Today is our second Tuesday in a row. We crossed the international date line last night, setting us back a day. Which means I’m back on the same day as all you landlubbers back in America, and am now just four hours behind the Pacific time zone.
I may be back close to American time, but I’m still nowhere near America, as is made abundantly clear by the very international crew we have onboard. My unofficial tally gives us:
- 3 Fijians
- 1 Papua New Guinean
- 1 Solomon Islander
- 6 Australians
- 1 New Zealander
- 2 Filipinos
- 1 Chinese
- 1 Korean
- 2 French Canadians
- 1 Argentinian
- 1 Ecuadorian
- 2 Brazilians
- 1 Mexican
- 1 Netherlander
- 1 German
- 1 Dutchman
- 1 other American (who has lived in London since the first Bush got elected)
Here we are all assembled at the “muster station,” a.k.a. the heli-hangar, for the (don’t read this part, Gen) abandon ship drill, which we had on the very first day at sea. Safety first.
Here’s a better view of the heli-hangar. (Click on any of these images for a larger view.)
Several different versions of English are spoken onboard this ship, but one thing common to many of them is ending all of their sentences with “yeah:” “Dees ees a good idea, yeah?” “I have been sailor for 16 years, yeah?” “I tink dat bird is a member of deh boobie fam-uh-ly, yeah?”
Everyone has dealt with all the time changes and seasickness differently. Our medic swears that Asian and Islander people get way more seasick than Europeans and folks from the Americas. He thinks it’s a genetic predisposition. Bearing his assertion out, our Korean translator has not left his bunk for more than 15 minutes this whole trip.
Another guy, Johnson, our Papua New Guinean activist onboard, was pretty violently ill for the first couple days. Then last night he appeared in the mess and got himself a heaping plate of food. We all cheered loudly for him. He finished the whole plate, and I snapped this pic of a very happy Johnson immediately afterward:
That right there, friends, is photographic evidence of the fact that getting over seasickness is pretty much one of the greatest feelings ever.