Posted by Douglas Gray on December 30, 2014
My Tropical vacation on the Sea is something I have always wanted to do. It was not my first experience going out to the open sea, but it was the first time I was a passenger. Before when I was young I served in the US Navy in which there were several deployments. The most fun was when we would head overseas and visit ports of call I had only seen on TV or in books.
I decided to book my sea adventure in the Caribbean. While not the same as the South Pacific, it is a more affordable vacation. The nights at sea are the same anywhere you are, just open ocean. That is the part I really enjoy. No airplanes buzzing around or cars honking their horns. Just the sounds of the hull crashing against the waves and the peace and serenity of the open sea, plus that wonderful salty ocean breeze against my face again.
Going into port was a new experience for me. I was what you call a snipe when in the navy. That means I was a mechanic and had to be at my station on the bottom of the ship when we were entering and leaving a port of call. For that reason I never experienced the scene of seeing land and watching it approach as we made our way back to land. It was a new experience and I am glad I was finally able to experience it. Instead of my head being filled with just what the place will look like, I actually got to see it approach and began while still on the approach to port, planning on just what I wanted to see when we got closer.
Leaving the ship was close to the same as all the approaches I had while in the navy, with one exception. This vacation cruise was the first time I was able to see land just disappear under the horizon. What fun it was to reminisce of the new experiences I had just enjoyed while visiting land. This time to reflect was very enjoyable. I also remembered the many times I was reading and recording the gauges of the machinery I was standing watch over. It is what all snipes gets used to when they are standing their watches.
While I enjoyed my time in the navy, I am sure glad it is over and I can enjoy my vacation time at sea. Yes is it is true that traveling to far away ports in the Navy was free but the enjoyment level of being on a cruise ship is something all old sailors and civilians alike should experience. By having the previous Navy experience, I found I still had my sea legs while others were bouncing off the bulkheads. It brought a smile to my face remembering my first time out at sea. I also got to explain why the ship had what appeared to be lightning bolts coming from it at night under the water when we were cruising. And just so you know, that is the electrical ground of the ship, not real lightning coming off underwater.
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