Threading the NeedleMay 1, 2015, North Atlantic Ocean
As we have mentioned numerous times, we have had an extremely smooth passage around the world. I feel I can safely say that now that we are heading north through the Caribbean and toward home. We had 4 days of rough seas out of the 134 days we have been sailing and we have only had 2 1/2 days of rain while we were in port.
There have been a number of cyclones or storms that have occurred just before or after our visits to certain ports. A cyclone developed within 12 hours after we left Tahiti and there was a tremendous storm the day before we sailed into Hong Kong. The seas were quite rough in and out of Sydney, but nothing compared to the 40’ seas that the Carnival cruise ship endured last week waiting outside Sydney for the harbor to reopen after huge seas and the 30” of rain in one day wrecked havoc for all harbor activities.
A volcano erupted just after we left Guatemala and another just before we arrived in Tonga - the latter eruption created a whole new island!
There was a hostage situation in Sydney shortly before we got there. The terrible kidnappings and shootings of the students in Kenya happened a couple of days after we left and the social unrest that has led to violence and killings in Durban, South Africa occurred only a few days after we left as well.
This trip has impressed on us that the world is a continually evolving place in both natural and social arenas. Now that we have visited so many new countries and spoken to people that live there about their lives and daily challenges, it gives a new perspective on the world as a whole. It is interesting to speculate about what has been successful and unsuccessful, the ways that various countries have chosen to handle issues and what the outcome has been. We find the world news fascinating now that we have walked some of the streets where these current events are unfolding.
In addition to traveling on the ship, we have been on motorboats, a zodiac, a flatboat and a kayak. We’ve taken trains, subways, an air train, a double-decker bus, countless big busses, small buses, mini busses and vans. We’ve been in hired cars that looked like they couldn’t limp around the block much less get us to our destination, taxis that required 10 minutes of price haggling before getting in, tuk-tuks and bicycles. We swam, snorkeled, floated, waded, run and my Vivofit tells me I have walked 675 miles since leaving home on December 19th.
Will I remember how to cook? Will I remember how to drive - and on which side of the road? 85% of the places we visited drive on the left side of the road. And I shudder to think of how much wine and Proseco I have consumed. We’ve changed time zones 29 times so I’m not really sure what time it is.
We’ve met many wonderful people on this trip and even though we’ve been on vacation, we feel a bit exhausted and have much more to process. Among mixed emotions of our trip ending, we’ll get off the ship with big smiles on our faces and maybe a tiny tear in our eyes.Read more