S: Semester at Sea Fall 2005
BC: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain | December 7, 2005 The MV Explorer arrived in San Diego at 0900 local time, glad to be home!
FC: Semester at Sea Fall 2005 | "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - William Shedd
1: August 2011 | “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu | Arriving Nassau, The Bahamas
2: August 30, 2005 The MV Explorer departed Nassau, Bahamas, at 1700 local time, with all on board. Bon Voyage Fall 2005!
3: The very first of many pub nights. Nothing like a Miller Lite while sailing on to Venezuela.
4: September 3 The MV Explorer arrived in La Guaira, Venezuela at 0800 local time.
5: A visit to a Spanish-English language center.
6: The Orinoco Delta
7: The Orinoco Delta Lodge. A great location for exploring nature and getting eaten by bugs!
8: Local villagers selling their goods.
9: It was too buggy to wear short sleeves, but far too hot to wear long sleeves! Getting stuck in the mud was the highlight of this nature walk. | September 6, 2005 The MV Explorer departed La Guaira, Venezuela at 2250 local time with all passengers on board.
10: BBQ on Deck 7 Aft. | September 11 Latitude 2 degrees - 55 minutes South, Longitude 037 degrees - 32 minutes West. distance to nearest shoreline 130 nm to Ponta de Mucuripe - Fortaleza
12: Salvador, Bahia | Justin, Pam, Marissa, Becky, Ashley and Marta in the Marina
13: Lacerda Elevator | September 13 The MV Explorer arrived in Salvador, Brazil at 0800 local time. | Model Market in the Historic Centre
14: Carnival of Brazil (46 days before Easter)
16: Cristo Redentor at the peak of the Corcovado mountain
17: Constructed between 1922-31. 130 ft tall and 98 ft wide Largest Art Deco statue in the world
19: September 17 The MV Explorer departed Salvador, Brazil at 2300 local time with all passengers on board. Next stop: Cape Town, South Africa.
20: Freezing waters and smelly fish guts! | September 20 It's Neptune Day! Latitude 22 degrees - 12 minutes South, Longitude 021 degrees - 02 minutes West. Distance to nearest shoreline 435 nm to Islands Martin Vaz. | Danielle, Andrew, Pam after the Royal Bath
21: Prisoner 24601 | Before: Pollywogs After: Shellbacks! | In the U.S. Navy, when a ship crosses the equator a time-honored ceremony takes place. On Semester at Sea it was the same, yet quite different. We awoke to the crew and staff in full gear to pay homage to King Neptune (Captain Jeremy). It was time to cross the equator, along with fish guts and anything else leftover. Oh yes, and kiss his fish!
24: September 26 The MV Explorer arrived in Cape Town, South Africa at 0800 local time, accompanied by whales! | South Africa
25: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
26: Laughter is the same in every language.
27: Fantastic evening together!
28: A little bit of Circle Dance, a little bit hip-hop.
29: En route to the winelands.
31: Kagga Kamma Game Reserve, 250km or 3 hours from Cape Town. | There are several rock art sites containing a variety of paintings which are records of the animals and people who lived in the area during historical and prehistorical times.
32: Table Mountain is a prominent landmark overlooking the Cape Town, stretching 2 miles from end to end. The peak is 3563 ft above sea level. This is an ideal spot for hikers and tourists. Travel by foot or cable car!
34: Our extended visit allowed for a second full-day game drive!
35: Yes, I was that close to the animals! | Marta and Nuts
36: October 2 The MV Explorer departed Cape Town, South Africa at 2245 local time with all passengers on board.
38: October 9 The MV Explorer arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius at 0800 local time.
39: A short, three-day visit provided many opportunities to meet locals and try their favorite cuisine.
40: "Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; heaven being copied by Mauritius." - Mark Twain
41: October 11 The MV Explorer reluctantly departed Port Louis, Mauritius at 2220 local time with all passengers on board.
43: I was a part of the Baltic Sea for the Olympic Games. Waters were too rocky, so the talent show and synchronized swimming was held indoors! | Bridge tour with Krystal | Enjoying the Olympics
44: October 14, 2005 Latitude 8 degrees - 00 minutes South, Longitude 072 degrees - 06 minutes East. Distance made good since noon yesterday 420 nm, total distance made good 1,123 nm, distance to next port 1,478 nm. Average speed since noon yesterday 17.5 knots, distance to nearest shoreline 39 nm to Island Diego Garcia. Next point of interest: at 1515 will pass by Island Diego Garcia 11nm to shoreline. Sea depth 5,577 feet, sea water temperature 78.8 degrees F (26 degrees C), air temperature 80.6 degrees F (27 degrees C). Southeast winds, 14 knots. Moderate swell and moderate seas, partly cloudy skies. Sea wave height 3.3-4.9 feet. Sunset 1702 hrs; sunrise 0543 hrs.
45: October 16, 2005 Latitude 1 degree - 06 minutes South, Longitude 077 degrees - 05 minutes East. Distance made good since noon yesterday 266 nm, total distance made good 1,634 nm, distance to next port 967 nm. Average speed since noon yesterday 11.08 knots, distance to nearest shoreline 232 nm to Huvadhoo Atoll, Maldives. Sea depth 15,584 feet, sea water temperature 82.4 degrees F (28 degrees C), air temperature 78.8 degrees F (26 degrees C). Westerly Winds - 12 knots. Short swell and moderate seas, cloudy skies, isolated showers. Sea wave height 4.9-6.6 feet. Sunset 1738 hrs; sunrise 0607 hrs. We will be crossing the Equator today at approximately 6:50 pm.
46: October 19 The MV Explorer arrived in Chennai, India at 0730 local time. | India
47: Apollo Hospitals, Chennai Established in 1983, a very respected hospital for locals and medical tourism and medical value travel
48: Floating along the Ganges River to pay respect. | Where Buddha gave his first sermon | Regardless if you tell a rickshaw driver, motorbike driver, or a seller "no" they still think you want it.
49: On the Ganges River Varanasi, India
50: Displaying the rug I didn't buy. Look how much I saved! | Deli hotel!
51: Pam and Krystal | Visiting Gurdwara Shri Bangla Sahib in New Delhi, India | So two Jews walk into a Sikh temple...
52: Visiting the forts just outside the Taj Mahal. Pam, Nathan and Krystal.
53: Taj Mahal | Pulled and auto rickshaws!
55: The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It attracts 2-4 million visitors every year. With the long lines to enter the site and tight security measures my squirrel was almost taken from me.
56: October 23, 2005 The MV Explorer departed Chennai, India at 1715 local time with all passengers on board. Next stop: Myanmar.
58: October 25, 2005 The MV Explorer arrived in Yangon, Myanmar at 1000 local time. We were able to depart the ship after a very long diplomatic debriefing. | Many locals sell food on the sidewalks with little plastic chairs.
59: A pagoda on day tour of Yangon. | A Burmese girl with Thanakha (face paint). | The sunset during the flight from Yangon to Mandalay, aboard AirBegan | The country is filled with stray animals. Here a local man is wearing a longyi, a sheet of cloth that the men and women wear.
60: Here Buddhist monks at the Mahagandayon Monastery prepare lunch for the other students. All meals are donated from contributions from around the world.
63: U Bein Bridge in the Amarapura township of Mandalay. This is the longest teak foot bridge in the world (.75 mi) in the Thaungthaman Lake. | Jess and Pam in a sampan.
64: Golden Palace Monastery | Various visits around the country, but most notably the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for all Burmese. It is over 2500 years old. | October 31, 2005 The MV Explorer departed Yangon, Myanmar at 1200 local time with all passengers on board.
65: Visiting the city of Ava (a pony cart ride and a circus town), Mandalay Hill, and the Singu Min Bell at the Schwedagon Pagoda.
66: Halloween! Costumes included: Dean's Memo Kenyan Safari We Missed Golden Pagoda The globe The map channel Chick magnet Floor of a movie theater Richshaw with tourists Tobacco hookah Gandhi Explorer... M/V Begging monks | I routinely posted jokes outside our door. It attracted great attention.
67: Celebrating Matt Brunk's birthday!
68: November 5, 2005 The MV Explorer arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at 1300 local time. | Vietnam
69: I traveled with Todd Bosnich on our own tour to Hanoi. Left: me at the One Pillar Pagoda (smallest in the world). Above: The ship had to sail at a certain time up the Saigon River to reach HCM. Right: how the map on the other side of the world! | HCM City is on the Saigon River. Ships have to time their journey just right to align with the tides.
70: Visiting the Ho Chi Minh Masoleum. Right: with Dean John Tymitz. Below: the Presidential Palace. Bottom right: A map from the "American War" (Vietnam War) dividing the North and South.
72: A traditional water puppet show and dinner at the Cyclo Bar!
73: At the Army Museum an American B52 bomber is on display from the "American War."
74: When we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City many students visited tailor shops and placed custom orders for suits and dresses. A suit, jacket and dress all custom fit, cost $228.
75: After a great visit to Hanoi and exploring Ho Chi Minh city it was time to play in the rain! November 10, 2005 The MV Explorer departed Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at 0630 local time with all passengers on board.
76: 6 November 2005 The countries I loved the most were where I was far out of my comfort zone. In Varanasi, I was the furthest I've ever been from comfort. I was on the dirtiest and most polluted body of water in the world, I walked by a crematorium, it was wet, filthy, crowded, early and hot. But it probably changed me more, in fact it did, than partying in a club in Mauritius. The best times were also being separated from the group. In Brazil my group met up with other Brazilians and they took us dancing. We danced to Fohal and Zouk music. We had one drink, but I was more in my zone there than in any other party of Rio de Janeiro. Language is the biggest challenge I've ever faced. It's hard when you can't communicated with another human. But the only thing everyone will understand is laughter.
77: I probably posses one of the most valuable documents any human can have; an American passport. But that doesn't mean I am better than you, or anyone else, and it's amazing how sought after it is. Also, it doesn't make me more cultured; in fact, it might make me less cultured. It is amazing how many material goods I have that are so insignificant. All the clothes, gadgets and possessions. They probably cause more problems then they're worth. I've survived more than seven countries so far without my entire wardrobe, cable TV, car, internet or constant connection to America. Yes, I miss my family but there are worse situations to be in.
78: It wouldn't be a vacation for me if I didn't see someone I knew! Kyle Stone was living in HK and he spent the day with us around Kowloon.
79: November 12, 2005 The MV Explorer arrived in Hong Kong at 0800 local time. | One night in Hong Kong before traveling to Beijing!
80: (Who knew that asking for soy sauce would get you silverware?) Here we're visiting the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall of China!
81: We survived the Great Wall of China!
82: Our visit included time with students at Peking University. We had a "party" at their campus, and I also entertained with a penguin dance!
83: Tienamen Square, lots of shopping at the Silk Market, and inside the Forbidden City.
84: Other students visiting the Forbidden City, fun in a nearby park, and some drinking at a dive bar.
85: A trip to the Summer Palace with Danielle, all the backpacks at the Beijing Airport, and just a handful of the many high-rise apartment buildings in HK. | November 17, 2005 The MV Explorer departed Hong Kong at 0000 local time with all passengers on board.
86: November 20, 2005 The MV Explorer arrived in Kobe, Japan at 0745 local time. | We boarded the bullet train to Hiroshima and tried hot chocolate in a can from a vending machine!
89: I did a home visit with Mr. and Mrs. Wantanabe. This dictionary his father studied in the bathroom during the American occupation.
90: My very first Guiness! Spent time with Evan during our stops in Uji.
91: Enjoying the tea ceremony with Jess and a view near the Uji Castle. | November 23, 2005 The MV Explorer departed Kobe, Japan at 2145 local time with all passengers on board.
92: The Ambassador's Ball!
93: “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
94: November 30, 2005 The MV Explorer arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii at 1645 local time.
95: December 1, 2005 The MV Explorer departed Honolulu, Hawaii at 2245 local time with all passengers on board.
96: Adventures of Nuts the Squirrel!
102: 8 December 2005 100 days, 4 continents, 4 classes, 4 girls and 1 cabin later I am on my way back to Chicago and my reality. There is a feeling inside me that I can't describe. I arrived at the San Diego airport with 3 heavy duffel bags, 2 carry-ons, a Vietnamese rice that, new Rainbow sandals, and Krystal on her way back home. I don't know if I've figured out how I've changed or what I've realized, but I can just feel it. I tried to make a toast last night, but I couldn't get the right words out. I just knew Krystal, Justin and Matt could feel it. That is what makes them and my voyage so special. I never wanted to get off the ship and go home. The world is so phenomenal and my friends made life so rich. I was sitting down to a meal, getting served the world and I left with more meals to eat, but still with a full stomach. It has spices from India, rice from Vietnam, sushi from Japan, a spring bok shot from Mauritius, wine from South Africa, and tea from China. At this meal were my four close girlfriends, all with different contributions to the conversation, and a love for life and the future.
103: My journal and pictures don't do justice to the voyage. There really isn't a way to get across to anyone about it. Cabin 3106 on the M/V Explorer was my home for 3 months. Next semester it will be home to someone else and it's not really mine to ever claim again. But for the time it was mine and I felt like I was in my groove. I was happy and my senses were on overload. Now I am exhausted and in denial, but slowly I'm realizing and experiencing separation from the ship and that life. For the first time in 3 months I will be alone, with no roommate, no constant lunch buddies, and no ocean or waves. The ship was a place where everyone could be found, where there would always be someone to talk with, play a board game, or share photos and stories. You need money for travel, but clearly not for happiness. I am fortunate to be born into my family who loves me, supports me, and believes in me. I wrote the final chapter of my voyage and it was something amazing. Nothing will ever replace or compare to it.