Edited For The General Public
Hi! I feel like it’s been a long time since I wrote but I think it’s been just about a week. Today is a “study day,” it is the closest thing to a weekend on the ship. We have had class every day since Hawai’i and classes pick back up tomorrow. It’s so good to have a change in routine.
Hawai’i is technically only a fuel stop but a couple years ago SAS started letting students off the ship if they were in a SAS field program. I woke up at 5:15 to see us dock which, while a little too early, was great. I got to see the sunrise and I got some phone stuff out of the way before the day really started.
For immigration (because we boarded in Mexico (b/c of weird US laws) and this is a Bahamian ship), we were called to the Union (big room with stage and lots of chairs). We picked up our passport, showed it to an immigration officer along with our sea-car, who verified our realness in 5 seconds without writing anything down, then we gave our passport back to the ship. Yesterday they began asking us to fil out Japan immigration forms. All we had to do was sign our name and write “no” three times next to questions along the lines of deportation.
My field program in Hawai’i was “Savour the Flavour: Coffee and Cholate.” We were delayed getting off the ship because of a bus shortage but we had a fabulous tour guide who still managed to fit some extra stuff in. Our first stop was the Waialua Coffee farm. We really only got to see the store and hear a quick lecture about coffee, I think because we were running late. Afterwards we went to an organic farm for lunch which was amazing, especially after eating ship food for a week. (I could really go for some more of that food right now.) Then we went to the chocolate factory. We got to taste so many different chocolates, my favourites were %75 Dominican Republic, “Breakfast” (chocolate with coffee), and %100. The farther from the equator the sweeter the chocolate so I didn’t particularly like Hawai’i’s. Hawai’i is the most northern location where cacao is grown (so clearly the only place in the U.S. where chocolate is grown). [Next 3 sentences were redacted.]
I really want to go back to Hawai’i and explore all the islands. It’s incredibly beautiful and I have yet to actually step foot in the Pacific Ocean – despite the fact that it’s the water I shower in (filtered of course).
Today is our sixth day at sea since Hawai’i, we have 3.5 days left until Kobe. January 16 is known as the Lost Day, since we crossed the International Date Line on January 15th we went straight into January 17th (although technically for about half a day, maybe less, it was January 16th). [Shout out to that run-on sentence!]
I was sick for about three days with a cold. Aside from a cough and a weak voice I have been doing much better. I just slept a lot. We did have a Sea Olympic Pep Rally on the second day I had my cold that wasn’t much fun since I couldn’t talk.
Yesterday was our first study day. I think we only get 2 or 3 tops. It is the closest thing we have to a weekend because on the ship we have class every day except for study days, orientation, special events, and “community programming” days. They had some events throughout the day, but I mostly hung with friends and did homework once or twice.
We’re back to school today with three and a half days left until Kobe, Japan. I have a few quizzes and a group project to finish before we get there. I’ll be in Japan for five days which will be such a good break from being on the ship all the time.
I will try to write a newsletter in Japan and get it sent out when I am staying in a hotel with wifi, but if not, it will be over a week before you here from me again. I look forward to getting some blog posts and pictures uploaded when in Japan too.
In-case you did not know, aside from e-mail, I am reachable on WhatsApp.
Also, we have been learning a lot about marine life and ethical fishing practices. Please, do not eat tuna. Seriously. Even if the label makes it sound healthy and ethical – do not eat it. Also, don’t eat shark, whales, and sea turtles, but you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.