Sunday, December 9, 2007


The two posts that I made today were from December 1st and December 3rd on the ship. As it is now December 9th they are posted a bit late, but I wrote them anyways so that you could see what I was thinking as the voyage came to a close. I hope you enjoy them!

Surfing on a Rock-it. Crunch.

Jagged perfume bottles strewn ‘cross bathroom tiles…White paper bags lying atop tiny silver cylinders…Walking along without placing feet in front of each other…Excuses for bumping into people that have been attractive to you for three months…Doors swinging wide looking for precariously placed digits…

All in a Day’s Work.

It is number ninety-six here on the MV Explorer and boy was it characteristic of things that I will both miss and not miss about living on a SHIP…

Today is the first day of finals for this crazy semester that I can’t possibly forget. Also, there was a storm north of where we were sailing all day…so…the ship was rocking quite a bit -much more so than normal Ship rocking (that none of us really even feel anymore). I actually find it weird when we are docked in port and I get in my bed on the SHIP and the boat does not rock me to sleep…. Nevertheless, it was exam time and everyone was walking out of line. To put it into my perspective:

0700---wake up; get ready for the day (while rocking hard)

0730-0758---breaky-break (tea, yogurt, cereal), last minute exam prep (still rockin’)

0800-0905---take and finish exam early (rock, rock, rock)

0915-1000---naptime to clear head and catch up on sleep (rockin’ the day away)

1000-1130---study for other final later in the day (hard rock steady)

1130-1245---LUNCH! (Still more rock-age)

1245-1345---study study read read (hard rockety)

1345-1440---group study times (can you guess?)

1440-1447---chill out on the back deck for brain clearing (rock me)

1455-1600---get thrown against wall while sitting and taking essay exam (TY Ocean!)

1610-1730---relax with friends (talk about rockin’?)

1730-1800---sit outside with friends eating (astonished that boat still rockin’ hard)

1800-1930---celebrate a friend’s birthday, yeah ice cream cake (rock around the clock)

1930-2000---study in room (hasn’t left yet)

2000-2130---pre-port Miami style (watching people sway while speaking in union)

2130-2345---chat with erik and matt, etc. (fall over a bit because of rocking)

2245---have a hard time falling asleep because of rocking, but hey! We retarded the clocks!

So that was my day. All I can say is that it was really really not a very fun thing to have to take Dramamine (for the first time, I might add) and ibuprofen @ 0700 because I didn’t want to do poorly on my exam. I am very glad to not have to try and concentrate and do well on papers and exams because the place where I reside is affected by some outside power that causes it too violently and quickly shift from side to side. If I didn’t have those responsibilities I would be totally down with the boat SHIP rocking whenever it could. However, it really just is not fun or enjoyable to try and take –not one, but TWO exams in that situation.

To be fair, I really am going to miss living on a vessel in the middle of the ocean:::

Being able to wake up and see nothing but straight blue all around me

Eating with nothing in sight but the blues of sky and sea (and clouds too)

The most beautiful sunsets and sunrises ever

The constant (gentle) rocking from head to foot that puts me to sleep every nite

The superhero feeling I get after shaving in these showers

How clearing my head is as easy as walking up to Deck 7

These things will be sorely sorely missed, no doubt. Obviously there are many other things I miss. However, I am also really looking forward to getting home and being in South Carolina for more than A week and half (JUNE), having a kitchen and a GROCERY STORE (!), boiled peanuts, consistent weather (whether it be SC or BOSTON!), my family and friends….you know…everything that goes along with returning home. It has been a long and fantastic three months and I would do it again in a second. However, it will be nice to get back to a new and different lifestyle.

(oh and if you haven’t guessed, the boat tossed my perfume to the ground so now my bathroom can smell very very very nice all the time for the next four days)

One Is Silver and the Other, Gold.

I don’t know what it is about these people but I am going to miss them so much. They are all so interesting and caring and free ---so enjoyable. I mean sure, yeah, we’ve traveled around the world together and gone through so much –we’ve really seen it all. It is so sad to think that it is now coming to an end. So Soon.

I’ve lived on a SHIP with these lovely ladies and gents for days, weeks, months (exactly 92, at the moment I write this!). It will be, and is, so difficult to say our goodbyes. We will never again be in the same place together like this. Again. EVER.

These beautiful friends I have have been with me as I’ve realized so much more about myself than I ever knew existed. Who knew I could cross the street like a superhero in Vietnam, speak Spanish to get by in Spain, or walk through impoverished streets without breaking down completely in India? These people have been there for all of that. How am I going to say goodbye to that? They have helped me reach this state of myself and boy, are they gorgeous while doing it!

Who will ever believe or understand the crazy good feelings of sweatiness and grooves at our Ipiz dance parties on the back of Deck 5? How about our gargantuan “family” Thanksgiving Dinner at Gibraltar? It seems that these three months have exacerbated all of our needs for friends and companionship so that the community we have now is so beautiful and unique and real in a way that generally takes much longer to develop.

These people know, as Darby rightly put it, “what makes me tick.” My parents knew too as they sent me along on my own lucky, lucky way. They sensed the intensity that would ensue from these travels and delightfully and excitedly urge me to find new friends and companions. I guess I completely underestimated this experience because I am so surprised by it all ---so overwhelmed by all of this love and understanding.