Tag Archives: MV Explorer

The Last Week on the Ship

As I write, we are already aboard another ship, the Blue Star Delos, heading from Athens to Naxos. But I am very far behind in blogging, so I will quickly write a few today.

The last week aboard the MV Explorer was fairly emotional for most people. The undergraduate students had seminars about “re-entry,” preparing to return to real-life. Even the Ship Kids had a discussion about this. A lot of the discussion centered on how to talk about this journey to those who haven’t experienced it. Also, how not to bore everyone to death droning on about how incredible it is. So, I will be brief.

This was, indeed, a pivotal experience in my life, and the life of our family. The close quarters with so many people, the quick-in and quick-out nature of the port visits, the endless ocean… it can’t help but have a profound effect. For me, the effect was to simultaneously make me feel like the world is so vast it is hard to grasp, yet small enough to see commonalities across cultures and countries that made me feel the earth is smaller than I thought. It’s an odd feeling, and hard to explain.

For Jack and Joe, it has been a sad farewell to the ship. They made great friends here, and although they liked London (more on that in the next post), saying good-bye to everyone was hard. And, perhaps not surprisingly when 800 people disembark in the same city, we continued to see “SASers” (slang for Semester at Sea people) at major tourist sites in London. So it was a constant reminder of what they were leaving behind. So this post, I include some pictures of their new good friends, and one that shows that their cabin was “kid center” for much of the voyage.

I also had to include a picture of one of the most spectacular rainbows I have ever see, which we viewed from Portsmouth, England.

Almost to Hawaii

Well, except for a few small storms, it has been smooth sailing so far. We arrive in Hawaii tomorrow, for a fuel stop, and a chance to explore the Hilo area. Jack and Dan are going ziplining, which terrifies Joe. So Joe and I are going to see some waterfalls, and other nature spots, in a more mild day.

The boys have already made some great friends with the other kids on the ship, and they have a great time playing ping pong, soccer (in a netted area on the open deck) and yesterday, doing a kick-boxing class just for them. We have found a couple of undergraduate students on board willing to be their French tutors, which is great. All the ship kids/ sea squirts are in a one-room schoolhouse area each morning for home-schooling, then have fun activities in the afternoon. Joe loved the improv session run by a theatre student a few days ago.

The Semester at Sea folks have created an “Extended Family” program, where the older people (faculty, staff, lifelong learners) on the ship “adopt” undergraduate students for the voyage. Over 600 of the students on the ship wanted to participate, and we met our “adopted” kids last night – what a fun idea!

The ship has sailed!

Greetings from the MV Explorer!

We left this evening for Mexico to pick up the students in Ensenada tomorrow. Dan and I didn’t realize this, but we actually get to leave the ship for a few hours in Mexico tomorrow.

The first few days on the ship we have stayed docked in San Diego while we go through a busy Orientation program. For the faculty, it has been an information overload!

Tonight, lifeboat drill and then we are off. Almost 10 days after Mexico until Hawaii, so we hope for calm seas and no seasickness!

The internet is very slow on board, but I do hope to post regularly – either through the ship or while in port.

Jack and Joe chillin’ in their cabin
The Parent cabin, and our home until May 1