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Europe » Russia » Far East » Kamchatka
August 22nd 2008
Published: August 22nd 2008
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Well, it’s been a little while since I last updated this thing, so I figured it was time to do it again. First off, I’m not actually in Kamchatka, Russia, I’m out in the middle of the Bering Sea on the way to Petropavlosk a small city on the Kamchatka Penisula. Anyways, I’ve been on the Sun Princess for nearly three weeks now having gotten on in Honolulu at the beginning of the month. Like I said in the last post, I’m working as youth staff for this contract (and probably for the rest of them as well) which means that I’m there to entertain the kids on board, kind of like day camp on a boat. The funny thing though is that they brought my roommate (another Canadian youth staffer) and I on in Hawaii figuring that there would be a lot of kids getting on in San Francisco. There wasn’t. Right now there are 8 kids and 6 total youth staff, so we only have to work about 3 hours a day right now. However, we’ll get a few more kids on when we get to Beijing in a couple weeks and then once we get to Sydney at the end of September we’ll have 200 kids on board.

So, what have I been doing with all my free time? Well quite a bit actually. Before I boarded in Honolulu they put us up in a nice hotel near the pier the night before. They also gave us a card allowing us to eat for free in the hotel while we waited to board the next day. So once we got there, I went up to the restaurant and had a nice $40 steak courtesy of Princess Cruise Lines (don’t feel too bad for them - it was the second cheapest thing on the menu. This hotel was very high end). The next morning I had a chance to walk along Waikiki beach. The water was crystal clear, the sand was nice and soft, the waves were rolling in - it was awesome. There weren’t that many people on the beach when I got there so it was fairly peaceful as well. Once we got up to San Francisco, I had to stay on the boat, but from the desk in the Fun Zone (the kids area) you could look directly at Alcatraz about half a kilometre away. For most of the day while we were there the Golden Gate Bridge was covered in fog, but it cleared off just before we left which was great because to leave the harbour we had to go directly underneath it. After stops in Victoria and Vancouver we made our way up to Alaska and cruised through Glacier Bay National Park and had a chance to of course see some glaciers. However, those glaciers paled in comparison to the highlight of the trip so far the next day in Juneau. As crew we can sometimes participate in passenger tours for free if we’re willing to act as an escort of sorts. So, I signed up to do a canoeing tour on a lake just north of town which is fed directly by the Mendenhall Glacier that sits on the lake. The tour took us on the lake, past the icebergs that had calved from the glacier and then to within about 100m of the face of the glacier itself. Being that close to a glacier was simply amazing; we were so close that we could easily make out what parts of it would calf next, the colours were so vivid and we got to get close enough to the icebergs that I could touch them with my oar.

Right now we’re on the third of six straight sea days going from Juneau to Russia. We were supposed to stop in Kodiak the other day but the sea was too rough for us to dock, so the captain just skipped it and we kept on going. After Russia, we’ll have three more days at sea before arriving in Osaka. In the days following that we’ll end this leg of the tour by going to Nagasaki, Pusan, South Korea and then finally Beijing. I say leg of the tour because right now this ship is doing a Pacific Cruise that started in Sydney in the middle of July and will end back in Sydney when we get those 200 kids on board. The tour is 78 days long, but it’s broken up into three parts (Sydney to SF, SF to Beijing and Beijing to Sydney) for those who don’t want to do the whole thing. After we arrive in Sydney at the end of September, I stay on for another month while we go back up the Australian east coast and out to Fiji.

I guess I should try to post some pictures now, but, there is an internet connection on board this ship, so write back and let me know how you’re all doing. And, so you don’t have to check back every day to see if I’ve posted again (which I’m sure you’re all doing!) there’s a subscribe feature where you’ll get an e-mail from the website notifying you that I’ve put something up. Anyways, take care and I hope everyone is well,

Zach

Edit: Sorry...no pictures today...there's a problem loading them...next time though...


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