San Juan, Puerto Rico (IP) - Maritime Cruise Ship, Cyclone Seas made history this week as it successfully took over 900 passengers into the grips of hurricane Dean's 85 knot winds and made it safely through the storm experience with no problems. The ship's captain, Capitain Dennis Jungers, is from Port Salerno, Florida and our reporter felt very privileged to interview the Captain as he made port in San Juan.
Capitain Jungers is a tall, muscular, handsome, blonde haired officer who spent many years surfing throughout the world and has worked his way up through the ranks. He started his seafaring career as a mate and went on to become chief engineer, and finally, Capitain.
Capitain Jungers has surfed the north end of Palm Beach off of Reef Road, Cape Haterras, the Jersey Shore, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Australia. He came face to face with a great white shark off of Australia and punched the shark square in the nose causing the shark to turn away and move on to easier prey. Capitain Jungers is a bit modest and claims that punching the shark was nothing heroic and it just came to him instinctively.
The cruise ship was packed with surfers and other adventurous types and certainly this trip is not for everyone. One of the highlights of the trip includes being tied 200 feet high up on special masts. Large velcro devices secure the passenger against the padded mast. The ride gets wild as the ship tosses and turns its way right through the eye wall of the hurricane and enters into the calm of the eye where the skies are actually blue and the sun shines. At that point the folks on the masts return to the lower deck and new passengers cling the mast for their turn through the opposite eye wall and finally the ship emerges out of the opposite side of the storm. It takes twelve or more hours to get through the whole storm. They wear special goggles with small windshield wipers for protection and visibility. Some of the waves on this trip approached 60 feet or about 20 meters in height.
Inside the eye the passengers experience a dead calm and witness sea birds flying around the inner periphery of the eye wall. Some of the passengers catch Mahi-Mahi and Wahoo from a special fishing deck on the lower section of the ship. The fish are cooked fresh in the ships galley.
Passengers also took photos of a NOAA P-3 Orion Hurricane Hunter Plane which is powered by four huge turbo-prop engines and has a long electronics instrument boom which protrudes from the forward end of the plane's fuselage. The plane had just emerged from the eyewall and into the calm of the eye. The passengers cheered and raised toasts and did high fives at the sudden and dramatic appearance of the plane just 400 feet above their heads. The crew inside, clearly visible, waved back!
Palm Beach resident and long time world class surfer, Rick Caruso, had a rum drink in his hand. He yelled out, "alright dude" at the sight of the plane and seemed totally unfazed and actually elated by the trip through the eyewall. These surfers and other adventurous passengers have iron guts and iron cohones to go along with them. This is not a trip for the weak at heart.
The price of the trip starts at $599 and ranges up to $2599. The price includes all of the food but drinks and tips are separate. There is a full sized casino on board for your pleasure during the calmer sections of the voyage.