Day18-Oranjestad, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles


Shorter day today.  The ocean journey from Curacao to Aruba takes only a short time, they are not far apart.  Not so many pictures, either.   Expensive cameras and salt water are not a good mix.

Also, I’ve come down with a cold.  I was pretty sick for a while last night, with a high temperature.  Going snorkeling with a cold is something I don’t recommend.  The pressure from diving drove the yuck into my sinuses and I got a nasty sinus infection.  Fortunately for me, I still had the Zithromycin left over from the Philippine trip.  I figured out at about 10pm last night what was going on.  Two pills in and I’m feeling a lot better.  Sadly, no more rum punch for me.  No alcohol with antibiotics.

Up bright and early, I watched us dock.  The Caribbean Princess pulled in right behind us.  She had left Curacao earlier than us, but had to wait to dock since we were out first.  But I got a surprise, another unexpected cruise ship.

A Prinsendam (1024x683)

Holland American’s Prinsendam showed up after the first two ships were parked.  For some reason, her schedule was changed late.  After I’d printed out the list of ports and ships.  Not too worry, though.  She is a smaller ship.  No huge crowds on her.

While I was watching the Prinsendam, another passenger told me “Hey, if your getting pictures, take one of the bar down there”.  OK.

A Holloway (1024x683)

On the lower floor is some windows covered with paper.  So it was closed.  Big deal, right?  Then he went on.  “That was the bar where  Natalee Hollaway was picked up before she was murdered”.   I asked him how he knew.  He replied that he had been to Aruba many times.  “That bar used to be called ‘Charlies’.”

Right there next to the cruise dock is that infamous bar.  Didn’t see the motel and I’m not that interested in that kind of thing anyway.

Our snorkeling trip left at 9, so we had time to look around.  Both of us found some things to buy in the shops near the ship.  I got two Aruba polo shirts and Praxy got some hand carved napkin holders.  The locals do not barter on Aruba.  The posted price is what you pay, like it or not.  These were the first really decent pocketed shirts I’ve seen so far.  I need pocket T shirts now.  A pocket to hold my reading glasses.

A Fiesta snorkeling (1024x683)

Time to board our little catamaran for the 1 hour drive (sail) to the snorkeling area.

A hoiseted sail (683x1024)

They hoisted a sail, but I think that the sail would create a lot of drag.  Still, it looks cool.

A novia on deck (683x1024)

Novia was ecstatic to go snorkeling.   Her pluck at trying new things while on this trip has impressed me.  We were given inflatable life jackets for safety, so I puffed a couple of breathes into hers to help support her.  Soon she was happily paddling about looking at all the fishes.  She also picked up on the breathing underwater very quickly.  It took me about a day to get used to it, her it was 5 minutes.  After snorkeling a reef near the shore, we went out to the shipwreck.

A shipwreck (1024x683)

Under the waves about 10-20 feet is a sunken German warship.  When World War II started, the captain suddenly found himself in a difficult position with no defense.  Rather than giving the ship to the Allied forces, he chose to deliberately sink it.  He and his shipmates were prisoners for the entire war on a nearby island.

This was a difficult place to snorkel because of the strong current.  We were bushed by the time we got back on board.  This is where I was diving, I wanted to go down and get a close look at the wreck.  I had to give up at about 12 feet because my sinuses were plugged, the pain was excruciating.  Little did I know that I was going to pay for those dives severely that evening.

But I’m still going, writing on Thursday afternoon.  I just got back from “Team Trivia”, a favorite of mine in the afternoon.  I checked our position on the way back to my cabin.  We are just south of Jamaica; looking out, I can’t see it off the starboard side.  But, have I got something special for my readers.   Read on.

12/20/12 5:35pm Atlantic Standard time

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About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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