Travel, Theft, Birthdays, and Thanksgiving…all in One Month

Aboard Independence of the Seas
Somewhere in the Caribbean

The big accomplishment this month was getting the engine put back together after it’s breakdown   The new manifold arrived just in time for Ole to get it put back together before he left to go back to sea.   Timing being what it is, he was able to fire up the engines and do a full test at 12:00 noon the day before he had to go back to work!

November 17 took Ole back to Independence of the Seas, with me again tagging along.

The unfortunate thing about flying back through Panama City was that our little digital camera was stolen from our backpack somewhere between Bocas del Toro and Panama City, where we had arranged an overnight to take care of  some banking and real estate business.  Bummer.  Had some great party pics gone…

We arrived a day early, and arranged to stay over with Bud and Maggie Husted, who are now living ashore in Ft. Lauderdale.  Maggie, hospitable as ever, organized a barbecue party for the ex-Riverview Marina gang, including Kim, Brendan, Chris, Russian Mike and Natalia.  Chris has been competing in regional barbecue competitions, so he provided the goodies – brisket, chicken, and the best pork ribs on the planet, as far as we were concerned.  It was great to see everybody, catch up on the gossip and eat ourselves into a stupor.

We joined Independence on her first day back from Europe, and found the entire Homeland security process back in the US to be completely overdone, with petty officials in uniform making the first impression anybody has of the ship unsettling.  Plus, with over 4000 guests and 1400 crew, the baggage handlers had a mental block about moving bags with any kind of alacrity.  I think we were delayed by two hours that first call in.

It was good to see everyone on the ship again, and settle into our “second home.”  Cruising the Caribbean on a ship we have done to death, so Ole settled into work, and I settled into reading, knocking back three to four books a week.    Our birthdays were spent quietly, and Thanksgiving dinner was spent in Captain Teo’s cabin.  Bless him – a Croatian Captain organized a room service American holiday dinner for Norwegians, Poles, Italians, and Russians.  The turkey was fabulous, but we missed some of the trimmings!

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