing that's been going around. I've been sick for just about three weeks, but am mostly over it now, thank goodness. I couldn't take time off to recuperate - I was working 12 and 14 hour days. sigh.

I'm glad I got through the cruise BEFORE I got sick, though.

I had a good time. I give this cruise a B+. The only downer was the weather turned windy and a little chilly, and we didn't stop at the little private island on the way back - the weather was too foul. I didn't mind much - we just cruised around, instead.

Now, I'm looking forward to Christmas, and another day or two off.


Padre Mickey said...

I'm sorry to hear you were sick, but I'm glad to know that you're still alive!

Missed you!

Saint Pat said...

I've missed y'all too!