good, and we are all set for our 21 day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale
to Seattle through the Panama Canal. There are 11 sea days on this voyage so I've prepared 11 presentations (that would be a lot of speaking - almost a semester's worth of lectures). The climbout
over Chicago (especially the hard left bank) is always exciting...
booking agent, Diane, her husband, Larry, and fellow cruisers, Steve and Marina (also Bridge Instructors on the cruise) at a great Italian restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. Great conversation, great people - wonderful food - a perfect evening.
Friday, April 24, 2009 - Boarding the beautiful Pacific Princess -
The "Love Boat" of TV fame is a cozy, elegant ship (more like a country mansion than a cruise ship) and with only 670 passengers a ship where you can meet nearly everyone on board.
Ellen during the sailaway
Sunday, April 26, 2009 - At Sea - Caribbean Sea 79F, Sunny -
For a lecturer, sea days usually mean work - my first talk
"The CSI Phenomenon" drew over 100 attendees to the Cabaret
Lounge. The group was interactive and had good comments and
questions - the attendees were very loyal and attended all six of the lectures during the cruise. A perfect audience.
The ship and staff (especially the cruise director, Sammie), really supported the lectures - very nice...
Monday, April 27, 2009 - Oranjestad, Aruba (80s and Sunny always windy) -
On tour today - We visit the Casibari Granite Rock Formation
(the top has great vistas), the California Lighthouse (named after
a sunken ship and not the state) and Palm Beach.
Added excitement (no extra charge)- the boat scheduled to return
us to the dock had engine trouble a few miles from shore - we needed a tow and a new boat - this time a catamaran (much more fun).
Ellen and me on the Cat
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - Cartagena, Colombia - 91F Hazy -
We are again on tour today ("The Best of Cartagena"). The
View from La Popa
La Popa Courtyard
Cartagena (with old city wall visible)
Another great stop is the San Felipe de Barajas Castle - a fort used
to defend the city - complete with tunnels and turrets - and buses and buses of schoolchildren
Thursday, April 30, 2009 - 82F - Rainy - Daylight Transit of the Panama Canal
Even though it is raining, this is the highlight of the trip - a multi-hour transit of the Panama Canal - through the three locks and into the lakes - note: The humidity was so high that condensation formed inside the lens of my camera giving everything a foggy look. I let it dry out in a warm place and the fog was gone
Panama Canal "Mules"
Bridge of Independence (continental divide)
The ship anchored at Fuerte Amador (a small shopping port near Panama City) - we spent some time with Mark and Celia (from Napa, CA) and their friend, Sue (from Australia). Good Panamanian beer and good conversation on a steamy tropical night
Ellen at the pier at Fuerte Amador, Panama
Saturday, May 2, 2009 - Punta Arenas, Costa Rica - 92F - Cloudy
No tour today so we decided to check out the local vendors lining the beach at this small town (population 4,000) - besides Aruba
On the pier
Ellen and Marina at the Beachside salon
The Swine Flu Issue
Sammie and Ellen trying to figure what this statue is
Lake Nicaragua with its famous twin volcanoes (squint, please)
Monday, May 4, 2009 - At Sea - Pacific Ocean
Believe it or not, there are two dolphins in this picture
That's exactly what we did for a good hour plus - a little e-mailing, some electronic banking and a good beer - this is what exotic locations are all about. Very friendly locals.
May 6 - May 10, 2009 - The Great Sea Adventure
Five straight sea days - they were great - very relaxing although the seas were a bit rough. We played a lot of trivia with Mark, Celia, and Sue (even won ocassionally) and another new friend, Suzanne (an actress from LA).
Sat out on the deck and just watched the waves go by. Sea days are lectures days, so I presented additional forensic lectures (people really seemed to like the Cold Case lecture). These consecutive sea days were good practice for our Transatlantic Cruise in December.
May 11, 2009 - San Francisco, California - 60s - Sunny
Most of the passengers couldn't wait to get off the ship and get on dry land that doesn't move (actually the ground in San Fransisco has been known to move quite a bit).
Even though we used to live in the Bay Area, we decided to take a tour (it's been a while since we have been here and we never got to the City that often)
MORE TO COME