Friday, September 7, 2007

international dateline.

noontime position: 28˚ 50.3 minutes N, 169˚ 50.1 minutes E

sunset today : 1725 hours

sunrise tomorrow : 0539 hours

distance made good from honolulu : 1828 nautical miles

distance left to reach yokohama: 1609 nautical miles

average Ship speed: 15.9 knots (about 16.5 mph)

depth of the ocean below me: 5176 m

I will never officially experience or be able to fathom 7 September 2007.

Therefore, the remainder of this post is dedicated to that fated-from-the-very-beginning-of-this-voyage day.


7 September 2007

i have been needing to write for a few days now…however, i saved this post until this specific time because i really wanted all of you [who are still experiencing the seventh] to feel the full gravity of this situation. a mere thirteen hours ago i was on a westward bound vessel approximately eight hours behind american eastern standard time. however from midnight to 2am this morning the Ship traversed the international dateline… and so did i….

the international dateline was one of the craziest things about the actual voyaging part of this voyage for me (catch any recurring themes here). what exactly would it feel like to completely never know what is is like to experience a day? many times we find ourselves complaining about « wasting a day » or « losing a day completely » because we haven’t gotten done what we wanted to get done or have slept or anything else of the like. but to truly lose a day? the international dateline to me always seemed like a magical place of myth and wonder where the world came together but couldn’t sync up. magical beasts, pirates, mermaids, narwhales, and puffin birds inhabited this area and to cross the line meant you definitely were treading treacherous waters. it turns out that it really is kind of like that...

last nite around 2200 i went outside on the top deck foreward. all the lights on this area of the vessel had been turned off and groups of people were sprawled every which way to take in the stars. Kat, Jade and i rightly plopped ourselves into this swell of people and gazed whilst listening to a professor reel off stories, mapping coordinates, and relative stars of constellations. i heard tales of queens and dragons, hercules and other deadly warriors, and magic arrows and lucky creatures. whether any of this is true does not matter::: a short time later the international dateline finally became a reality for me and it truly was mystical. i had been looking forward to that time for so long. anticipatory for so long, i even shed a tear when the ship technically underwent its passage through the profond and unknown depths of this line. what i learned about this whole situation of which i had meditated for so long?:::

imagination truly can and do shape realities.

in some ways the world actually has been flattened for me and my whole mates on the high seas. we have all experienced (or not experienced) the changes that the world has undergone for so long. we actually know how the ocean feels where the world comes together; and more importantly, we can now look to our next adventures in unknown lands with unknown sights and unknown people.

I feel that is sufficient enough dawdling on one of my favorite ponderances for this post however, on to new things:::


Honolulu was a very low-key experience for me. i intended for it to be this way so that i could get used to the travelling thing and revel in my one day there where i could still use my own currency and not have to do any math whilst purchasing goods [or vaccines in my case].

i woke up around 0620 and immediately leapt from bed to take pictures of the first land i had been close to since embarking five days prior in Ensenada. then i proceeded to realize that hawa’ii is part of the us and I would be able to use my cell phone for one last time before actually truly setting out on my voyage. so i immediately called my two best friends and surprised them. i called pretty much everyone i could think of to call. All. Day. Long. i really do miss all of you very much. around 0700 Kat and i went to the seventh deck to check in with customs [since the last place we had « technically » been was Mexico]. we then went to breakfast and ate outside overlooking the harbor and downtown areas of Honolulu. to this day, that breakfast was one of the most beautiful i have ever experienced. the volcanic mountains loomed in the distant behind the stark and tasteful buildings of the small downtown area of the city. everything was sunny and hot and delicious and tropical. it really could not have been better. then a few hours later (around 0940), we disembarked and walked around a little. at 1000 Kat was catching a van with a bunch of other kids who had independently set up [a Long time before the voyage] a trip to go skydiving on the North Shore of Oahu…so, i walked a bit more then got directions and a map to take a bus down to Waikiki Beach. i had made it!

down in Waikiki, i walked around for a Very long time taking in the sights and scenes. somehow coincidentally we had berthed at Honolulu on the birthday of the last queen of Hawa’ii, Queen Lili’oeukulani [sp?]. there were little cabanas and tents everywhere with families and friends eating together strewn all down the parks along the shores and the beach itself. this made for Very nice walking for me! i finally decided to rent a bicycle [and with the gracious help of my mum and my bestest, alex], i found a place, the guy gave me a discount [« as long as [i] get it in before five! »], and i biked around the island, enjoying the tropical fare. i found a nice Thai/Hawa’iian restaurant at which to eat. afterwards, i went into a little internet café to check out information about registration for next spring semester [its on October 28th for all of us seniors if you’re wondering kids], etc.

finally, i went to meet Kat at Ala Moana shopping centre for some « sightseeing » and necessities….PS:::that mall is incredible. there was everything imaginable from Sephora to Gap to Prada to Bottega Veneta to Chanel to an Apple Store to LeSportSac. it made for great sightseeing. but to tell the truth…we had gone because we had heard that there was a Wal-Mart close by and there were a few necessities that we needed to get there. thanks to my bestest again for painstakingly locating and somehow –by telephone- directing me on how to reach this [not so close] Wal-Mart. there, i took my prescription for the typhoid oral vaccine because those of us who hadn’t obtained it by this time were Strongly advised to do so while still in Hawa’ii because it was the last chance. so…heeding the onboard physician i finagled a prescription from the medical clinic on deck two before leaving and took it to the girl at the counter who duly filled my prescription [thank you nice girl who is preventing me from getting typhoid for the next five years]. we did a little more poking around and then made our way back to the Ship.

Conclusion::: i’m glad i had the chance to go to Hawa’ii. i never really thought about visiting the islands before so a day was enough of a taste for me. however after having that experience i am definitely tempted to return. the native hawaiians all try to scare the mainlanders about how much they don’t like tourists but i was stopped so many times while i was alone and helped by people who wanted to let me know this and that about the queen’s birthday celebrations and cultural goings-on. it was very nice.

still i trudge on…

I posted the other day about suggestions for Japan, etc. i’m still looking for them. so far my plans are to take the train with Kat and Jade to Tokyo for some fun, merriment and guiding with Andrew Kane [an acquaintance i have from BU who is currently studying in Japan]. from there we will make our way down to Kobe where we must meet the Ship before setting sail to China.

finally, some of the classes are pretty cool as well. i’ll give you just a few topics we’ve discussed along the way so i don’t bore you:::


the nuclear weapons era

the american foreign service

those are all just half hour lectures we have had. however at one of the pre-port port meetings a student from Hawa’ii got up and did a traditional Hawaiian dance for everyone after a lecture about pearl harbor and hula.

it’s a pretty good time here still. i’m really enjoying it so much still. i’m signing out now so that i don’t ramble on for even longer. however, before i go…for those of you who know what i’m talking about:::

to commemorate my lost day at sea, i request that you play a certain specific Ladytron song…. you know who you are.

toujours mes amis.

ps...i edited my post from last may want to reread will probably make more since as far as retardation goes.

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