Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sailing the Seven Seas – Week 1 – Sailing from Halifax to Cadiz

Students watching the ship depart from Halifax

Excited but anxious about crossing the Atlantic

MV Explorer - SAS Ship

View of Halifax from the seaport

Official schedule on the ship

Jon and Joanna in action in Halifax

View of downtown Halifax

Public Garden in Halifax
Ship's Ahoy! I am not fluent in "Shipese," but I think my room faces the port side.
Time is flying, despite the fact that we are chugging along to Cadiz, Spain. We left Halifax on Friday. I really enjoyed spending some time in this quaint Canadian city. Joanna and I made our way to a beautiful public garden, and ate some Canadian delicacies – beavertail (fried dough with toppings) and poutine (French fries covered with gravy and cheese curds). We split everything, so I did not feel as guilty about partaking. The photos above are of Halifax and the official start of the 100th voyage.

It’s hard to believe that the first week of this adventure is nearly over, and that I am sailing across the Atlantic, along with approximately 900 other crew, faculty, staff and students of all ages and cultures! Talk about a unique experience with an experimental community. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would embark on such a journey. It is a journey of self discovery in many ways, especially while staring out at the vastness of the ocean. It’s quite humbling.

We have been involved with the students’ orientation for the past few days, as well as plotting out our game plan for our upcoming videoconferences. Our first live broadcast will take place on Tuesday, September 8th – location TBA. There are some Spanish professors and students on the ship that we hope to work with at a local school in either Cadiz or Seville. Since the theme of the voyage is globalization, all of the courses involve global education, so I am right at home here.

We will be on the ship for a whole week until we reach Spain, so I am adjusting to life at sea with this motley crew of cool people! I ran into both people and walls when trying to walk down the hall today, but it’s all good. It certainly helps in striking up a conversation.

Today we sat in on a documentary film class where we will be guest lecturers. I feel like a poser when I was referred to as an accomplished filmmaker, but I can talk about the GNG programs, at least!

Other than feeling dizzy and missing family, life as a seafarer is nice. The shipboard community is quite active, and faculty and staff hang out every night in the lounge, (a former night club with cheesy strobe lights and all) so I am getting to know people little by little.

Signing off for now - gotta go outside to look at the horizon to help steady myself.

Would love to hear from you, though. My Semester at Sea e-mail address is Since bandwidth is quite limited and very slow at sea, this is the best way to reach me. I promise to write back!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sailing the Seven Seas - Week 1 - Halifax Ho!

Photos of the MV Explorer and our 12 bags!!

GNG Team

Getting My Sealegs...

Greetings from the MV Explorer, the official Semester at Sea (SAS) ship! Global Nomads Group (GNG), where I work, has partnered with SAS during its 100th voyage as an educational outreach partner. I am so excited to be part of this historic voyage!

I just finished Day 3 on board the ship, and am having a fantastic time so far - except for the seasickness and missing my hubby and puppy. I am trying to focus on the ol' mind over matter technique, but it's not really working - oh, well. At least we reach Halifax tomorrow. I've been told by my awesome colleagues, Joanna and Jon, that I will get used to it and will even miss the rocking when I disembark the ship for good. Speaking of Joanna and Jon, it's great to be working with them on so many levels, especially since they both did previous SAS voyages.

My room has some sweet amenities, like a fridge in the cabin, a TV that shows movies, a desk, a bathroom and window, so that I can look at the ocean. The ship itself is outfitted really well with a gym, full service salon, three large buffet meals, etc. - sounds like I am roughing it, eh? I am happy to report that I actually went to the gym today - it's a funky feeling to be swaying to and fro while trying to work out.

My days have been filled with faculty/staff orientation meetings, and I could not have asked for a nicer group of people to spend a few months with - score! We also made a short webumentary about getting used to life on a ship which we will put on our YouTube channel soon.

For those of you who do not have a clue as to what I am doing aboard the SAS ship, I thought I would briefly share that GNG is going to be broadcasting live videoconferences with secondary schools in each of the countries where SAS sails, along with schools in North America. The videoconferences are based on the manifold issues surrounding globalization and the flat world - the theme of the voyage. We will also be documenting a service learning project called the $100 Solution. We are thrilled that the faculty wants to work with us by attending our videoconferences, etc.

Since this is my first attempt ever at blogging, hope you enjoyed my ramblings...Joanna is a pro at blogging, so I have followed her lead. Hope you like the photos!

Hasta Halifax! It will be my first time in the Atlantic time zone.