19 October 2005

crossing the atlantic

I've returned to NY after nearly a month on the Logos II. I flew to Amsterdam and joined the ship in Beverwijk. A day later we sailed for Jersey, where we spent nearly a week. Kudos to the Jersey churches for making us feel very welcome. A large crowd met the ship at the quayside, and after an orientation program, proceeded to feed all 200 of us with an amazing and overwhelming assortment of finger sandwiches, pastries and tea.

Jersey is an interesting place. Favorable tax status makes it a banking center like the Caymans, but I liked the weather there much more than the Caribbean. An old friend from previous years was on the ship temporarily, and it was great to have a night out with him. Found some fantastic Indian food, and sampled the local pubs and their brews.

The ship was delayed waiting for a doctor. Couldn't find anyone, but God provided. A German doctor from Nuremberg, but she missed her flight and we were delayed yet another day. But those two extra days spent on the quay were a real blessing. The local warden had cancelled a prison visit scheduled earlier. However with the ship there longer, he was persuaded to allow a soccer match with the ships football team, which gave the guys opportunity to share. And there was a bad storm that we were able to avoid.

We finally set sail for Tobago, and the first week was really rough for the non-seafaring crew. I've never been seasick, and the rolling was annoying but otherwise didn't bother me. But for much of the crew it was too much, and there were bodies laying all over the place, commiserating together about how awful it all was. I looked over my engine crew before leaving and made predictions about who would not be seasick, who would be sick but would work anyway, and who would be incapacitated. I was pretty much right on the money, which leads me to conclude that a good portion of seasickness is mental and you can just DECIDE not to be seasick, and you'll be OK.

We took rough weather for about a week, and then it calmed down, and the sailing was nice. Beautiful horizons, sunrises and sunsets, clear skies with brilliant starts. Once we got close to the Caribbean it became very hot, causing me mental conflict: longing to get back to the autumn in NY, yet enjoying being on a ship full of beautiful girls as opposed to the assortment of dirty old men with whom I usually sail. I survived.

We made excellent speed, catching a current, and made up the lost two days, arriving in Tobago right on time.

So now I'm back home, already my company has called and asked me to go back on a ship (which I declined, I need a break and want to see the leaves change). My sister is bringing the kids up for Halloween, my block association closes off 69th street between Broadway and Central Park West, and all the buildings participate in some serious trick or treating for the city kids, so I thought it would be fun for my nieces and nephews to join in.