Monday, January 17, 2011

Captain's Blog 1/17/11

Yesterday was our first of two Sundays at sea. The Saturday weather was kind of an evil omen, as well as some forecasts we had. But, at sunrise on Sunday the skies were pretty clear and the temperature was warm. A few passing altocumulus hit us mid-morning, but by 1100 the sun was out and it was almost summer – well for us, it was summer! The day was successful; when nearly the whole crew came out on deck in leisure wear, enjoyed traditional cook-out fare with music blasting, and the hot sun. The late afternoon saw over 750 sirloin steaks prepared on the barby.

Of course there was an overarching tension throughout the day as we prepared for the Patriots-Jets showdown. Our satellite TV system was out of coverage, so we had to rely upon local digital radio reception. We were not disappointed when out new digital TV antenna gave us a perfect picture, which was amplified and transmitted to five viewing locations aboard. Sadly, our ability to overcome some technological problems was not rewarded by the Patriots play. I know that four or five Jets fans in the officers group were quietly smug as time ran out – all except one – who simply had to revel in the Jet's success. I'm betting there will be more Steelers fans than normal next week.

One slight issue at out Tampa anchorage was the less-than-great cellular phone coverage. There were probably plenty of families at home that expected calls and did not get them. Out distance from certain companies' cell towers was the problem, and won't get any better for a few weeks. I will advise that the next time we have US service will be in Puerto Rico when we anchor in Mayaquez, out second Sunday at sea. Any calls from Mexico and intervening island we pass, if the phone is not equipped with worldwide service, will be very costly. So, after three iterations of anchoring today in passing thunder showers, we will begin out passage across the Gulf of Mexico toward our first liberty port, Veracruz, on Friday.

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