How to describe this? Sea Olympics is a ship-wide event. The students are in colour houses based on where their cabins are. And the “Sea-Celebrities” team was made up of Ship Kids, Faculty and their spouses, Staff, and Lifelong Learners. As a result, our team age ranged from 3 to about 80 or so. Events included sports such as volleyball (my event) and dodgeball (Dan’s event), but also mental events like Concentration (Jack seen here with his partner) and Jeopardy, artististic events such as the team Banner competition and a short film contest (we won this, but of course we have the ship videographer, and a documentary filmmaker on our team), and also just plain odd events, such as the Frozen t-shirt contest, where teams had to use body heat to melt a frozen shirt. (Jack hugging his teammate in the picture, with the t-shirt between them). For some teams, this took up to an hour, a really painful hour. Although we don’t have pictures, Joe and his partner Summer did well in Battleship, which is not the board game, but two people on each side, one a captain and one a blindfolded “ship” (that was Joe). The captain yells out commands, and the idea is to hit the other team’s blindfolded ship with a ball that you throw. It was hilarious to watch! Joe was also on the winning “Minute to Win It” team.
And the final event, which we actually won, was the team lip synch. We did a mash-up of the evolution of music, and some of us did solos in front of back-up dancers. Jack was a huge hit with his solo, “I like to move it, move it”, as you can see in these pictures.
The Sea-lebrities came in 4th of 8, which is not bad for a bunch of old farts. It helps that we had a very flexible 4 year old competing in the limbo!
First we went to Chinatown. Yep, we went to Chinatown in Japan. After that we went on a tour to the world’s fastest and 2nd tallest elevator, then we went to Cup Noodle Museum. We made our own cup noodle. I made mine with chicken and pork.
After that we went to a play park in the museum. It had a climbing area to a ball pit, a cool slide that gets you into an oil pot, then a cooling off part, next you go into a cup and finally a fast slide. And if you think about it, that’s how a cup noodle is made.
Two days ago we docked in Yokohama, Japan. The first thing we did was go to Chinatown. To be fair, it was very good and I got the best dumplings. Then we walked all over the place. There are so many vending machines. We got back to the ship and got on a bus. We went to this massive tower and rode the fastest elevator. Then we went to the Cup Noodles museum. We got to make our own Cup of Noodles. It was really fun. Then we got back on the bus and drove to a cool Japanese hotel. We went to dinner in our robes and had some awesome food.
Then the next day we went to Mt. Fuji. It was amazing. Dad had boiled eggs that were boiled in the springs (they were black). We got to see Mt. Fuji in full view. Then we went to an art museum. It was so cool. There were hot springs. We got to put our feet in the hot springs. Then we went to the Picasso part (he is a bit over rated). Then we went to two kids play structures. The second one was really cool. They also had this really fun maze. Then we drove back to the ship. Now we are traveling to Kobe, Japan. Also no, it is not owned by Kobe (I made that mistake).
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!