Monday, December 12, 2011

Shrinking the Bucket List

It would be an accurate statement to say that my passion for the beauty of bridges knows no limits. Since the late 1960's, when we used to go to New York City by way of the Staten Island Ferry, it has been a dream of mine to sail under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which was completed in 1964. We just did that twice this month on the Explorer of the Seas which sails from Cape Liberty Port in Bayonne, New Jersey, to ports in the Caribbean. This particular trip stopped in St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and Labadee. The ports of call could have been anywhere because my interest was in the bridge.


It is a slow approach, and the sail under the bridge is only about an hour of the most interesting part, but it was beautiful to see the bridge at dusk upon departure and at dawn on the return leg of the trip. On departure, people crowded on the top deck in the very cold wind to take pictures of the Statue of Liberty with the Manhattan skyline in the background. The sun was just setting and the half moon was near the bridge, which was brilliantly lit. Jupiter was off to the side and we could see airplanes were taking off and landing at JFK in the distance. To the northeast was the Brooklyn Bridge which was also outlined in lights.


Everyone eagerly awaited the actual passing under the bridge to see the very top of the ship appearing to barely clear the bridge. At the point that the tip of the ship cleared the bridge deck, everyone erupted into cheers and applause. It is a very unusual bon voyage sail-away and the chills were not only due to the low temperatures in the New York Harbor. The people on the top decks to enjoy the cruise out of the New York Harbor were people with a common interest in bridges, ships and fun experiences.


Even though I took care of that item on my bucket list, I would enjoy doing it again in the summer months. I would also like to get a more powerful camera to fully document the experience. My compact camera gives a lot in convenience, but compromises a bit in the quality department. On the day we departed St. Thomas, I was able to catch the moon with a double rainbow.


We were able to see two different ice shows on board which were outstanding considering the smaller size of the rink. The skaters were really good to be able to perform on a rink of that size on a moving ship.


It was a wonderful cruise with so many great people to meet and enjoy. Cruising is an excuse to make new friends and enjoy conversations to compare lives and activities. Sorting through the pictures will take days and the memories will last a lifetime.


  1. I think these pictures are pretty darn good, R.J. You did great with the leaping skater, too! I enjoyed these and am glad you got one more bucket list item behind you... :-)

  2. Glad you had a good time, RJ. Skating on ice on board a ship? Yikes!

  3. oh good for you honey! i'd love to cruise out of ny some day but we are so close to miami and ft. lauderdale and tampa it would be silly really. but you know i love to cruise!

    smiles, bee

  4. Great pictures and you sound happy. So glad you had a great time.

  5. I've got a different approach to the bucket list. I've decided not to kick it.

    Hey we've got great bridges here in Portland. Come see!

  6. What a wonderful experience. I have to admit to a fear of bridges - I always worry about going off of one into the water. I wonder if it happened in another life, lol? Glad you enjoyed your cruise. It sounds lovely.

  7. I think your little camera did a great job too! I've enjoyed cruising, but I'm afraid all the food did do a number on my blood test levels. Sigh... But it sure is a lot of fun, isn't it?