The Open Water

In yesterday’s post about our unexpected Thanksgiving vacation, I shared some of the highlights from our time in Key West. But a few memorable days were spent on the open water.

I had never even been on a cruise before last week, so the experience of being out on the open water was new to me. The captain pulled out of the harbor early in the morning of November 6 and set a course to Dry Tortuga.

I went up to the top deck that morning, and all I could see for miles around was water. I also got lucky: I happened to look down at the right moment to see what I thought was a flock of birds emerging from near the boat and flying low over the water for around 100 feet. I quickly realized just before they dove under the water that they weren’t birds–they were flying fish. I had always pictured them only briefly taking flight, but the reality of their flying abilities is far more amazing.

We spent around 7 hours moving across slightly choppy waters, and it was probably the most difficult 7 hours of the entire trip, as most everyone experienced some form of seasickness. We had each taken different forms of medication the night before or that morning, but it wasn’t enough. There’s just something about the motion of the ocean that throws off our inner ear. I played a full game of Ticket to Ride Europe during the worst of it, and it was one of the most difficult gaming sessions I’ve ever endured. I somehow won the game and didn’t throw up!

Finally we anchored outside Dry Tortuga, a historical island fort. We took the tinder ashore–everyone grateful for dry land–and spent a few hours wandering around a remarkable place. It’s a massive, long-deserted fort well south of the Keys.

We walked around for a long time, even going up on the walls of the fort for photos like the one below. We then went down and got in the water for the first time during the trip–it felt amazing.

We spent that night being rocked back and forth by the boat, and that’s when the captain decided that everyone would be more comfortable if we were back at port in Key West. So we spent Wednesday traveling back north, and this is when we learned that seasickness is significantly aided by hanging out on the top deck as much as possible. I’m not entirely sure why, but we spent hours up there chatting, reading, and relaxing, and the crew was very kind to deliver fun drinks to us up there while we sailed. It was a rather beautiful way to spend the day.

Have you experienced anything like this? I’ll be back for one more post about the amazing food, drinks, and service on the yacht.

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