Monday, November 5, 2018 – Half Moon Cay
Woke up at 6:00 and walked out to Deck 10 for the first look at a beautiful sunrise. Sun was peaking out behind the clouds and turning them a gorgeous peach and pink. The sky was shades of purple and blue. Not sure my picture can really do it justice.
Today is our tender port at Half Moon Cay, the private island owned by Carnival Corporation. It was first bought by Holland America in 1996 for $6 million dollars. When Carnival Corporation bought Holland America, they also bought the rights to the island. Carnival ships use the island too but only if a HAL ship is not using it. It has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The only other beach that I can think of that rivals it is 7 Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. The sand is like fine sugar and the beach is well maintained. The water is that beautiful turquoise color.
The island’s true name is Little San Salvador Island and it is one of 700 islands that make up the archipelago of the Bahamas. It is located approximately 100 miles southeast of Nassau and it covers 2,400 acres. Only 50 acres has been developed as Carnival wants to keep the habitat intact as it is a significant nesting area for waterfowl. They only employ a few full-time residents to watch over the buildings and take care of the horses. Everyone else who works there comes by boat every day. Would be an interesting commute.
We have done a couple of excursions here – parasailing and taken a catamaran out to some coral for snorkeling. We decided for today that we would just snorkel off the beach in the designated snorkeling area.
I went for a latte at the coffee bar at 6:30 but Chuck was still asleep. He woke up when room service delivered our breakfast at 7:30. They have a limited breakfast menu but others say you can write-in request items but we have not tried it. I had Special K and some fruit. Chuck had the omelet. Some more coffee and we were ready to go.
We got on the tender and it left about 9:15. Short ride to the island and we found two nice loungers in the shade. The water was calm but chilly. Took some getting used to. We swam out towards the rope and where we assumed the coral was. There was both artificial areas for the fish and some coral. Unfortunately, the coral was dead. Too much exposure to humans. The water was fairly shallow in a lot of places and the sun was out the whole time so visibility was very good and we were able to see quite a few small fish and occasionally a larger one.
Most of the fish were not scared of humans and didn’t really swim away. However, there were some fish that I called Waldo because they darted in and out of the rocks to stay hidden. They occasionally popped up in my pictures. Weird looking fish. Reddish but their eyes seemed to be ringed with big black circles.
We snorkeled for about an hour and then sat on the loungers to dry off. Just as we were exiting the water, one of the ship’s photographers stopped us for a picture. I can’t wait to see it. Chuck was squinting into the sun and I could feel my hair sticking straight up for the salt water. I know we will not be buying this picture. We sat next to a couple from Arkansas who we soon found out were also on the 10th deck but on the opposite hallway. Coincidental. We watched some of the resident chickens walking under the lounge chairs looking for dropped crumbs. They really love to hang out at the pavilion at lunch.
We have eaten the Bar B Que lunch on the island before but decided to go back to the ship for lunch this time. We had had enough snorkeling for the day. We got on the next available tender but it didn’t get far until it turned around and came back to the island. I thought maybe someone on the island had a medical emergency.
One of their motors had frozen up and they thought it best for us to get off the tender and on to another one just in case this one completely conked out before reaching the ship. We gathered up our bags and trooped over to the other tender. We watched as one of the workers put on a dive mask and prepared to take a look at the motors. Would not want that job. We were back on the ship about 12:30.
Left our swimsuits on and went up to the Lido buffet. One side of the Lido is still shut down. I thought it might be because many of the servers as well as the passengers were over at the island. However there was a sign that said maintenance in progress and I heard someone talking about a leak. I meant to check at dinner time to see if both sides were open but I forgot.
We enjoyed sitting in the hot tub for a while. After getting dried off, decided to go ahead and get cleaned up for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I wanted to go to one of the Microsoft workshops on organizing photos with Windows 10 and it started at 5:00.
We were ready by 4:00 so played a little blackjack (my no luck streak continues) and then Chuck switched to three card prime (a variation of three card poker) and I went to the workshop. After it was over, I decided to implement what I had learned.
I went to the room and retrieved my laptop and the two cameras. Went to the Crows Nest for a Tai Chi Latte and worked on importing my photos to the laptop and editing them. I ended up deleting several of the underwater photos that just did not turn out well.
Chuck came to get me about 7:00 and we went to the main dining room for dinner. Sat at a large table of 10. I don’t mind that size table but you just have to realize you are not going to be able to hold a conversation with the ones at the other end. There were 2 couples from Kansas traveling together and 2 couples from Florida (not traveling together). I thought one of the Florida couples seemed familiar like we may have been on a previous cruise with them but who knows?
I had the mango, cucumber, and goat cheese salad and the sole. Chuck had the crab cakes and the halibut. We skipped dessert. The dinner was very good.
We got out in time to catch the first set of the BB King band. We only danced to one song. The previous night at the 10:45 set, they played a lot of danceable music. This set, it was a lot of blues and jazz songs. However, the crowd watching was a very enthusiastic audience. After the set was over, we went to the main stage to watch the comedian. He had some funny moments but overall was so-so.
I decided to call it a night but Chuck stayed for some more 3 card poker. When I got to the room I found that the laundry was back (yay) but there was also a notice that we would be moving the clocks forward an hour (boo) tonight. Glad tomorrow is a sea day. It will also be the first of two Gala nights. Tonight’s towel animal is a stingray.
The weather forecast calls for sunny skies in the morning but the possibility of rain in the afternoon (typical Caribbean). The captain announced that at approximately 6:00 tomorrow morning we would be near the coastline of Cuba. I am probably going to miss that view.