Sunday, January 28, 2007

Seattle, Washington

After being at sea for four and a half months, I returned home to Seattle on January 6th, 2007. My friends Troy and Brian were there to greet me at the airport. And my sister Candi was in town as well. It's sure great to be home after being away for a while. It definately was a lot colder than in the Caribbean -- over the next ten days it snowed about three times! On January 16th, I flew to Honolulu, Hawaii on vacation to visit my friends Colleen, Sharon, and Siena. Stay tuned for fantastic photos from that trip!

New Year's Eve 2006! I rang in the new year onboard as "Baby New Year." I was technically working, but it was really just an excuse to walk around in front of hundreds of people wearing only a diaper and a bow tie!

Jeri, Rachelle and I during Country Night!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Nassau, Bahamas

'The Dig' is a series of aquariums located beneath the lobby of the Royal Towers (one group of hotel towaers at the resort), and is the world's largest open air marine habitat. Hundreds of different aquatic species can be found in the Dig's various tanks such as angelfish, sharks, manta rays, and various types of jellyfish.

The goal of The Dig is to provide guests with a taste of life in legendary Atlantis. Interestingly, if one observes the bottom of the floors in the different aquariums, wreckage and debris will be scattered about representing lost artifacts from "Atlantis."

There is also a 'Predator Lagoon,' which is full of sharks, barracudas, and stingrays. A 100-foot clear acrylic tunnel runs underwater, allowing visitor unobstructed view of the marine environment.

More photos from The Dig.

Me attempting to snap a photo of a tank full of jellyfish.

Melissa, Mandy, and Mike entering the tunnel that cuts underwater through the Predator Lagoon.

Scenes from inside the Predator Lagoon.

Melissa and a barracuda!

Mandy and I.

Mike, Melissa, and I

This is a photo I took of the resort's artificial lagoon (filled with water pumped in from the ocean!) People can rent canoes, kayaks, water bikes, and paddleboats for use here.

Atlantis is a large resort/casino complex located on Paradise Island in Nassau. It combines Las Vegas-style gambling with beaches, restaurants, aquariums, spas, and waterslides, all done up in the theme of the mythical lost continent of Atlantis. The recent James Bond film Casino Royale, as well as Into the Blue, starring (my favorite) Paul Walker, were both filmed there. A big fan of resort casinos, I was blown away by Atlantis! My friends Mike, Melissa, and Mandy spent the day there with me.
For our Christmas and New Year's cruises, our itinerary changed in that we added Nassau, Bahamas and took away Grand Turk. (So for two weeks, our itinerary was Ft. Lauderdale -- Half Moon Cay -- St. Thomas -- Roadtown -- Nassau).

Nassau is the capital (and largest city) of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, a nation made up of about 700 islands. Nassau is located on the island of New Providence (see map). The city has a population of about 215,000, which is about 70% of the entire nation of 303,000.

Nassau is a popular tourist destination, with the world-famous Atlantis Paradise Island resort and casino attracting a lot of the visitors.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

I'm going to close this entry with some shots from around the island, showcasing it's beautiful scenery.

Once you traverse the rock 'baths,' you end up at a small beach. It was really stunning and the water was great! The weather was a little touch and go that day, and before I knew it, some storm clouds had moved in pretty fast! There was a nice rain downpour, but as quickly as it had started, it was over.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More shots from inside the formations.

Tourists making their way through the formations.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Inside the baths!

One of my favorite things I did with my time on BVI is take a ferry boat to Virgin Gorda, one of the other islands in the chain, and hike through a geologic formation known as "The Baths." At this site, huge granite boulders lie in piles on the beach, creating grottoes that open to the sea, resembling 'baths'.

It was extremely amazing, but also very touristy, with hordes of onlookers trekking through the water to catch a glimpse or snap a photo.

If you're ever in the region, it is definitely worth checking out -- real natural beauty borne from volcanic origins. Hope you enjoy the following photos taken there.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Road Town (our port-of-call), on the island of Tortola, is the territorial capital of the BVI. Road Town has a population of about 9,400. Tortola, it's island, is the largest and most populous of the BVI -- it is about 12 miles long and three miles wide.

It is a mountainous island which was formed by volcanic activity; its highest peak is Mount Sage at 1750 feet. Tortola lies near an earthquake fault, and minor earthquakes are common.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British Oversees Territory located east of Puerto Rico. The chain of islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago (the remainder constituting the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands).

BVI consists of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays. Around 15 of the islands are inhabited. The islands have a total population of about 22,000.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Me and some of the gang hanging out in the Officer's Bar (the OB) on the ship.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

...and one more!...

...and another...