S. L. Reay Enterprises


Caribbean Cruise

December 2004

It isn't often that a person gets a chance to combine a number of passions. Sandy's trip gave her an opportunity to spend time with her family, explore new places, take photographs and play on the water! What could be better than that?

Click on the place in the list to see about it or scroll down to see all.
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1. Fort Lauderdale 5. Curacao
2. Bahamas 6. Panama
3. Cuba 7. Costa Rica
4. Aruba 8. Cuba

Day 1 - Sailing from Fort Lauderdale at sunset.

Sandy likes to take sunset shots...   ...she's usually awake by then.

Day 2 - Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

The proverbial desert island. The cruise ship company built a fort and a church ...
... then planted palm trees and flowers, and added walkways and stores and other amenities.
sailboat, Half Moon Cay
Used in "Peace Within" by Kebba Buckley Button

Day 3 - At sea, sailing past the eastern coast of Cuba

Still in international waters, at least 3 miles away...   ...it was worth getting up at dawn--room service did the wake-up call.

Day 4 - Oranjestad, Aruba

The first name was Oro Hubo which means Gold Was There.   The second name was Islas Inutiles which means Useless Islands.
Built and used in the Netherlands nearly 200 years ago, this was reassembled here in 1960.   The island is a dead coral reef, uplifted by volcanic activity. Coastline is rough and rocky.
The big houses and resorts are on the west, along the white-sand swimming beaches: idyllic desert island.   The smaller houses inland are more affordable. This roofline is common. Notice the cactus.
The colorful architecture looks like gingerbread houses.   Burials are above ground. Crypts are painted to match the family's houses.
A natural bridge on the far side of the island. Sharks are fed near here...   ...to use the garbage and keep the sharks from the swimming beaches.
Sandy's sister gets a different angle on the bridge.   Going back to the ship after a long day.

Day 5 - Willemstad, Curacao

The old fort guarding the harbor looks like the fort in "Romancing the Stone". It's been converted to a group of boutiques, with the old steps leading to more shops.
The first street in the old part of town faces the river. The buildings across the river are reflected in the windows of the only unpainted building on the street.

There are two bridges across the river. Mom is on Koningin Emmabrug (Royal Bridge), a floating, swinging pedestrian (now) bridge.

  This is the new bridge for cars and trucks, built high enough above Annabaai (Anna Bay) to allow the ships to pass.
  You have to like a place where the waterfront is clean and the drinks are dirty.

Day 6 - At sea. Partly cloudy skies, fresh breeze, rough seas.

Day 7 - Panama Canal / Gatun Lake / Puerto Colon, Panama

Their web site.

Panama Canal

It took 10 years for the US to build the canal, using 19 miles built by France.   The road, which swings out of the way when the lock is in use, is the only crossing for cars and trucks.
The towing engines are electric. There wasn't much clearance on either side of the ship.   The canal cost over $387,000,000 and over 6,000 lives. It's 47 miles long and saves ships 7,000 miles.
It took 2 hours to complete the transistion. The ship rose in two locks, 28 feet each time.   The living map shows 10 provinces of Panama and the canal.
Gatun Lake is one of the largest man-made lakes. It stores the millions of gallons of water needed to fill the locks.   Double gates in the locks accomodate ships of varying lengths.

Gatun Lake and exiting the Canal

Gatun Lake yacht club   View of the southern shore
Gatun Locks from the lake   Pelican feeding in the locks

Puerto Colon


Day 8 - Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Beach, rain forest, and mountains. It's the rainy season and it poured in the morning.
Egret and blue heron.
The folks on the canal boats said the wildlife doesn't come out in the rain.
Blue heron   Night eagle


  Howler monkeys
Turtle and friend   Baby crocodile (yellow and black striped "log" on river edge)

Day 9 - At sea. Overcast showers, light breeze.

Day 10 - At sea, sailing past the northwestern coast of Cuba.

Still in international waters, at least 3 miles away...   ...and no getting up at dawn--it took hours to sail past; it's a big island.

Day 11 - Docking at Ft. Lauderdale.

OK--two more sunset shots, one from the ship day 1...   ...and the other from Dania Beach after the cruise was over.

Total distance: 3238 Nautical Miles


Sandy got the following e-mail from a friend after she returned from the cruise:

I haven't said anything to anybody about this until now because I wanted to wait until everything had been completed. I purchased a one bedroom home in Costa Rica as an investment property.

Escrow finally closed and I thought I would let you know in case you're interested in renting. It's available for weekends or on a weekly basis. Initially I will be handling bookings until I find an agent in the area to manage the property.

In order to offset the closing costs, weekends will cost approximately $100 (family and friends' rate) for three nights, and $250 for the week. But, I can only give out these rates until May 1, 2005.

It's a one bedroom high rise unit that overlooks the ocean, nestled among lush greens, and has a lovely ocean view from every window!

I am taking reservations as early as next week. Have a look and see the great luxury spot in Paradise! Simply Breathtaking! Attached is a photo, so let me know if you are interested.

high rise, Costa Rica


© S. L. Reay, 2003-2011
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