The August 30, 2004 Majesty of the Seas four day cruise ended a day early when
the ship returned to Miami to avoid Hurricane Frances. Guests were given
the option to leave the ship or stay aboard while Majesty went out to sea
for a "Cruise to Nowhere" until Frances was finished doing her dirty
work to Florida.
The weather was beautiful, yet windy when we arrived
about 7:00 AM, September 2.
It was unusual to see Biscayne Bay so empty.
Beyond the white roof of the cruise ship terminal you can
see busses lined up to transport passengers.
The Port of Miami parking garage appeared empty.
At 4:30 PM, the deck chairs had been lashed down
and the forward pool was empty. Majesty was prepared to sail out of
Biscayne Bay and into safer waters until the storm had passed.
The wind was getting stronger and stronger so a tug boat arrived
to help us out of the Bay.
All of the players
moved into place.
It was finally time to leave.
The bow thruster helped push us away from the dock
and the tug pulled from the other side.
Approximately 700 guests had elected to remain onboard
for this cruise to nowhere.
We moved toward the center of the channel.
with a few more "tugs" from the tug.
We could see sailboats anchored. No one was out sailing this day.
Homes were boarded up,
deck furniture was stowed,
and the high winds began to take casualties.
Traffic was extremely light
and the Fisher Island Ferry that was usually packed
at this time of the day had only one customer waiting.
There were no ships at the U.S. Coast Guard dock.
Parking lots were empty.
A single fishing boat was returning to Miami.
He needed encouragement from Majesty's horn
to move to the side of the channel.
Most of South Beach was deserted.
However, there are always a few
who don't heed the warnings.
These folks were waiting until the last moment to leave.
The wind was heavy
as the clouds rolled in.
Light rain began to cloud my camera lens.
And a rainbow appeared overhead. It was hard to believe there
was a hurricane just beyond this beautiful sky.
The sun was bright at this moment, but that would soon change.
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