Life at Sea

January 22, 2009

       My life at sea officially began two days ago. Shortly after I finished my last blog, I packed up and excitedly made my way to the ship. (We can’t call it a boat or the crew gets pissed.) I waited in line for 1.5 hours to get on board, and was very relieved to make it on with no problems. As our boat sounded the departing horn, families onshore screamed goodbye and waved their signs in the air. Only minutes later their voices drowned away and the sea engulfed any sight of them. Now it was just students, the ocean, and the world ahead of us.

      Now, after two days at sea, the ocean dominates the landscape. It is overwhelming large, spreading from horizon to horizon with seemingly no end. It is beautiful, but has its problems. All 730 students are constantly battling the waves battering our ship. Many students are confined to their cabins puking and miserable from seasickness. Luckily I have a patch behind my ear and I’ve felt fine so far. Even without seasickness the waves make life very difficult, our boat is literally rocking all day and night. Stairs and the outside decks are especially dangerous. I feel like a human pinball as I bounce around the long narrow hallways. What is more upsetting is it’s almost impossible to lift weights; they don’t even have a bench or squat racks.

         Life on board has other issues as well. First of all, we’ve had constant meetings where they teach us obnoxiously basic things. For example, we had an hour librarian meeting about how to cite stuff. Most meetings have been like this, but some are necessary, like the lifeboat exercises. Every few hours a faceless voice comes over the ship’s speakers and everybody groans because we know there’s another orientation meeting coming up. Still these challenges are very insignificant, especially with the opportunities ahead.

        Our boat is a floating city. It’s over 1000 feet long, weighs over 35,000 tons and has 7 floors. We have a salon, gym, basketball courts, a pool, several grills, and probably 30 classrooms. Most importantly our boat can haul over 1000 people, if you include the life long learners (older people tagging along) and staff. I already am getting a cultural experience meeting people from all around the country. Most people onboard are from Colorado, California, or New York area. Two of my closest friends are from Hawaii and South Carolina. Even though our geographic locations are very different we share a special bond through this experience. I can already tell I will be very close with many of these people and will be sad to leave them.

Way to early to start thinking about that though. We have so much ahead of us to experience. After learning about Spain in my world geography class I am foaming with anticipation. Besides World Geography the other classes I’m taking are:

-Tropical Ecology


-Principles of Microeconomics

      I’ve been so busy with classes, briefings, and icebreakers I have barely had a chance to sit down and reflect. It’s finally starting to hit me that I’m somewhere out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Sitting here writing to people back home leaves me feeling a bit nostalgic. I hope everything is going well for all of you. My email address is if anyone wants to email me. I would love to hear from some familiar people. I will be putting pictures up when I get to an internet café in Spain.

      Also the food onboard has been surprisingly satisfying. Fish, veggies and fruit are available very frequently. If you know me well then you understand the importance of this.


3 Responses to “Life at Sea”

  1. Mom said

    What an adventure! Glad you aren’t seasick. Extra brownie points for us and getting those patches. Hope it is not as bad as that Weather Channel video of the wild seas. Just keep praying for calm weather. It has finally warmed up here to a toasty 30 degrees. Dad and I went for a walk tonite. The stars were gorgeous. We wondered if you were looking up at the same time from the Atlantic Ocean. Just like the early explorers crossing the ocean and waiting for the sighting of land.

  2. dad said

    Sounds exciting as we live vicariously through this blog.
    Still cold as we braved the coldest recorded temp of all time in Iowa (-33^ F)… Today was actually above freezing.
    We watched the Hawks beat Wisc Badgers last night in overtime w/out Anthony Tucker (off the team due to grades this time).
    Gabe has been sick and stayed home from school past couple days. Can’t believe you’re escaping sea sickness given your history. It is psychological and contagious, so stay away from those puking.

  3. Connie Canfield said

    Been there done that on the puking thing!! They will all get their sea legs soon. As far as the working out thing goes, I am sure you will find a way to keep up on your training. Enjoy the open seas and look forward to seeing your pic’s.

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