December 2004 our family went on a seven-day cruise. This was a first for us and we looked forward to it. This family time together included my parents, both brothers and their families and my family. We were aboard for Christmas, which was something different for all of us. We left out of Galveston and sailed to Key West. From there we were supposed to go to Grand Cayman, but a recent hurricane forced us to go Costa Maya then to Cozumel. My brother, their sons, my son Will and I all went SCUBA diving in Cozumel. It was a good dive, not as nice a Grand Cayman but a good substitute.

As we left Cozumel to go out into the Gulf to head home, a fierce Winter Storm blew through. For about ten hours we were going head on into 30 plus feet swells which caused the big cruise ship to ride like a roller coaster. I enjoyed it! I don’t get seasick so as I walked around the ship, there were very few people out. One time I went outside to video some of the swells and as the ship’s bow raised up, I slid along the teak-wood walkway to the next door. One of the ship’s staff yelled out to me to come back inside. I went inside the nearest door. I took the camera to our stateroom to show Jennifer what it looks like outside. She was too sick to watch it, so I left to roam about the ship some more. I ended up at one of the eating areas at the front of the ship. They only had snacks out to eat. I saw that there were a few people at the front of the restaurant looking forward to the bow of the ship. I saw that my brother was there, so I grabbed a seat next to him. There was about 20 of us there watching and waiting for the bow to climb the next swell and drop. We were having fun as we watched the bow point skyward then slam back down. As we were sitting 9 decks above the sea, we watched the water spray go over us as the bow hit the bottom of the swells. Personally, I was really enjoying this. After about an hour or so the ship’s Captain came over to us, put his hand on my shoulder and asked if any of us wanted jobs. I guess most of the crew were seasick too.

When we finally arrived in Galveston the next day there was snow on the ground! I had never seen that before!! I guess that shows how bad that Winter Storm was.

It took us 15 years before we were ready to go on a cruise again. I was ready anytime, but Jennifer was not ready until this year. She and I went on a five-day cruise for our anniversary. This time was a lot calmer than that first cruise. We had a good time and got lots of rest. Although I did miss the “storm at sea” instead of just a “day at sea”. Maybe next time…