Published: June 19th 2009
June 19th 2009
Entry #1: Friday June 19th, 2009.
Ahoy, Mates!! It is 7 o’clock our time, 3 o’clock your time and the ship is a ROCKIN... literally. It’s our 4th day at sea and we are smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic. The weather has been a bit rocky which causes big time waves. And big time waves cause big time sea sickness. The nurses office is overflowing with victims. Today is the first full day that I have been healthy. Today was also the first day I have eaten anything, my stomach couldn’t hold anything down. About 3 hours into the ship sailing, I threw up. And pretty much had been throwing up since then. I tried everything! Pills, wrist bands... You name it. Nothing was working so I went to the nurse, they gave me a patch to put behind my ear and sent me back to bed. The next morning I couldn’t stop throwing up so I got this shot in my butt that is supposed to take care of motion sickness. It knocked me out for a few hours and I woke up feeling like a million bucks! Good thing, because I was starting to feel like I was wasting all of this money staying in bed. And I wasn’t able to meet any body, and I was missing out on all of the fun before classes started.... I’m now known as that girl who throws up everywhere. No joke. Luckily, I’ve had barf bags handy every time, I just pick the worst places. Once was in front of some girls’ room... and she opened the door. Another time was in the corner of the dining hall. Remember folks, I had a bag every time! But all is well now for my tummy thanks to that shot and some TLC from the very helpful nurses here. I wasn’t the only one though. The Dean of the ship announced that this was some of the worst boat rocking SAS has ever experienced along with the most sea sicknesses. A crew member working for 11 years got sick for the first time this voyage. Apparently, the only cure is time... Everyone eventually gets acclimated. The other cure is land! Spain in 4 days!
The ship ported from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. My crazy sister and the whole family (nuggets included) thought it would be a good idea to road trip the 30 hours there! It was a lot of fun. Always is with the Neff family. We left last Friday morning and drove 10 hours to Niagra Falls. It was beautiful! (I’ll put up pictures later when we’re at port, the internet in the middle of the Atlantic isn’t the best). Everyone enjoyed the big Ferris wheel that overlooked the falls the most I think. Oh and I gambled! The drinking/gambling age is 19 in Canada. Gambling = not that fun when you don’t win anything... 20 bucks sucked down the drain. I got my gambling fix and am over it now. After the falls, we spent another day of driving back through the states. We played lots of “Would You Rather,” and made many rest stops for the man with the smallest bladder in the world, Chad Neff. Seriously, I don’t think we went more than 2.5 hours without stopping ha ha. We eventually got tired of driving and ended up in Portland, Maine (right on the coast) for diner and a hotel. I have never enjoyed a random meal that much before! The lobster was cheap and extra delicious. If you’re looking for a good meal, go to The Lobster Company in downtown Portland. Just so happens our favorite food was on a whim! (PS: I’m moving to the east coast! I love the Nautical lifestyle). The next morning we drove straight through to Halifax, another 10 hours. We took the scenic route through main and along the coast. It was beautiful. I know why Dad loves Canada so much now. The city of Halifax kind of reminds me of Madison, WI. It has an urban/European edge and is very hilly, surrounded by water. Halifax had the best beer I’ve ever tasted (or Canada for that matter). It’s called Rickard’s. Let me know if you’ve seen it in the states! I doubt it though.
Tuesday was embarkation day. All of us stood in long lines and went through baggage checking. Eventually I was able to get on the ship so I threw my stuff down in my room and left to have lunch for the last time with the Neffs. My last, juicy , American (actually Canadian) burger. The ship departed at 5 so all of us headed up to the top decks to wave goodbye. An Irish folk band/dancers sent us off with their bagpipes. I’m wondering if there’s some sort of Irish tradition related to sending off ships... I don’t think Semester at Sea, or Halifax is Irish... I’ll check on that one. It was really weird to see the ship moving away from the pier... I kept thinking, “I’ve been waiting 2 years for this moment.” Little did I know, the ship/Atlantic/waves would become my worst enemy for the next 3 days! Luckily, I had a chance to meet my roommates: Shannon from Denver, Erika from Albany, New York, and Candace from Newark, NJ. They are all really nice and we get along great. The rooms are what you would expect on a cruise ship. Small. But fortunately we have a great amount of storage. I’m pretty sure we’re an “economy” room. We’re right above the engine. It’s noisy, but we are used to it. The rest of the ship is beautiful. There are 2 main dining halls, the coffee house/snack bar, and the pub. The ship has Pub night almost every night at sea. There is also a convenient store and apparel store. We also have netted basketball/volleyball courts, a fitness center, and wellness center where we can get hair cuts, manicures, pedicures, and massages. Don’t worry, mom, I don’t need these! I’m assuming they’re pretty expensive. The ship dines at certain times, and we can eat outside. This morning, I had breakfast outside on the top deck with the ship’s wake right behind me under the gorgeous sun. It’s hard to think of this as a semester... it’s pretty luxurious. There’s a pool on the top deck next to the bar. In between classes, people study out there a lot. I read till the sun set on the back of the boat last night.... it’s okay, you can be jealous.
I think that’s enough for now. They have seminars offered every night and I might attend one. I have so much more to write about before we get to Spain! I’ll post pictures later like I said. Everyone pray the boat doesn’t capsize over night :)
Take care all!