109/110 days at sea!
24.08.2009 - 13.12.2009 72 °F
As I left my house on the 24th of August, I had an idea of what I thought lay ahead of us. I thought that in each country we would just sort of walk around and go to some monuments and I was pretty set on staying on the ship as much as possible, and just waiting it out for 3 1/2 months. I never even thought about the cultural aspect of it or anything. Basically, all I knew about it was that I was going to miss my fall baseball season.
Once the trip started, and we went to our first port, I realized that I had a chance of survival when we went to monuments as I thought, but they turned out to actually be fun, like the Alhambra in Spain. I somehow found that interesting! I never thought that I would even come out of my cabin, and here I was, actually having a good time. I had that same feeling in South Africa, when we were climbing a mountain. I never thought that we would ever be doing anything other than listening to a guide talk, but here I was, actually doing something that I would want to do at home! Things like this continued throughout the trip. We went snorkeling in Mauritius and saw a Kung Fu performance in China.
The whole time, I was missing home just as much as I thought, but I never realized that I would be having all these positive experiences! One of the things that turned out to be the most positive parts of the journey, was that now, I will forever be able to say that I saw the final half inning of the world series in a restaurant in Cambodia! I had for days before woken up at six in the morning to watch the ESPN gameday play by play broadcast of the world series games with the other baseball starved Semester at Sea voyagers. It wasn't like actually watching it, but at that point, whatever we got, we would take.
One thing that surprised me a lot was the food on the ship. On the five day preview voyage in January, the food was amazing. On this voyage it is not. At the beginning, when we were sailing from Norfolk to Halifax, the food was like the five day voyage: Delicious. Once the college students got on, it became worse, and in the final month or two of the trip, it was disgusting. Some days, there was never anything I wanted to be inside of me. One thing I'll give that cook, he was consistent. Every meal of the day, every day of the week, every week of the 3 1/2 months there were potatoes. And every lunch and dinner, there was pasta. From the beginning of the voyage to now, potatoes have gone from being one of my favorite foods to my never wanting to see a potato again.
Then, a week or two ago, a new chef came aboard! He was actually decent! Even though we still have potatoes every meal of the day, we actually have other things too! Sometimes, they are actually edible! Sometimes, they are actually good! He even goes as far as giving us Ice Cream! I am eternally grateful to him.
All these things I never thought would happen, but sure enough they did. Although as we get close to wrapping up this trip I am ready to go home as ever, these surprises made for a trip I'll never forget.