|Week before leaving
-- (Jan 11-20)
Week 1 --
(Jan 23-Feb 1 Puerto Rico)
2 -- (Feb 3-9 Salvador,
-- (Feb 10-16 On the way to
4 -- (Feb 19-24 Cape Town
and African Safari)
5,6 -- (Feb 25-March 8 Mauritius)
Week 7 --
(March 9-15 Chennai, India)
8 -- (March 16-22
Penang, Malaysia and Singapore)
9 -- (March 23-31 Ho Chi
Minh City, VietNam)
Week 10 --
(April 1-6 Hong Kong, Guilin Shanghai, China)
Week 11 --
(April 7-13 Kobe, Japan)
Week 12 --
(April 14-20 On the way to Hawaii)
Week 13 --
(April 21-27 Honolulu, Hawaii)
Week 14 --
(April 28-May 8 Puntarenas, Costa Rica)
Week Three -- Journeywoman's
Semester At Sea...
10 -- Captains Dinner
food and much more food. The night that we sailed from Salvador
I came back to my cabin to find an invitation from Captain
Roman Krstanovic (from Croatia) to join him and his staff
for dinner. There were probably about 30 invitees that evening
and there will be more Captain's dinners scheduled during
the term until all the adults/faculty/staff on board get to
eat with the Captain.
We began the evening with hors d'ourvres and
wine in the Faculty Lounge and then we moved to a private
dining room. I sat beside the Academic Dean on one side and
the ship's poet and his artist wife on the other. We were
served a formal five course meal accompanied by two wines
(menu included shrimp cocktail, Caesar Salad, Vegetable Soup,
Filet Mignon, and fried coconut ice cream for dessert (Oh-my-goodness!).
All was beautifully served and surprisingly tasty. Everybody
had so much to talk about and we all had an absolutely delightful
evening. This Captain is a very pleasant, elegant, serious
man who doesn't partake in any of the ship's fun activities.
He remains aloof, never mingles with the kids, and his word
is law. My deck (Deck Five) is where all the administration
offices are. I often see him early in the morning when he
has his meeting with all the program's higher-ups. At least,
I get a hello. Sometimes a smile:-).
P.S. Over the next ten days we will have four time changes
(moving the clock forward one hour each time). That ensures
we will be on South African time when we arrive on the February
19th. I'm tired already.
Anna Maria Heinzle
Invitation to Captain's
Elusive Captain Krstanovic
and Executive Dean Kenn
11 -- Global Studies South Africa...
in Global Studies we had a great lesson on South African music.
Max Brandt, the Acting Dean and a musicologist taught us an
African song (in Shona language) traditionally sung by South
African children about a little boy that meets a lion (Zanga
iwa chacatanga pano). The phonetics were projected on a large
screen and we learned to sing it in a few parts. Then several
students were called up to accompany us with African drums,
rattles, musical blocks, etc. It was especially interesting
for me as I know so little about beats and rhythms (a language
my body refuses to comprehend). Then we learned the first
verse and stanza of South Africa's new National Anthem in
Xhosa language (a beautiful song titled Lord Bless Africa
(Nko-si si-ke-le-li A-fri-ka) -- the one sung after the end
of apartheid. Our South African inter-port student helped
us with the pronunciation. Then we listened to a recording
of the anthem and 700 students in the union sang the first
verse together. For me (and many others I spoke to) it was
an extremely emotional exercise. I kept reminding myself that
there are not many people who can claim to have this same
experience sailing on a ship to South Africa. I know I'm very
P.S. Later on in the week we listened to a lecture about
Nelson Mandela and watched a clip of him standing tall and
singing this anthem at a huge South African gathering. I recognized
the anthem immediately. In a few days I'll think of all of
this when I visit Robben Island where Mandela was a prisoner
for so many years.
P.P.S. Studying for exams.The first big Global Studies exam
is scheduled for tomorrow. The sounds on the ship have become
a lot more muted and sedate. Study groups have been formed,
volunteers to help students with learning disabilities are
being recruited (and they are coming forward), everywhere
you look kids have their noses in their books. I'm so pleased
that I don't write exams anymore. I honestly don't know how
these students do it -- their schedule is so hectic, lots
of papers to write and lots of social activity to take part
in. Anyway, even if I'm not attending a lot of classes or
studying for exams my days are jam-packed with other activities
that are much more fun.
Today we were invited on a tour of the ship's bridge. The
tour was led by one of the officers who answered all our questions
including those about pirates. Yes, he confirmed that there
are pirates on our course but they go after low cargo ships,
etc. We're too big for them to come aboard (he obviously hasn't
heard of Johnny Depp who can do anything) and besides we have
too many people on board. He's right. Getting 700 people to
walk the plank might take too long. I did learn of an ingenious
pirate trick, though. They board one ship and then they send
a distress signal to other ships in the area. Got it? Lots
of people walking the plank THAT day.
We toured the ship's
12 -- Making paper roses...
is a Students of Service Program that goes on each session
of Semester At Sea. Last year the student body raised over
$43,000 with different fund raising ideas for different charities.
I started the ball rolling for my group with the idea of making
paper roses (the Philipino food and beverage staff showed
us how to make them out of serviettes). It took them 6 minutes
to make one flower; it took us almost one hour. We worked
on an assembly line. One did the flower, itself, one did the
stem, another the leaves, etc. We got 62 flowers ready to
sell the day before Valentines Day.
Life Long Learners
13 -- Group Community College...
Every evening from 8-9:00 PM those people on
board with an expertise schedule a community college to share
their knowledge with anybody who would like to learn. The
topics are always very diverse and it's very informal. Today
someone presented on "Myer Briggs Testing" offering
students the opportunity to learn about their personalities
and the personalities of those around them. Another discussion
was entitled, 'Should I Become a Lawyer' which was presented
by the law professor on board. Then there was 'The Archeoastronomy
of Sacred Places,' alongside Ballroom Dancing. You never,
ever have to be bored on the ship. Yesterday the LLL (know
who I mean?) presented this topic... 'Who are the life long
learners? Come learn about your fellow shipmates and how they
got to where they are now'. I thought NOBODY would show up
but the room was FULL. Go figure:-) Anyway we had a moderator
who asked us (the wise ones:-) about turning points in our
lives, the important people in our lives, advice for students,
etc. Everybody listened to our pearls of wisdom (I told jokes
abnout my life and people actually LAUGHED), they seemed to
really appreciate what we had to say and we got absolute rave
reviews for our community college. Huh?
to sell our flowers. OK, all of you who smirked at my idea
of selling paper roses (limited edition) for Valentines Day.
It's the day before Valentines Day. We set up shop on the
way to the dining room so that students had to pass us in
order to eat lunch. Since we were the only game in town we
charged $5.00 per (serviette) rose and an extra $2.00 for
delivery. Within three hours of showcasing our handiwork our
flowers were completely sold out and we earned the grand sum
of $400 (we really pushed the delivery (HA HA) As I've always
drummed into my kiddies ... see what happens when you dare
Today with the dreaded big exam behind them, the students
are having a Party Animal Dance. Their invitation read...
'Dress like a wild animal (tying in with the fact that we're
on our way to South Africa). It's time to let your hair down
and show your wild side'. I went up just to take pictures,
saw some terrific ingenuity and will share them with you in
Our paper rose Valentine
Animal Party Pix
Caterpillar and leopard
Mighty Ninja Turtles
13 -- My 15 minutes of fame...
Every day on board there is what's called, The
Dean's Memo. In it are listed any birthdays celebrated that
day and any announcements about the day's programming, meetings
being held, and things we need to know to prepare for our
upcoming trips. It is usually an embarrassment of riches.
I presented my community college about daring to dream. The
description for the Dean's memo read, "Travel from a
Woman's Point of View,' Evelyn Hannon, Classroom 8, Hear her
inspiring story -- from solo traveler to editor of the largest
online travel resource for women.' The room was packed. I
talked about daring to dream, how Journeywoman grew, and the
many funny things that have happened to me along the way.
It's 'funny' ... I never really think of myself as a 'funny'
person but I'm feeling a transition -- being able to kid around
in my presentations and really making people laugh out loud.
What a good feeling!
P.S. A day later I was in the ship's shop buying some stuff
and I asked about a DVD to burn my photos on to. A young man
told me not to buy one, he had loads of them and he would
give me one. Later that day he gave it to me and told me that
he was in the audience when I spoke and he loved it. So...
maybe I WAS really funny.
Our Community College
14 -- Neptune Day
went to bed late last night so I was not too happy to hear
the whistles, drums and yelling going on at 7:15 this morning.
What the heck....? Then I remembered. Today was Neptune Day,
a Navy tradition that celebrates the crossing of the equator
(we crossed a while ago but we couldn't celebrate then because
of classes, etc). Traditionally, this is a time that the crew
hazes all the novice sailors and takes them from being skallywags
to initiated shellbacks. I dressed quickly and got out of
my room in time to see the crew dressed in costume, face paint
and marching through the halls making NOISE with a capital
'N.' I pitied the kids who had been at the dance until very
late the night before. These students might not have enjoyed
it but boy, the crew was having a grand old time. I took pix,
went to breakfast and then went up to Deck Seven for the initiation
ceremonies. The Dean (Ken, dressed in a grassskirt (huh?)
and a wig, and Kay (the economics prof) with matching wig
and crown, presided. The sky was gray and there was a storm
brewing. It was quite cool but kid after kid had a mixture
of blue-green liquid (purported to be blended fish guts) poured
over them, then they jumped into the pool, got out, kissed
a huge dead fish (my pix don't lie), knelt, kissed the king's
ring, and finally were pronounced shellbacks. Nobody was forced
to do this but I was amazed at how many students and staff
volunteered. The photo opportunities were endless. THEN ...
over in the corner students lined up to cut off all their
hair. As each person emerged with shaved head, the crowd roared.
Over 65 students and staff went through the ritual and even
had a group photo taken as a souvenir. In the next Dean's
Memo there was this very responsible item: 'Neptune Head Shavers:
If your previously sun-deprived scalp is now exposed to the
sun for the first time ever, use that sunscreen without
fail. Find that hat in your cabin and use it!' Most of
the students are in their early twenties, there is a fine
line between babying them and alerting them to possible danger.
I think those in charge do an excellent job of walking that
fine line and most kids take heed. Oh, oh...the ship is rocking
The crew wakes us up
Soaked in fish guts
Kissing the fish &
It was COLD!
65 people shaved their
She carries her hair
Posing with King Neptune
and his Queen
15 -- Let's Do Lunch
Many of my friends have written to ask how meals
are served on the MV Explorer. Is there only one dining room?
Do faculty and students eat together? Are there assigned tables?
What's the food like, etc.? I thought there was enough interest
to assign a complete blog entry to the subject.
There are two indoor dining rooms on the ship. Each serves
three meals a day cafeteria style. Seating is in the dining
room itself or at tables and chairs set for outdoor dining
on the sixth deck. There's no division at all between faculty,
staff or student dining. You can sit with your buddies and
gossip or with your history prof and his wife and discuss
the books on his assigned reading list. The ship's doctor
might ask to join your party and if there isn't enough room
everybody adjusts and adds another chair. The atmosphere is
free and easy. You can sit wherever you like and you are always
welcomed. When I need to to think out a problem I find a little
niche in the fifth floor dining room where I can be alone.
On most days I love to eat outside with my pals. Think good
conversation, oatmeal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, blue skies, warm
sun, and water as far as the eye can see. I am in Semester
At Sea heaven.
The dining room staff is our dream team. Everybody is crazy
about them and well they should be. These guys work long hours
and their service is always with a smile. Need some juice?
You've got it. Want more coffee? It's there, immediately!
I don't think I've ever come in in the morning and not gotten
a huge hello from at least one of these wonderful men.
the food like? It's really very good. It's not fancy restaurant
food but it's not supposed to be that. As someone who has
run a children's camp kitchen I know how hard it is to serve
1000 people three meals a day. Taking that into consideration
I think they are doing a terrific job. There are always two
choices for the carnivores and some dishes to please a vegetarian.
There are sandwiches for lunch if you don't want a hot meal
and peanut butter and jelly for those who don't like anything.
Want a special treat? There is special occasion dining (reservation
only) aboard the MV Explorer as well. For about $25.00 you
are served a formal five course dinner with a glass of champagne.
The Life Long Learners will be doing one very soon.
Finally, if you miss a meal or if you are still hungry you
can make your way to the seventh deck where you can order
a hamburger, veggie burger, pizza, fruit smoothie or a frozen
yoghurt dessert all at extremely reasonable prices.
I'm sure you won't be surprised if I say that I'm gaining
-- Bits and pieces...
I didn't put this information into the exact days that it
happened, we had two-three days of really rough seas this
week. Things were flying off my night table (I kept my computer
on the floor), trays were flying off dining room tables, it
was hard to walk down halls as we were thrown from one side
to the other. I didn't get 'throw up' sick but it made me
very tired trying to concentrate on not thinking of the ship's
rocking and rolling. A few times I lay down in order not to
get dizzy but it wasn't horrible and I'm proud of the fact
that I'm earning my sea legs. However... I'm told that there
is a typhoon awaiting us after South Africa. He-l-l-lp! My
sea legs are not THAT developed.
One evening this week the staff, faculty, and LLL each paid
five dollars and Avi the staff videographer changed hats and
let us in on his other expertise -- wines and wine tasting.
He led us in a sampling of South African wines so I'm a wee
bit more prepared for choosing wines when we get to Cape Town.
I'm constantly reminded that I'm living in a community of
very talented people. What a joy! P.S. I asked Avi for his
two overall (not necessarily South African wines) and these
are the two whites he told me about. (1) Viognier from France
(Rhone) and Caymus Conundrum (blend of 5 different grapes)
produced in Napa Valley.
In our last Global Studies about South Africa we learned
about South African politics and about safaris and the Big
Five that we will (hopefully be spotting) this week. I'm very
excited. Safaris have been on my 'to do' list for many years
now. I'll be getting a mini taste of three days in a game
reserve called Kariega Lodge (www.kariega.co.za)
-- a two hour flight from Cape Town. The batteries on both
my cameras are charged and I'm ready to go. I'll be rooming
with a student I haven't met yet. There is a huge board posted
in the ship's central meeting point (called Pursers Square)
with photographs of every single person on the ship so I know
what she looks like. Now I'll have to find her room number
and introduce myself some time today.
In eight days we have travelled 3124 nautical miles from
Salvador, Brazil. Now there are 200 miles to go before reaching
Cape Town tomorrow.
OK. That's it for this part of the journey. I'll begin blogging
again after our six-day stay in South Africa. We dock early
tomorrow morning. I can now better imagine how Magellan felt
after months of sailing between land sightings. I'm ready
for adventure after only nine days at sea. I'm such a wimp!
Assistant Dean wine
Relaxing on the way
to South Africa
Sunset on the way to
End of Week