Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Greetings From a Mid-Atlantic Closet!

Current Coordinates:
W 31 degrees and 08.5 minutes
N 46 degrees and 27.0 minutes

I am writing as the wind whistles overhead in a small closet on the Bridge Deck, labeled "Crew´s Post Office". The other passengers ("spare officers")and I are getting used to the boat´s regular 5-10 degree rolling as we put on our sea legs. In this little email station, where this is only a wooden desk and one computer, I am enjoying the challenge of staying balanced in the unwisely-chosen revolving chair. I can estimate how far we are rolling based on the swinging of an oversized russian calender that hangs over the desk. We can only send outgoing messages (via satellite), so I am thankful to my parents for pasting this text onto the blog site.

Today marks our farthest distance from land, and I just returned half-soaked from my daily walk around the main deck (I always go with a friend, employing the trusted "buddy system"). When I first walked outside this afternoon, the waves on our port side were sendind up a dense mist that created four rainbows in less than a minute! We have four meter seas today, which gently rock our creaking giant as she plows eastward at a steady pace of 20 knots. The ocean is simultaneously chaotic yet inspiring, heaving and unpredictable yet beautiful and relaxing. At home, our understanding of rising sea levels is often detached from the chaos and magnitude of the oceans themselves. The same oceans however, inspire awe and respect.

We will land in Germany this Sunday morning, and I hope to put up pictures and offer more thoughts when I am back on terra firma.

Sunset in Port Elizabeth, NJ. I call it "Star Wars Meets Van Gough" - it was a very surreal scene, taking in the sea of red and yellow containers stretching towards a bright red and yellow sunset! The scale of the equipment, like the 13 story crane at the right, which dwarfs the roaming 4-story truck in front of it, is something I would expect to find in the imagination of George Lucas.

The view inside the lifeboat was very reassuring as we headed out to sea. It is torpedo-shaped and orange, capable of holding all 25 people on board.

This picture requires no caption. Incredible.

A view between the stacks of containers.

Sunday was our first full day at sea. For dinner, Captain HJ Muthwill organized a smoked fish party and cheerily invited the passengers to join in. The chief engineer is the fellow in front, who was in charge of the "oven" (which was a converted barrel, in the back).


  1. here's his position on a satellite map , lat 46 lon -31

    and, on a standard map showing country borders: