|World Trip Home||Post Fifteen|
|The Columbus Florida
As with the trip from Singapore to Australia and the trip from Australia to New Zealand, for my journey back to North America I would travel by ship (it's not really a Trip Around the World Without a Plane unless you don't use a plane). The ship to carry me back home was to be the merchant vessel Columbus Florida. Here is a promotional photo of her.
Here is a photo of the Columbus Florida loading in New Zealand. What they were loading I have no idea. Sheep's wool perhaps. Or Kiwi fruit. Or a thermo-nuclear device. Regardless, everything is packed in shipping containers and the crew generally has no idea what they are transporting. Like before, my lodging was in the structure in the rear of the ship. You can see my porthole in this photo. I am the third deck down, third window from the left.
I was in what was known as the pilot's cabin. I had my own head (toilet), a small refrigerator (reefer), desk, sitting area, and a bunk. It was a fairly new ship and everything was neat and tidy. The fridge was handy since the duty free store on board carried beer, wine, liquor and sodas at very cheap prices.
Nobody travels at sea to eat good food - unless you are on a cruise ship, perhaps. The food aboard our ship was fairly standard fare - meat, potatoes, some kind of vegetable and on Sundays, ice cream. The food was supplemented by whatever you wanted to buy from the ships store. This included cigarettes, beer, wine, spirits, and snacks like chocolate, nuts and chips. This photo in particular shows Sunday lunch - basically leftovers from the previous week. Actually it was one of my favorite meals since you got to choose what you wanted.
|Life at Sea
As with my other sea journeys, I had plenty of time to watch the ocean. I read books, worked on my laptop, and enjoyed the fair weather. For exercise, I climbed the stairs outside my cabin and made several daily trips around the boat from bow to stern. At night I would go up to the bridge, talk with the first mate about his life in Russia, and gaze at the stars with the bridge's binoculars. It was fascinating to watch the southern cross sink and the big dipper rise higher in the sky every night as we made our way north.
There really is nothing like the color of the ocean when you are far off shore. It's a deep blue that looks like someone spilled a bottle of dye in the water. Scientists say it's the sunlight refracting in the crystal clear water. The first time I saw that blue I was 22 and on my first research cruise off the Oregon coast. We boarded in the evening and cruised east through the night. I got up that next morning to an endless horizon of water and sky and that brilliant blue ocean. For the first time in my life, I had the sensation of fulfilling a long held dream. That sensation is addictive and I've spent the rest of my life pursuing it.
This photo shows the bow of the boat slicing through that blue water. The bow is shaped like a submarine to move through the water easier - saving fuel.
Scott & Karen Semyan