Around the World in 69 Days - Fall 2007 travel blog

tanker


As soon as we left the Alaskan mainland the skies turned ominous and the waves picked up big time. The captain announced that he would use the shelter of the Aleutian Islands for the next 36 hours to keep the rocking and rolling to a minimum, but then things could get "more active." Love that British reserve and understatement! The temperature stayed quite stable in the lower 50's and just when we felt all alone in the roiling seas, a tanker passed us as if we were standing still. It was nice to see something from our balcony besides white caps and murk.

However, the day passed quickly, because there were many appealing activities listed in the program. We took advantage of two lecturers. One impersonated George Vancouver and described the actives of this bright and energetic man. Many places in the Washington/British Colombia area are named after him and many more places were named by him (Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. Hood) as he took multiple voyages, some lasting as long as four years. He joined many other explorers looking for the inland passage mapping the Pacific Coast of North America along the way. He would commute back and forth between Alaska and Hawaii the way businessmen today shuttle between New York and Washington; one voyage logged over 65,000 miles. He was constantly distracted from this work by the presence of the Spaniards who were working their way north from California trying to broaden their base of operations. Since it was impossible for both sides to get direction from their rulers for months at a time, they made up policy as they went along.

For the more active passengers there were dance lessons, cyber golf, a shuffle board tournament, ping pong, and the health club. There is a kiln on board and people can paint pottery pieces and fire them. Gambling and shopping are always available and of course, all that food. We caught a movie we've been wanting to see in the afternoon and rushed to the Captain's cocktail party. Busy, busy, busy.

We are struggling with jet lag. It's hard to deal with when you fly long distances, but adding an hour to every day means that I never feel truly present. Wewould have welcomed 25 hour days when we were still working, but voluntarily waking up when the sky is pitch black is not normal. We will continue to add an hour or two every day until we reach Japan about twelve time zones from Chicago.

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