Thursday, May 8, 2008

Craig's List May 8

Craig's List:  Ship Time
 
The trans-Pacific crossing is almost completed.  Since leaving Kobe, Japan at 2300 on April 14, we have been sailing across the Pacific.  This rather large body of water certainly seems to be larger than I expected!  We sailed for eight days and then spent one day in Honolulu followed by ten days of sailing, arriving in Costa Rica on Saturday, May 3.  These long stretches of ship time have been punctuated by dances, an auction (which raised over $20K for charities around the world), a couple of family and administrative team special dinners, celebrating our anniversary (21 years)  on the evening of the Ambassador's Ball, an ice cream social, wine tastings, a star gazing night (with ship lights off), and let's not forget classes, study days, and final examinations!  Dolphins have been following the ship as have the sunsets as we travel east- gaining a day (April 15) and losing ten hours to get back in sync with the Eastern time zone. Since Nassau, Bahamas, we have traveled 24,867 nautical miles which is equivalent to 28,597 statute miles.  Upon arriving in Miami, we will have sailed 26,605 NM or 30,596 SM. This does not include overland or air travel from the ports of call. 
 
Craig's List:  Puntarenas, Costa Rica
 
Two days in Puntarenas- last port before Miami.  A very sleepy town on the verge of development as a major cruise port, Puntarenas has a variety of small stall shops with vendors who do not have a tendency to bargain- at least as much as other countries we have visited.  The highlight of Costa Rica for me was a canopy trip in which we took multiple zip lines through the forest, over the canyons, and into the canopy.  The longest zip line was almost a half mile and the highest point was 240 feet.  After the first couple runs, our confidence grew and our energies were focused more on the ride than the fear of falling. Eric was a trooper albeit a small one.  He didn't make the minimum weight limit and had to be accompanied by a guide to provide extra ballast for the zip line.  None of us were particularly excited about having Eric traverse alone and end up in the middle of the zip line hanging over a canyon- so the guide was good.  Not too much else happening here.  The beach is not particularly pretty and knowing that only 3% of the sewage gets treated before going into the ocean was not an invitation to play in the surf! 
 
Craig's List: Panama Canal
 
Transiting the PC was a very special experience.  From what we could tell by the ships in waiting to transit, most are cargo ships making our passenger ship the exception rather than the rule.  I was able to access the ship's bridge throughout our approximately 12 hour passage and it was quite an education to watch the dynamics of the ship's captain and the pilot captain, who, in fact takes over the ship during the canal transit.  Our captain had been through the canal once as a passenger and this was the first time he had done so as a captain.  All went wll despite a couple of tense moments, all of which are unseen by folk outside of the bridge.  We hope that some of you were able to see us in transit courtesy of live webcams that broadcast the comings and goings of vessels throughout the day.  With finals being over, it was a great day to have a BBQ on the deck and watch the Panama Canal go by. 
 

3 comments:

tia Rosa said...

Well, my dear Ullom family, the circle is closing, your ship is bringing you home, after so many adventures, such rich moments, such transforming experiences...As you sail to your homeland tonight, I have finished reading the last post on your journey. Thank you for taking us with you through words, photographs, and detailed accounts of moments and impressions around the globe. I've savored every bit of it. I'm sitting here past midnight, waiting for the ship to arrive in a few hours at the Port of Miami, not wanting it to end, hoping for more entries; I can only imagine what it's like for you tonight. You've come full circle, literally, around this beautiful planet, and together with all the trinkets you've gathered as mementos from different countries and cultures, from now on you will carry forever in your hearts a most precious gift: a deeper knowledge of humanity that can only increase your already large appreciation, understanding and compassion for other human beings and their living circumstances. That knowledge makes us humble and inspires us. God bless you all, thank you for sharing in the magic, and welcome home.
Abrazos, Rosa

Jes said...

i cant wait until its my turn!

Stefanie said...

Dr Ullom, I can't believe you and your family did Semester at Sea. I am getting ready to prepare my application for SAS on the Residence Life side of things. I read the blog and your experience is amazing.

If you could email me I have a few questions for you!

Stefanie Riveiro
UCF Ed Leadership Class of 2005

Stefanieswanger@gmail.com