Pam’s birthday cruise, part 4 – splash in Cozumel

We sailed from the Cayman Islands to Cozumel New Year’s night. Dave was still quarantined, and wouldn’t be able to see the doctor again until this morning. Pam and I got a good night’s sleep though, worn out from all the partying New Year’s Eve and all the excitement in Grand Cayman. But around 3AM I woke up and noticed the ship was bouncing around a bunch. So far the gulf had been nice and smooth, but now we were rocking. I turned on the Ship Map Channel to see what the wind speed was. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were 50 knot winds with gusts over 60. Wow. The air outside was still relatively warm, but the wind had definitely kicked up some waves. Maybe the island would knock down some of the wind and waves and we’d still get to go kayaking. Maybe not.

We slowly arrived in Cozumel, and you could tell the ship was having a hard time docking. The wind was still as strong as ever. We looked off in the distance and saw a couple of other ships that had successfully docked, but also saw a couple that gave up and headed back out to sea. Then the cruise director came over the mike and started announcing the canceled shore excursions. Pretty much everything was canceled.

Dave went to the infirmary where they confirmed he needed to stay quarantined. Come back and see them at 10 the next day. Ouch. So much for doing anything off the boat in Belize, too. We felt so bad for him. He felt so bad period.

Pam and Cindy decided to go onto shore and do a little shopping. I hung out on the boat and then noticed the large waves splashing against the pier where it met the shoreline. There was a perfect meeting of wind, waves, and pier, all of which made for some fantastic splashes and spray. I grabbed my Nikon and headed to the aft portion of the Lido deck to watch the action. I wasn’t the only one with that idea. The way the boat was situated the back of the Lido deck was sheltered from the wind. It also had a perfect view of everyone who tried to make it onto shore without getting wet. Pretty much an impossible task.

People would completely disappear from view. And almost every time the guys would leave their gals behind to fend for themselves. The man would see the wave coming and book it out of the way. The woman…. splash. There was one guy who stayed right with the gal he was with. They both got drenched. Sucker.

Some of the expressions on people’s faces were absolutely classic. Every time they would see the blast coming they would get a fatalistic look (sometimes of horror), and bring a hand up to protect themselves. Every time. And most of the time they would stop in their tracks and cringe. Just to get soaked even that much more. I took hundreds of pictures, using burst mode to capture the waves on a couple dozen groups. That evening after I uploaded the pictures, Pam, Cindy, and I rolled on the floor laughing as we spotted people who would wait in the background trying to figure out the wave pattern. But it was too unpredictable. They’d finally make a run for it and still get clobbered.

The waves didn’t have pity on anyone. A guy getting pushed in a wheelchair – splash! A guy walking with a cane – soaked! Twice yet. A mother with her little girl in a stroller – SPLASH! No slack for anybody.

It turned out to be an entertaining way to spend the day. People were cheering and clapping, rooting for people to make it without getting wet, then roaring with laughter when someone would take a bath. Good times in Cozumel. Next stop tomorrow, Belize. Hopefully this wind will die down and we’ll be able to go catamaran sailing / snorkeling.

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