Monday, January 31, 2005

"shit show" as dubbed by my roommate

what i think is thurs (second time) the 27th at 2:30pm.
well, im not sure what you all have heard on the news, but yesterday was a bit crazy but everyone is ok. about 2 or 3 in the morning (no idea what time that was for yall, we have gained an hour about every night, and lost a day) a huge wave hit the bridge which is where all the navigation takes place. the wave broke through one of the windows and took out lots of electronic equipment up there. they lost communication with the engines and all navigational stuff. so we were basically sitting in the middle of the pacific not knowing where we were or able to move anywhere. the ocean was rough and it was knocking everything/body off of wherever it/they were. my room was probably the most untouched- beds moved around a little and stuff fell off of the desk (but that happens every night). other rooms were bad, and some people are sleeping out in the halls for the time being. mirrors broke, TVs fell down, tables and dressers were ripped out of the wall and broken. craziness.
so, after sleeping through the first couple of announcements telling us it was going to be rough and put your glasses in shoes, etc, i was awoken by the alarm whistle and an annoucement telling me to put on warm clothes, grab your life vest and get into the hallway. after about 20 mins (this is all around 4 or 5 am i think) we had to move to deck 5 where the lifeboats are to make moving to the life boats easier if thats what it came to. this was super annoying because we are in this crowded place and all the girls are freeking out either crying or singing showtunes to calm themselves down. i was trying to find a comforatble place to go back to sleep.
we wait there for hours. probably 3 hours and then they start handing out rolls and water bottles. i get antsy and start walking around and finding other people, asking how they are doing, and what not. one of the life boats gets loose, so i find a crew guy and tell him to fix it, you know... that kinda stuff. i took a bunch of pictures and will get them to you all asap. they finally got connection back with one of the motors (now 2 out of 4 which is all we were using before) but navigation was still out. so the coast guard is out flying by every once in a while leading us to where we need to go. they said that we are going to midway island now do to damages and fuel loss, but rumor has it we are going to honalulu instead cause the port is full or something like that. rumors are going around now, and its hard to know what to believe and what not to, but i figure we are going to lose some time at one or more of our ports, and i bet some of the girls will be leaving us at port cause they are too scared about the boat not holding up. a few crew members we injured (2 broken legs, and 2 broken arms that i know of, im sure more though), i didnt see anything more than light bandages on passengers though. sadly, one of the daughters of a professor (probably 12) needed som stiches, but thats it.
its kind of frustrating because we realize that this boat was built to sail the mediteranian or the caribean or something not as rough as the pacific during winter. this is the first (rumor) time that S@S has every sailed this route this time of year, and this boat was not built for this weather. but at the same time, you cant blame them for weather that was not forecast. i just hope that we refuel/repair as quick as possible and i get to go on most of the trips that i had planned in these ports. i really hope all the delays are small and all the people who are complaining will not end up costing us more days than necissary.
the program has had set backs like this before though. they had to re-itinerize due to 9/11 and SARS. last semester a kid fell off the boat, and people have become very ill causing the boat to have to do something that wasnt planned. people can always complain, but i just want to get this show on the road, and who really cares if its a bumpy one.
everything else is going just fine. classes are back as if nothing happened yesterday. no one is sure of the date or time because we have gone over the date line both ways now, and its just confusing. ill get this update and pictures up as soon as the internet starts working again, which will hopefully be before we reach either midway or hanalulu but who knows. but for anyone who heard of this on cnn or any other news source, know that all is well, and remember that the news exaggerates for added effect (once again, rumor of news saying things like disaster at sea, or rouge wave hits ship and leaves them in trouble).
ill update again when i hear for sure what will happen. which port we will go to and what the changes in itinerary will be. that is, of course, depending on internet working.

i just got to hawaii and thats why i have internet. my phone is working too, so if you want to call me to say hi or see how i am doing, its 404-309-5102

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


so today is tuesday the 25th. the weird thing is that tomorrow is thursday the 27th. i feel bad for this girl named kim whos birthday it is on wednesday.

everything has been going well on the ship. classes are all going well, etc. there really isnt much to update seeing as there isnt much to do in such a small enclosed place. people are all slowly getting to know one another, making new friends. ive watched a lot of south park/family guy/movies. everyone is basically just waiting until we get to korea.

yesterday i went on a tour of the bridge, which is where the captain controls the ship. it was very cool up there. i learned that we are running on half speed becuase of the bad weather, and we are still burning 70 tons of fuel a day. i thought that was pretty impressive.

like i said, not much to update.. it will definately pick up once i hit korea though, because i do korea, kobe, shang hai, hong kong back to back, and then just a few days to viet nam and a few more to india. i will have books to fill from there.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The wild seas

So I'm on a big boat. Boy am I glad that I listened to everyone about taking sea sickness stuff. I really didnt think that it would be a problem for me, but I really think I would have if i didn't take anything. The boat rocks so much that some people are falling over as they walk, everything falls off of the nightstand at night, and people are scared about being near the railing. Seems as though everyones roommate is in their room right now puking and hasnt left since the middle of last night.
Everyone who I have met so far has been really nice. My roommate and I get along well. His name is Ghram and goes to UVM. I have met many people from Cali and Colorado and Pitt; its funny how its just like Freshman year all over agian - "Hi, whats your name? Where are you from? oh my god, do you know ___?" There are two girls from my highschool on the trip that I didnt know would be on it, but it was fun to see them. Most of the people that I have been hanging out with were the people that I met in Vancouver, but everyone is meeting each other and making the rounds slowly.
The rooms are tiny, the food isnt good, the dean is an old boring lady, and there is really no partying. They have made it much stricter since a guy fell off the ship last year and almost died. They will have "Pub nights" whenever they feel like it and from the looks of the dean lady that wont be often. I think that this is a stupid policy because it can only promote more drinking once arriving in port, oh well. But with 70% girls, and everyone being excited, it really isnt a problem. It will just slow down the introductions a little bit, but we have 2 weeks until Korea, so I'm sure by then everyone will be friends with everyone.
Classes start tomorrow, except for core which started today. Since this boat was not meant to have class rooms, all the classes are in these comfortable little rooms with couches and nice chairs. I dont think they will be too difficult, and past semesters have never complained about school work getting in the way when they were at port. Itll be a lot of fun taking classes and looking out of the window and seeing the pacific, and watching the teacher rock back and forth trying not to fall over from the boat moving.

Well, we all realized how stupid their alcohol policy is. You are allowed to buy tickets from 5-7 and then drink with these max 4 tickets you are allowed to buy from 9-11. There is a 4 story line that I am sitting in the middle of right now. Of course, being smart college students, we have come up with about 50 schemes to figure out how to get more drinks. Oh well.First day of classes today. As I suspected... very easy. But it is nice meeting all of the other kids in the class. Today I had the Global Studies (Core) class, intro international poli sci, and intro acting. I wasnt signed up for intro acting, but i looked at the sylabus and decided that itd be fun to take, plus lots of cute girls in the night was fun. i hung out with some of the kids i already knew, and met a few new ones. there is another one tonight, which means more waiting in lines to buy tickets and then waiting to use those tickets. oh well.oh- had i mentioned how well they treat us? they make out beds, give us new towels, serve us drinking the cafeteria, they serve us drinks during pub night. its nice, but i feel bad for the guys, and i am not the only person who feels this way.

Core was very boring again.. if he didnt repeat him self so much it could be a once a week class instead of a 7 days a week one. last night there were terrible waves which flipped a piano and pushed every chair in the union to one side. my bed was pushed back about 2 feet, and everything that wasnt secured ended up on the floor. so the room is a mess now. i also went to a myth ritual and custom class, and i think i like it more than the primate behavior class (sorry cuz). well see though. not much else going on. its kinda busy cause we have to do drop add in the next 2 days, and sign up for the rest of our field trips by then as well. the profs have also assinged a bunch of homework already. ok, last class of the day.ill update soon

Sunday, January 16, 2005

and so it begins in vancouver...

i arrived in vancouver today (1/16). its a very friendly city. i was asked twice if i needed help finding where i needed to go (i guess they can tell you arent from here when you are walking down the street with 2 suitcases and a huge backpack), and one time is was a pair of semester at sea-ers. it was really easy to find the hotel even without the helpful people - just 2 stops on the airtrain and then a few blocks walk. im staying on robsen street, which is very busy and looks very promising for me to find some fun after i finish settling into the hotel and a bite to eat.
the city is really pretty, although the weather sucks. this is how i felt during my 2 days in seattle as well. ill have more to say when i get back. right now im hungry for food and fun.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Still in NYC

OK, so I think I have given up on making a really cool website for this trip. I have been trying for the last few hours to make a map of the world which will map my progress. The idea was to have it automatically update the journey with a little red line, and then if you clicked on a city where I had stopped it would take you to a new page where you could read all about my time there. Cool idea huh? (This is what you get for being friends/family with a computer enthusiast). Well, I couldn't figure it out, so I'm stuck doing it this way.... which is to post to blogger and put my pictures on a yahoo site which I will put the link for on the side. Not as cool, but still effective enough to hopefully keep you all satisfied and not too confused.

So, I guess I will take this time to update what I have been doing these last couple days as I would if I were someplace with SAS. I am in New York now, spending not enough time with my family. I missed some of the cousins by coming so late (and these are the guys who really could have been of some help setting up the former, cool, website idea that I had).

Winter Break in a nutshell -
Drive from Pomona to Marin with Joe, Hillary, Max, and Ingrid.
Spend a few days with Joe in Marin.
Drive to Sacramento to welcome Isaac back to Democracy.
Drive to Tahoe to party and gamble with Joe, Isaac and friends of Isaac who are all great.
Back to Sacramento for Xmas and Isaac's 21st.
Drive back to Tahoe with chains on tires to celebrate New Years.
Few more days in Sacramento.
Few more days in Marin, this is when I learn that I want to learn to love San Fransisco in the future.
Fly to Maine to spend some time with the Maina part of my family. Really nice seeing all of them, and best of luck to Jonas getting into boarding schools.

Now I'm in New York frantically trying to get everything ready for my voyage. It is amazing how much there is to do. I have to make sure I pack all the right things, I have to sign up for all the right Field Trips that I was unable to signup early for unfortunately because I didnt get one of the mails that they sent (most likely because I was accepted into the program very late - near Thanksgiving. Thanks DQ!)

Tom visited the first day and we got really lost and I tried to speak with some sort of accent cause Tom was doing it. We roamed the streets until very late looking for the subway and as per usual made many friends on the long subway ride home. I have spent the rest of my days trying to get everything ready: buying all sorts of necissities, planning trips, trying to find a summer internship which wont mind my being out of the country and unable to have an interview, working on this stupid blog thing. I am pretty close to done, or better be, cause i leave soon.

I leave from Vancouver, but Im not going straight there. I am flying to Seattle first, and then prolly training up to BC. I am doing this because I have never seen Seattle... or Vancouver for that matter. So it is going to be a long long long time of travel for me. I still havent been in one place more for a week straight yet... that will first happen in the middle of the Pacific, if you can call that staying in one place for a long time. I guess I will have the same bed.

Well, thats it for now. Now I just have to figure out how everyone who wants to read this has the link. I guess you could help me out by fowarding it along to people who you think might like to read it who you dont think know about it. Id appreciate it.

Jacob 1/13/05 1.22am est

Friday, January 07, 2005

First Post

Testing for my Semester at Sea TravelBlog.