St Thomas harbor: our boat, the Fascination, is to the left; the Dawn Princess is to the right
Carbo Falls, Guadeloupe
yours truly, Mel Bartels
banana trees in Grenada
the island of Aruba, center of our land lubber eclipse viewers
just one of our wonderful midnight buffets
our hero, the Captain
We managed to find a very dark night time observing area just in front of, and below, the bridge. At night, lights were turned off so that the bridge crew's night vision was not impaired. Steve Swayze brought a eight inch telescope, and we delighted in views of the Eta Carina Nebula. The Southern Cross rose just before midnight. Though the Large Magellanic Cloud was a few degrees above the horizon at our lowest latitude of ten degrees north, a constant haze at the horizon dimmed the view to a couple of bright fuzzy patches in binoculars. The night time temperature, in the low 70s Fahrenheit, made our midnight viewing and midnight buffets, a T-shirt affair. But in exposed areas, the constant 25 knot wind was a real pain. We did find one small spot in our night time observing area, where if you stood just perfectly, the wind was entirely absent, yet if both arms were fully extended, the wind blew each hand in a different direction!
Food and service were unbelievably wonderful. Our greatest dilemma,
faced several times a day, was selecting between the many menu items. A
tough job, but someone had to do it!