Vacation Update #9

Here is Update #9.

This one talks about the sea voyage from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski to Kodiak, Alaska. There will not be very many pictures in this one (if any) unless you want to see water, water or more water. The route took us almost due east from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski out into the Bearing Sea north of the Aleutian Islands. I believe the Captain said the course was a straight line of either 53 or 57 degrees. We will then cut south between two of the major islands and around to the east and then north up to Kodiak. Earlier today we were 180 or so Nautical Miles northwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. That’s the place most often referred to in the Discovery Channel series Dangerous Catch.  The crossing takes 4 days and has some weird twists, mostly related to time zones and the International Date Line. On a calendar it looks like only 3 days.

The weather has been cold, mid 30’s F. or 2 to 3 degrees C. with a fair bit of cold damp wind. The first day had fairly active seas but the rest have not been too bad at all (so far). You would probably think that it would be much worse (as I did). One of the crew, who was on this same cruise, on the same ship, last year, said it was very smooth with no problems.

Before we arrived at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski we started setting our clocks ahead and hour. I think I mentioned this in one of the previous updates. In fact, the ships time was an hour earlier than Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski when we got there, which meant we had to keep our watches on ships time so to not get confused. We have been doing this now for 7 days with tonight May 2 (2) being the last day.

You may wonder what the (2) after May 2 stands for. Around 7 p.m. local time yesterday we crossed the International Date Line. On the western side of the Date Line (the side we came from) it was already May 2nd and had been for at least ¾ of that day. Thus, for us yesterday was designated as Friday, May 2nd (1). When we came to the eastern side of the Date Line it had only just become May 2nd so we get another Friday, May 2nd. This was designated as Friday, May 2nd (2). So, we lucky people get 46 hours of Friday, May 02, 2008. It would have been 48 hours but both of those nights we moved the clocks ahead an hour so we lost 2 hours. Since 2008 is a leap year, I guess that means that for all of us on this ship, 2008 has 367 days instead of 366 or is that 366 22/24th’s days? Who knows???

The 7 days of advancing the clock ahead an hour has an interesting effect. First of all, it drives your sleep cycle nuts. Just about everyone (including me) is complaining about not being able to get to sleep until very late. The sunset being shortly after 10:00 P.M. does not help either. Nobody seems to be able to wake up much earlier than 8:00 a.m. Even the normal “early risers” are complaining about this. Even the captain sounded really happy earlier today when he said that this was the last time we would need to change until we leave Sitka, Alaska on Thursday. That change is just one hour, on one night to bring us in line with the western mainland North American time zone (Pacific Time). That is the same one Vancouver and Los Angles are in and is 3 hours before Eastern Time. Until then, the ship (and Alaska) are 4 hours before you people on Eastern Time. I am never sure how best to describe this so, if it is 8:00 there; it is 4:00 here and applies to either A.M. or P.M. Once the dateline was crossed we are now all on the same day (except for 4 hours at night). For a time I was 11 hours and a day ahead while in China. Now I am 4 hours behind which is probably the best way to describe it.

I booked several shore excursions for Kodiak and Homer, Alaska today. These are the last ones to book as the one in Sitka on Thursday morning was done over the internet before departure.

Even though we will not be in Kodiak, I will probably send this update tomorrow with the others recently completed. That means that the next one (if I have time to do any more) will likely cover Kodiak and Homer with the last one covering Glacier Bay and Sitka.

On to Update #10….