Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tropical Depression One-E Now Agatha

EDIT:  TD 01-E is now Tropical Storm Agatha, the first named storm of the Eastern Pacific season.

The first Tropical Depression of the 2010 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season - TD 01E - has formed off the coast of Guatemala, and is moving ENE towards land. Maximum sustained winds are 35 mph, and strengthening is expected. Only a little strengthening would bring this system to Tropical Storm status. If and when that occurs, the systim will get the first name on the Eastern Pacific 2010 Names list, which is Agatha.
Tropical Storm warnings have been issued for portions of the Mexican coast and Guatemala, and the government of El Salvador will likely issue warnings soon.

I'll be following the tropics again this year, and will be posting periodic updates on what's happening.  I've already placed the EPAC hurricane tracking widget on the left sidebar. The Atlantic Basin widget will added when that basin becomes active. 
For information on how tropical weather may affect Ships at Sea, CRUISE ITINERARIES and PORTS, I recommend, where there is a very active "Hurricane Watch" forum, and also updates from the various cruise lines, and cruise ports, as they become available.

Stay Safe this season, everyone -  and let's hope for a much less active season that is being predicted.

This Tropical Update brought to you by
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

As Always . . . for Almost the Last Time

As always, we were heard and felt the two booms a short while ago. As always, the cat was terrified, and tore through the house, looking for a hiding place. And, as always, we were grateful.
Yes, grateful - grateful that our shuttle has once again brought our space heroes safely back to earth, under the expert guidance of the incredible expertise of our folks at NASA. As always, for almost the last time... and (unless Washington approves a special request) the very last time for Atlantis.

Atlantis has flown more than 120 million miles over more than two decades, serving the US human space flight program well. Since 1985, she's been such an amaziing work horse, having done so much for us ... she's been to Hubble, docked with Mir, launched a probe to Jupiter, and, of course made all those trips to the ISS.

Today's landing marks the beginning of the end of an era, with only two more shuttle missions scheduled - one for each of the two remaining shuttles. It's been a glorious era ... and we're sad to see it drawing to a close. Sad for too many reasons to go into here, but I'm sure there are many who will understand.

And "sad" is just one of the words that comes to mind.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Big Week for Charleston, Mobile

It's been a big week in two of America's gracious southern cities: Mobile and Charleston. Each city saw the first sailing of a newly homeported Carnival ship.

CHARLESTON became a year-round homeport this week, as Carnival's Fantasy took up residence there. Just before the ship embarked on her first sailing from her new home, officials from Charleston and the Fantasy celebrated in style, a traditional maritime plaque exchange, and a sailaway party at a portside venue. But the REAL action was on the pool deck, where local bigwigs competed against Carnival VPs and other personnel in waterslide races.

Meanwhile, MOBILE welcomed the Elation with its own maritime plaque ceremony featuring the ship's captain and the city's mayor. The Elation replaces the Fantasy, which was previously homeported at Mobile.

Brought to you by

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Win a Cruise on Celebrity!

Celebrity Cruises is giving away cruises for two to the Caribbean on a Solstice Class ship! Yes, cruises - plural - sixteen of them!

Grand prize is a 7 night Caribbean cruise for two in the Royal Suite, which includes European sstyle butler service. Winners of the First Prize (five of them) will sail in an Aqua Suite, while the 10 Second Prize winners will recieve Concierge Class accommodations.  20 additional lucky entrants will win an iPod touch.

CLICK HERE to go to the entry page on Facebook.  I hope one of my followers wins one of the great cruises, and will be in the market for a personalized cruise name bagdeGood lulck, and happy cruising!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2010 Hurricane Season Approaches

The 2010 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season begins in 31 days, on June 1. And, it's only 15 days until the official start of the EPAC (Eastern Pacific) season. As usual, Cruising Musings will be keeping an eye on the tropics.

Several hurricane experts have weighed in with their predictions for this year's tropical activity, and there is a general agreement among all of them that the 2010 season is very likely to be more active than that of 2009. At this point, the general consensus is that this season will be well above average, with the following ranges predicted among those from CSU, WSI, TSR, and Accuweather:

Number of Named Storms: 16 - 18
Number of Hurricanes: 7 - 9
Number of Intense Hurricanes: 4 - 5 (Category 3 or stronger)

There's a general agreement that the threat of at least one landfalling hurricane for the US coast (Atlantic and/or Gulf), as well as in the Caribbean, is greater than average. One organization (WSI) even pegs the probability that 2010 will be in the top 1/3 of most active seasons on record at a whopping 77%!

Whether you have a ton of faith in these early predictions or not, given the fact that we are in an active multi-year cycle, it's not unreasonable for coastal and island residents to be a little more prepared than usual. Last year was an easy one. What are the odds of two in a row during an active cycle?

Yep - it's that time of year: Time to be giving some serious and active thought to your emergency plans, supplies, and preparations.