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#1 World Cruise

Well this is my very first blog, they say you should write about yourself and anything interesting that others might find useful in their everyday life.

I thought I would start with what has been going on in my life in the last year.

The last cruise ship I worked on was the Queen Mary 2. She is one of the worlds last cruise liners by that I mean she has a deep V hull, and cuts through the water like a knife through butter, she was one of the most stable ships that I have had the privilege to work aboard, I was lucky enough to join her  in time for a 105 day cruise around the world, Once aboard my contracts aboard most ships has varied from six to eight months followed by a four, six or eight week holiday sometimes in Australia and on other times somewhere else in this small world we call home.

Cruising in the Caribbean as well as ports in Europe and the Mediterranean up to Russia and down to the Antarctic, South America  and a few places in-between with some good stories and good times found in the most unusual  of places and then there was a few trans – atlantic runs to New York (USA) and back to Southampton(UK) thrown in for good measure.

We started this leg of my contract in New York in November 2010 traveling throughout the Caribbean St Thomas, St Lucia, St Kitts, Grenada, Tortola, St Maarten, Grand Turk, Curacao and Barbados each of these islands have a charm of their own and I will go into more detail for each place that I visit in its own blog.

Starting from New York on the 13th of January 2011 it was a very special occasion as all three of the Queens (ships) were all in the same port. Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and my ship the Queen Mary 2.

New York came to the party with fireworks exploding throughout the New York skyline, After it all settled down we headed off through the night, out to sea and onto our next destination. Our first port of call was Port Everglades (Miami USA) one of my favorite places as I have spent a lot of time there. My best friends also have a summer home there and that has allowed me to spend some time relaxing in the beautiful state of Florida.

Then a few days at sea and onto Barbados docking in Bridgetown. After we tied up most of the crew spent the day at a place called the boat shed, fantastic white sand beaches with lots of good music and lots of things to do, (its free for cruise ship crew which is why most of us end up there. it also rocks!!. As well as meeting up with other people from the myriad of cruise ships that dock in Barbados) while everyone else was lying in the sun relaxing. I was off in a different direction, as I am a certified diver I went to Carlisle Bay and found a dive shop and went diving. I signed up and after getting my gear set up on the dive boat I relaxed for the ride out to the first of two dives the SS Stavronikita – a 365ft Greek freighter that was deliberately sunk to form an artificial reef, the wreck is now home to numerous fish and corals. The Stavronikita lies in 120ft of water with the stern at 100ft and the bow at 70ft. all of the divers on the ship paired up as well as being led by an experienced guide. After we all suited up and entered the water  I swam down the buoy line that announces that there is a wreck here for all other ships.Then dived down into the unknown. We leveled up at around 60 feet before descending to the bow and commencing our circumnavigation of the sunken ship, she has been down a while as testified by the beautiful coral growths and the myriad of stunning colorful fish to be seen as well as sighting a small turtle which swam off into the distance as we approached, After around 40 minutes into the dive exploring mostly the outside of the ship with our guide leading us into the opened areas of the ship when we were treated to sights of coral polyps and gorgon sea fans along with many species of fish life upper structure we slowly made our way to the surface circling the mast of the ship which had the largest concentration of fish life seen on the dive. This dive remains one of the second best wreck dives I have been on. The first was the Yongala  another sunken shipwreck, though this one was sunk by a storm.( just off the coast of Townsville on the east coast of Australia ).

The second dive was in the waters of Carlisle Bay – This historic bay is the site of numerous wrecks. There are four wrecks which are of particular interest – the Berwyn, Eilon, C-Trek and Fox. lots of tropical fish, eels, frog fish, seahorses and more! while the dive is only a shallow dive the sea life there more than makes up for the depth, it is also a fantastic snorkeling expedition being accessible to all who would like to see something fantastic and are not yet dive certified. As this was a shallow dive we surfaced around 55 minutes later very excited by what we had seen and experienced, then it was a quick ride back to shore and after helping with the unloading of the empty air tanks we made our way back to the dive shop talking about the dive.

After saying my goodbyes to the dive group I made my way back to the Bridgetown canal area for some great food in a local cafe before heading back to the ship.

After all the guests and crew were aboard we were ready to head to our next port of call Salvador……..To Be Continued.

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