February 16, 2019

The Beach at Half Moon Cay

Dateline: Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas:

I bounced out of bed around seven this morning, ready to go.  I seem to be doing this alternating thing between sleeping to all hours and wide awake with the sun.  I’m not sure what in my circadian rhythms causes that but on a vacation like this, it doesn’t really matter much one way or another.  I got up, had breakfast, several cups of coffee, grabbed my book and headed up to the observation lounge to watch us sail towards and dock at Half Moon Cay.  It’s one of those small islands that every cruise company seems to have somewhere in the Caribbean, where they can give passengers a beach day while still being able to control the experience and make sure the extra revenues continue to flow up to their corporate coffers.  As this is my first time on Holland America, this particular stop was new to me. 

The beach was lovely.  The water actually a bit cooler than I was expecting and therefore refreshing.  The food was the same as the cruise ship buffet line.   It was a pleasant few hours in the sun.  I got slightly pink, but not too badly burned thanks to SPF 100.  A flock of semi-domesticated chickens which strutted around the area provided free entertainment.   They should consider putting them on stage.  They might be better than some of the in house offerings. 

Eventually we weighed anchor, had one last tea dance on the fan tail (the them being jade so all the costumes were variations on green.  Think of 250 pound bearded men dressed as Disney’s Tinkerbelle).  I had a cocktail, watched the party and retired early as I am pretty much danced out for the week.  Then a very nice dinner with Jeff, West, Lee, and some new friends and packing up to disembark in the morning.  The show tonight is Ty Herndon.  I’ve seen him in more intimate settings in the past so felt do need as I am staying in the cabin and watching movies.  I want to see if I can get some decent sleep as it’s a travel day tomorrow and my first rehearsal for Tosca in the evening.

Tommy’s skin demonstrating why he didn’t like the beach

I’ve been trying to think of a Tommy in the tropics story to tell.  We didn’t do that much beach vacationing together as his skin tone was such that he burned about fifteen minutes after arriving at the airport and he had to hide under the nearest palm tree in a caftan for self protection.  (I am exaggerating a bit there but it’s my life so I can if I want to).  We did spend a week on an Atlantis Trip to the Mayan Riviera in the spring of 2004.  There, among other things, we spent a day at a nature/amusement park called Xcaret which featured several underground rivers that flowed through limestone caverns to the sea.  Tommy was in his element with these.  You put on a life vest, and bobbed along with the current.  It took about 45 minutes to traverse the whole thing.  Being underground, we were out of the sun, the water was warm, and with a travel group of gay men, we could hang on to each other as we floated downstream without anyone thinking anything of it.  I think we floated the whole thing four times.  There were various other things there such as a zoo, a swim with the dolphins lagoon, and some paddle boats through the mangroves but none of the rest of it has stayed with me.  Tommy was having serious back problems that trip and had to walk with a cane.  He had back surgery a few weeks later with some improvement but ended up having to have a second surgery about five years later.  But bobbing along in the water, he felt weightless and wonderful and I think he was as happy as he had ever been that day.

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