Monday, February 15, 2016

Key West - A cruise boat stops by

The ship is the tallest structure in Key West when docked
It continues to warm up with a high in the low 70's. We took a walk in the afternoon to watch one of the huge cruise ships depart. It was the Carnival Conquest, 952 feet long and and 116 feet wide! It's almost three times wider than we are long. Although the channel into and out of Key West appears very wide to us, it surely shrinks when fitting a 952 ft boat into the seaway.  To add to the challenge, the ship had to do a 180 to return to the sea.

You can get a feel for how really big this ship is by looking at the tiny people on the top rail
The departing procedure was fascinating to watch. Nothing was rushed. First the forward lines and lastly the aft line and the captain applied side thrust with the bow thrusters and the aft props. The boat stately drifted off away from the dock. Pretty soon you could see the bow turning and the aft coming towards the dock, a pirouette. Before departing, the boat took on the Pilot for the area. Even though the channel is not very long, it's narrow when compared to this ship!

Finally getting ready to do a 180. 
So slowly the boat turned and headed out to sea without incident, always a successful departure when that happens. The crew completed the last of their shopping and returned to Fleetwing around 5:30. Now it's time to pack since they are leaving for the frozen north on Wednesday. They will depart Fleetwing Tuesday afternoon and take a room in Miami for an early morning flight the next day. The week just went by too fast as it always does. I think they are thinking already of next year.