When someone would have asked me two weeks ago how I felt about being on the ship for 10 days straight without seeing land I would have told them how much I was dreading it. I was thinking we would all feel trapped and be ready to jump off. This 10-day stretch however has turned out to be great! We have been able to sit back and reflect on all that we have done so far on our journey and strategize how we are going to make the best of our time left. We related our experiences to our classes and have seen how far we have come as a community in the past 70 days. We had one study day in the middle so we didn’t have to have 10 straight days of classes, which was a relief. They have had a lot of fun activities on the ship to get us through this long stretch as well.
The third night back on the ship a group of us decided to go to special dinner on the ship to celebrate three of our birthdays. Haley’s birthday was the second day of the stretch and then Jessie and I have our birthdays in these next ports. Special dinner we pay 30 dollars for a fancy 5-course meal that is served to us restaurant style. It is amazing how good the food truly can be on the ship. It made us set higher standards for the dinning rooms. 18 of us rented out the room to celebrate and it was a lot of fun!
Halfway through was our study day which was actually our Sea Olympics day. We are broken into seas by which deck we are on. My deck is the Aegean Sea. We had over 30 activities that we can participate in. Some of these included: Jeopardy, lip synch contest, pass the orange, spelling bee (backwards), obstacle course, limbo, hula-hoop contest, volleyball, dodgeball, synchronized swimming, and many more fun activities. My favorite one was a secret event where they didn’t tell you what you had to do until you got there. 2 people from each sea went up and the comedy teacher (who is a professional clown) and the theatre teacher (my extended family dad) tried to make you laugh. You couldn’t smile or show any emotion. It was amazing how long people made it! The Olympics were a nice break from 5 days of classes and my sea even came in third! Where we place determines when we get off of the ship when we arrive in Florida. First place guarantees you will be the first group to get off and go through customs, which apparently can take up to 7 hours for us to all get off.
Later on that day I signed up to go on a bridge tour and see where they drive the ship. We got to look at all of the equipment and their tracking systems. They showed us their logs of how the write down their routes. It was a little scary to think that they put the ship on autopilot and sit and watch with binoculars for anything ahead of them. When we were in the front the pointed out some whales, a group of dolphins, and even a turtle. It’s always exciting to see dolphins jumping next to the ship. In the middle of classes we all get to stop classes to get up and look at them. You can’t get that everyday at college at home!
The other night we had a Halloween dance that we all got dressed up for. It was in the Union and students DJ’d the dance. My friends and I went as the three blind mice. It was pretty funny to see everyone’s costumes especially with the limited resources we have on the ship. People got pretty creative! It was a nice break after a long day with three midterms! Classes are pretty stressful trying to shove all of the material into a short period of time. It is helpful to have teachers so readily available on the ship. I love how it is totally normal to go up and ask your teacher a question about class at a meal or in the gym.
Life otherwise has been great on the ship. It has been nice to get a routine down. Work in the morning we have a lot of fun. My friend and I got to make a costume for one of the crew members for their Halloween party. My roommate and I schedule time every night to go work out and stretch outside on the deck. With a sunset like we have there’s not too much we can complain about. Teachers are starting to talk about the end of the voyage, which seems unbelievable. Time has been flying and we only have one continent left! In less than 10 hours we will be in Buenos Aires! We then go directly to Montevideo with no class days in between. We are having some people from NBC Dateline come on the ship between Montevideo and Rio to film about study abroad experiences so it will be pretty busy time! 37 days left on this wonderful journey! Argentina tomorrow!
Special Dinner Crew
Special dinner with one of our favorite crew
Sea Olympics Synchronized Swimming
Three Blind Mice