Almost Across the Pond

January 26, 2009

My days at sea have begun to melt together. We left the Bahamas only six days ago, but it feels much longer. In that time I’ve adapted to ocean life; my gait naturally sways to compensate for the waves and my paleness is fading. Bobbing in the lonely ocean seems as natural as Iowa snow once did. The only interruption in the barren blue is an occasional school of flying fish. They look similar to hummingbirds as they skip across the watertop like thrown stones.

 

Even the once prevalent seasickness has disappeared. Comically I’ve heard that once onshore we can be stricken with landsickness, where the ground appears to sway and you get nauseous.  Landsick or not we have just three days until we feel solid ground under our feet and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

 

Almost as soon as we dock in Spain, I leave the solid ground again to fly to Barcelona. It’s a great town (apparently) and I get to celebrate my 22nd birthday there. Around 300 of us students are heading to Barcelona. All of us from the boat are going to a football (soccer) game. Even though I’ve never especially enjoyed watching soccer, this is an opportunity I won’t have again for a long time so I decided I better go. Our ship was on track to arrive a day early but we slowed down to keep our schedule intact. I’m a little upset, but there’s only 44 days of class so I can understand (kind of).

 

Everything is going well with classes, except I think they should add US geography to the curriculum. When I say I am from Iowa people give the same bewildered look as if I was explaining biochemistry. If I ask people where Iowa is the typical response is east of Ohio, under Kentucky, or near Montana. The one I hate the most, and I have gotten multiple times, is when people assume I’m a potato farmer. I never thought I’d say this- I am happy when people assume I grow corn!

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2 Responses to “Almost Across the Pond”

  1. mark mccalley said

    Alec,
    I am enjoying reading about your experiences in your semester at sea. I encountered the same thing when I lived in the southwest and western parts of the US. Usually I got the potato reference or yea your from ohio comment. If they did know where Iowa was they assumed I was either a pig farmer or I lived in a corn field.
    take care Uncle Mark

  2. Ryan Young said

    HEY! you don’t know me…but I just returned from the SAS Fall 2008 voyage. You’re in for the trip of a lifetime. I was just searching for blogs to see what’s going on and watch people go through the same things I did as I sailed around the world! I did a TON of awesome things in most of the places you are going and if you need any suggestions or tips feel free to shoot me an email. You’re in for the trip of a lifetime. I am crazy jealous that you are on that ship right now and I am not. Do me a favor and go say hello to the people in 4034…that was the cabin I stayed in. Also say hello to Becca in the field office. She is the coolest and you should meet her. I worked in the field office while I was there as a work study student. One suggestion: travel with different people all the time. You meet so many people its ridiculous (as you probably already know) and it wasn’t until I got towards the end of the voyage that I met and made my greatest friends. They are some of my best friends in the world and the coolest people I’ve ever met. Time for me to go to same old boring class, not on a ship, not on my way to an awesome port. Have twice as much fun for me. Go crazy and don’t hold back! Shoot me an email if you want. PEACE

    PS – I’m not sure if you know yet…but if you take down the picture in your room there should be writings from people on previous voyages. I wrote mine in 4034. Go check it out.

    -Ryan Young

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