11 September 08


We are finally underway. We sat at the dock for two days and it felt like a long time. There were two reasons: one is that there is an energy to a ship when she is underway that doesn't exist at the dock (I like that energy) and the other is that since passage planning is my job until we actually start using the passage plan I can sit around and tweak it, re-word it, etc. Now that we are underway and the captain and all the officers have signed it, the thing can't be altered with out the captain's signature/approval.

This ship rolls in the seaway more than I had expected. The last few ships I've sailed on barely sway to the swells and except for the vibration you'd hardly know you were on a ship, but this ship is rolling almost five degrees and the swells are only two to three meters. I like this motion of the ship; some ships you forget that you are at sea when you can't see the ocean but on here while I was sitting at my desk I could feel my weight shifting and now that I am laying on belly in my bunk I can feel the pressure move from elbow to elbow.

Things don't slide around with this little movement but I wish they did. Being on a ship changes your perspectives: on land when you set something down it stays there, out here when you set something down it might not be where you left it. One time, several years ago, on the Lihue (one of the best ships I've sailed on) we hit some really nasty rolls and it knocked everything out of place. When I got back to my cabin it looked like a tornado had gone through. Everything had been properly stowed but the rolls were way too big so things seemed to levitate up about a foot out of the enclosed shelves and leap across the room. Now those particular rolls were a bit more than I ever hope to see again (ships have been lost due to rolls like that - to get technical the we encountered something called "parametric rolling" where the ship is violently thrown from side to side because the swells happen to hit a particular harmonic of the ships natural rolling period.) but I do like a little motion.