Lee's Adventures on Semester at Sea ®
WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE WE HEADED?
current captain is Donal Ryan, an Irishman.
Our first captain was a Swede, Anders Anderson.
Captain Ryan came aboard in Cape Town.
Captain Anderson left the ship at that port to go on vacation.
got invited to dinner with Captain Ryan on the way to India.
Over the course of the voyage, Captain Anderson had been inviting
small groups of faculty and staff to dine with him and his officers. Captain Ryan has been inviting those who didn’t get to dine
with his predecessor. The
food was very good—a nice change from the mediocre food that we normally
from a journal entry dated March 24, 2003
have pretty much continued according to routine since my last entry. That, in fact, has made everyone restless.
Students and faculty alike are getting sick of being at sea without
has turned out to be very difficult for Ed to find an acceptable port for
us to visit. SARS has spread
rapidly across East Asia. To
make matters worse, we were scheduled to spend ten days in dry dock in
Hong Kong for some inspections and repairs that must be done before our
scheduled return to the U.S. No
one is allowed to stay onboard while the ship is in dry dock and we were
all scheduled to stay in a hotel. Ed
has been searching for a SARS-free port with dry-dock facilities and
enough hotel rooms for more than 700 people.
Not an easy task!
night was the “graffiti dance.” Students wore white t-shirts, and
invited people to write messages on them with a marker.
I went to a birthday party for Marilynne Glatfelter, Ed’s wife,
in the Navigator Lounge, and then caught the tail end of the party in the
Union. Many students wrote
messages on my t-shirt.
the party, shipboard morale is sinking.
Tara, the young woman who’d slept on the hammock next to mine
during the Amazon trip, struck up a conversation.
She was very upset that so many people were complaining about the
itinerary change. “I
can’t believe that we’ve been able to visit so many wonderful places
on this trip,” she said, her eyes full of tears.
“If we headed home right now, I wouldn’t be disappointed.
This has been an incredible voyage.
How can they complain about not being able to go to Hong Kong or
Vietnam? Why can’t they see
how lucky we are?”
morning, on March 24, we stopped in Singapore to take on more fuel.
We were not allowed to go ashore, because there have been cases of
SARS there. So we anchored in
the middle of Singapore harbor and a tanker ship pulled up alongside us.
It took the whole day for it to fill up our fuel tanks.
10:00 a.m., a small boat pulled up alongside us.
The Vietnamese interport students, as well as Thien, the Vietnamese
interport lecturer, climbed down a rope ladder and boarded the boat. They were taken ashore, so that they could catch a plane back
to Vietnam. That was a really
sad moment. I felt bad for
them. They could not continue
on the voyage with us, as had been planned.
It really brought home the reality that we would not be going to
have been getting very irritable about all the uncertainty.
We just keep sailing onward, but no one knows where we’re headed
or when we’ll get there. The
mood lightened a bit when someone started selling guesses as to where our
next port will be. The
proceeds will go to Students of Service, a student group that donates
money and supplies to schools, orphanages, and other charitable
organizations in the countries we’re visiting.
I looked at the world map and guessed Tianjin, a port city near
Beijing (which lies inland). Singapore,
the Philippines, and Taiwan were ruled out, due to SARS—as was most of
southern China. Another popular guess was Vladivostock, a Russian port city
northeast of Korea. There
were numerous other guesses.
from a journal entry dated March 27, 2003
have continued without a break. Everyone
is getting increasingly restless. Today
we’re on day B18. Classes
had been scheduled for a total of 23 A days and 23 B days.
In other words, there should only be 5 more A days and 5 more B
days of classes remaining. Faculty
and students alike are unhappy by the prospect that additional days of
classes could be substituted for days that we’d been planning to spend
this morning, Ed announced that SARS had become a problem in northern
China, and that we would not visit China at all.
He said that we would be going to Nagasaki, Japan, scheduled to
arrive on April 1.
people grumbled about not visiting China.
But in general I think the shipboard community breathed a sigh of
relief. The uncertainty was
stressing people out. It was
nice to know where we were headed.
e-mailed Beth with the news, inquiring whether she might be able to visit
for an extra week to ten days, so that her visit could encompass the
stretch from Nagasaki to Osaka. I
look forward to hearing back from her.
I hope she can do it. I
from a journal entry dated March 29, 2003
Ed announced the updated itinerary: we’re going to Nagasaki, Pusan, and
Osaka, and then home a week early. I’d
wanted to e-mail Beth to let her know.
But the internet connection was down, so I spent around $20 or $30
to call her on the ship phone and leave a short message on our home
answering machine. We’re
scheduled to arrive in Nagasaki in just three days, and there’s not a
moment to lose if Beth is going to try to rearrange her flight to meet us
is a TBA day. Last night I
stayed up late, thinking that I could sleep late.
This morning I woke up at the normal time, and could not fall back
asleep. I am very tired.
friend Ally has been letting me use her computer to check my e-mail. She’s assistant director of the computer lab.
She has a wireless internet connection for her laptop.
My laptop is too old to support a wireless card.
The ship is charging us 50 cents per minute for internet access. In the shipboard internet café, you have to pay for the time
it takes you to read a message and type a reply.
With a wireless connection, you can retrieve your messages and
immediately disconnect. You
can read and reply and then re-connect only when you’re ready to send
your messages. That’s a lot
ship’s satellite internet connection was finally restored late this
morning and Ally lent me her computer to check my messages. I got several
pieces of very bad news. First of all, Beth wrote that she would be unable
to meet us in Nagasaki. Three
days just was not enough notice. That
means that I won’t see her until I get back to the US.
That’s a huge disappointment.
also got a message from a friend of Gary, my roommate during my final year
in grad school. Gary had died
after a prolonged illness. He
was a close friend, and I was very sad.