Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #239 – Finding Peace

Sunset at Puntarenas Costa Rica.

Last week Ann-Christine asked us to share our alone time images. I picked an aviation selection, one of my more enjoyable flying activities. This week Tina asks us to share the ways we find peace. There are certainly times when my aviation activities bring peace, but the quick turnarounds of glider towing and frequent takeoffs and landings most certainly leave little time for peaceful feelings.

For this challenge, Tina writes, “So this week, let’s take Ann-Christine’s challenge one step further, and address the ways we’ve learned to Find Peace in today’s ever-more busy world.” You can read her entire challenge post here.

I find peace in listening to 70s music and working on photos at the computer, and I find peace in writing this blog. Journeys with Johnbo has been around for a decade this month, so I must find something peaceful about its creation. Unless we are traveling, I spend at least three hours a day in my “work week”.

What truly brings me peace and relaxation is being on the ocean, enjoying the fresh sea air, and taking in beautiful views. There are sunsets and sunrises aplenty to photograph and the rest of the day can be spent relaxing, sitting on the deck, and just enjoying the day. My opening photo features a view of the harbor at Puntarenas in Costa Rica. We were departing from the harbor and the setting sun gave us a beautiful “goodbye” view of the harbor.

Saint John Harbor-1
Saint John’s New Brunswick, Canada.

At the other end of the day, we sailed into the harbor at Saint John’s. It was late in the blue hour with the golden tones of sunrise just starting to brighten the eastern sky. The lighthouse at the harbor entrance was still in operation and I waited patiently until the light directly faced the ship.

Lighthouse Park-3
Waves crashing into Hawaii’s Kauai island.

I can watch waves crash against the high cliffs of the shoreline for hours. I take lots of photos in hopes of capturing large waves breaking high on the cliff as it did in this shot. One of our first cruises brought us to the Hawaiian Islands. Actually, we flew to Hawaii, then boarded a cruise ship that traveled to several islands on a grand tour. It’s a great way to see Hawaii. Your hotel room goes with you every night and each morning you wake up in a different city and maybe on a different island. You leave the ship and explore. Just be back in time to board for your overnight journey.

Equinox Arrival-2
Celebrity Equinox arriving at home port in Miami.

I was up early on disembarkation day in 2019. The ship was sitting at the dock and we were almost all packed and ready to walk off the ship. I was sitting on the balcony when the Celebrity Equinox sailed by on its way to the Celebrity berth. They move slowly in the narrow channel so I had plenty of time to watch and capture a few photos of the floating city as it went by.

The Norwegian Pearl docked at Puerto Chiapas Mexico.

There are people who tell me they don’t like the crowds on big cruise ships. I can’t argue with the fact that some of the venues on the ships can be very busy, especially at certain times. We’ve found, though, that there are retreats that are lesser used, and as long as we avoid the pool decks, we can usually find a place of relative peace and quiet.

One place that’s always quiet is the balcony of our cabin. When we started cruising, we first chose cabins with sea views as they are cheaper than balcony cabins. We came to learn that the cost difference is worth it to us to have a more private outdoor space to enjoy the sea views. The Pearl is the ship on which we have spent the most time in our cruise history. In 2013 we spent 14 days on the Pearl in a Panama Canal transit and the next year, a 7-day cruise from Seattle to Alaska.

Sunset at Sea
Sunsetting over the Pacific Ocean.

Leaving the Panama Canal we had a sea day capped at the end by a beautiful sunset after our first cruise day on the Pacific Ocean.

Charlotte Amalie-1
Blue hour at Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, USVI.

As we set sail earlier this year from Saint Thomas, we found peace on our balcony after spending some time on shore. We have one more cruise coming up in just a few days, our most ambitious yet. Fifteen days from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona. There are a total of six sea days and plenty of time to enjoy the sights of new cities, new countries, and those oh, so peaceful sea days.

Thanks to Tina for allowing me the chance to share some photos of our cruises over the years. Next week it’s my turn to host the challenge. That’s only two days from the day of this publication, and just a couple of days after that, we head off on our transatlantic journey. I am looking forward to sharing my challenge and seeing your responses. Given the limited Internet time available to me on the ship, please forgive me if I don’t respond to your comments right away. You can be sure I will read and comment as I can… between finding all that peace on those sea days.

All of the images are available to view in HD on my Flickr site here. If you’d like to join in the challenges but aren’t sure how to get started, check the how-to info here.

John Steiner


  1. I couldn’t agree more with your reflections about ‘finding peace.’ There is nothing sweeter than waking up on sea days, stepping onto your balcony, and gazing at a beautiful sunrise reflected over calm seas. Thanks for the peaceful photos and enjoy your crossing. We will be boarding Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator on Monday. Ten days of bliss…

  2. A beautiful response to the challenge John – and your images are superb! We’ve not cruised yet but it may be in our future. I’ll admit I find the huge ships a bit intimidating but it seems you’ve learned how to make the best of them. I can just visualize the two of you on your balcony enjoying the sunsets and sea breeze. Here’s hoping the Rio cruise is superb – looking forward to your posts about it!

  3. Thank you for sharing such beautiful peaceful pictures from your many cruises. Hope you will be able to capture more wonderful views on your upcoming adventure.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful scenery through your lens, John! I also found cruise is relaxing and is a great way to enjoy these peaceful moments. 15-day cruise, wow…
    I love all the images here, which make me want to get on a cruise tour again. 🙂

  5. Such beautiful scenes, John. I’m happy you enjoy cruising, something I’ve never had much interest in doing with the exception of wanting to take an Alaskan cruise one day. Sounds to me as if the two of you have found your niche. Enjoy!!

  6. Lovely post John. I’ve never been on a cruise so far. Had it on my mind in 2019 and then covid struck the world. I’m sure it must feel nice and one day I will make it to one 🙂. All the best for your trip!

  7. I loved this. As you know, I was one of those hesitant to cruise. I thought it would be too crowded, and you are right. There are so many places to find quiet time. Your photos truly speak to someone who can travel the world and sit in a balcony doing it. Or explore areas, where you want. Loved this!!!

    • Thanks, Donna! There are many people who love the interaction with other cruisers at sail away parties and in the many nightlife venues. I think that’s what most people think of cruising, but we have found another way to cruise and it works for us.

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