Can I get off now please?
Trip Start Dec 31, 2011
54Trip End Apr 20, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Tuesday 13th March 2012 – again
I wish I could say that having one day again allowed me to correct all the things the second time round I could have done better on the first. Except when the days are so remarkably similar, it is a struggle to identify the highs or the lows to improve or avoid.
However, the weather is improving day by day and although we are still rolling, the extremes are reducing. This ship will always roll given that it is 294.11 metres in length and 32.20 metres wide, so long and thin – a shape that lends itself to rolling.
Wednesday 14th March 2012
I think I’ve had enough now! Can I get off and come home? Over the last few days I have started to think that I can have too much of a good thing. And then I wonder if this is part of what I have to experience – the total self reliance for entertainment and stimulation that has become more focussed now that we are at sea day after day. On the bridge this morning the AIS showed another ship to port. I got quite excited but couldn’t actually see it. It turned out it was 10 miles away and visibility wasn’t that good. Further, it was just astern of us and we were going about 2 knots faster so we had actually overtaken it and therefore unlikely to see it again.
I suppose I had visions of the Pacific with blue sea, cloudless sky and the stars close enough to touch as I made my way home. Instead we have been rolling around in grey cold seas, with the rain lashing down and poor visibility.
I was going to write that the food isn’t much good, but in fact the food is dreadful. The closest we came to a decent meal was this evening when there was steak and kidney pie with mash potatoes on the menu
I am taking this opportunity to lose weight – it would be so much harder if the food was appetising but unless there is an amazing culinary revelation in the galley over the next couple of weeks, my eating plan should see me more sylph like by the time I get home
Mendocino Fracture Zone (N 39º 30’ W 154º 48’)
(There’s a name to conjure with! We are in that region now)
Thursday 15th March 2012
I wrote the last entry yesterday and afterwards wondered whether to include it in the blog, but this morning as I awoke to another grey featureless day I decided I might as well share how I am thinking.
I went up to the bridge this morning and saw on the far right hand side of the chart they were using to plot our course, the word ‘Canada’ was clearly printed. Beneath that, ‘United States of America’ and whilst the scale is huge, it does at least show which part of the world we are heading towards. That was the ‘high’. The low was on the navigating system that is programmed with the distance to our next port and then calculates our ETA given our speed. This little machine calculates that doing 22.4 knots will have us reach land in another 8 days – 23.00 hrs on the 23rd March to be exact
So what has changed my philosophical attitude to my self imposed exile? I am still on a ship, crossing the oceans and doing more or less the same thing for the last 2½ months that I haven’t previously found so tedious. And the answer to that question is, I don’t know for sure, but 2 things keep coming to mind – one very silly and one not so silly.
The silly one first. In an email from Class 3 at school one of the questions they asked was, ‘Can you see islands in the distance?’ and while the answer is absolutely ‘No’ there aren’t any islands to be seen, I can see why they asked the question. When the words ‘Pacific Ocean’ are spoken, doesn’t it conjure up images of islands, beaches, palm trees etc? Surely Hawaii is in the Pacific – there are islands – beautiful ones at that. But not in this bit! As I have written, it is cold, windy, wet and featureless. The silliness by the way, is not in the question but my irrational response to it – I would like to have seen some of those islands!
The other less silly thing is the information I am receiving from home sources that Spring is sprung – the daffodils are out, crocuses too, fresh buds showing through after the winter. There are many reasons I love living in the country I live in and the changing seasons is certainly high up in the list. The fact that the seasons are so different, each with their particular character is something that I have taken for granted. I have seen weather changes since this trip began – some quite dramatic changes in the early parts but since arriving in China at the beginning of February, the principle weather has been dull, grey, foggy, cold, windy….. you get the picture, I’m sure. But the weather changes are only part of the story. The harsh metal environment in which I am living shows complete indifference to the weather or the seasons. It remains the same throughout – nothing grows here. It is an obvious thing that I haven’t previously thought about – the weather provides the variables for sure, but the ship and its environs are just a huge working metal structure that are totally functional every day, every night, every everything! And at home, the grass, trees, fields, flowers all play their part in the season change – not just weather change.
And the bottom line is I suppose, I am missing the variables that being with ‘real’ people bring, that the seasons bring, that a ship can’t supply.
Sent by email from the ship and posted by the Old Sea Dog's PA - it is difficult as the Old Sea Dog's PA to hear him sounding so glum (particularly as he is normally quite a chirpy Old Sea Dog), so if you are able to spare a few minutes and send him an email, I know he would be very grateful. I have included his email address again in the notification you received of this blog update and I have also been passing on some of the comments that people have kindly left here on Travelpod. I'm sure as he gets closer to the Panama Canal and the prospect of more interesting ports he will perk up a treat, but any encouragment you can offer over the next eight grey days would be very much appreciated. Thank you