Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day Five at Sea

When I was in high school I had a fantasy that I would get a job on a ship and travel around the world.  In my fantasy, I worked my way around the world by carrying crates on and off the ship.  I never imagined that in reality I would work for my passage by taking photos and writing to promote peace.
From Japan we headed south to a warmer climate where we can enjoy the pools and jacuzzis on deck.  Now we are heading southeast toward Tahiti.  I've been busy taking photos and writing about the guest educators that are on the ship with us for this portion of the voyage.  Over the next week we will have an onboard global conference to promote a nuclear-free world.  The conference will include Japanese survivors of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Tahitians opposed to France's testing of nuclear weapons in Tahiti, and aboriginal Australians who oppose the destructive mining of uranium which causes their traditional lands to be contaminated with radiation.  We will learn about all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle.
I'm enjoying getting to know the volunteers, staff and participants who are onboard, and we've had parties, dances, games and general fun.  The volunteers come from around the world.  Last night we had a Fiesta Latina, and the day before we saw a Tahitian and Hawaiian dance and music performance.
When I stand on the deck I see nothing but water in every direction.  I haven't even seen any other ships.  The horizon is all around me.  I can hear the sloshing of the waves against the ship. 
I haven't had any motion sickness so far, but I'm drinking ginger tea, a natural remedy, just in case.  I share a cabin with a roommate.  She grew up in Japan and New Mexico!  Our cabin is a bit smaller than a college dorm, but we each have a bed, closet, safety box, drawer, and there is a bathroom and shower for us.  We are on the fourth deck, out of 11 decks.  We do have two windows in our room, but we can't open them on the open sea.  We may be able to open them when we are on the Mediterranean Sea since it will be calm. 
For breakfast and lunch, we have buffet-style meals, and every day we have a nice dinner that is served as in a nice restaurant.  Sometimes the restaurant serves Japanese food, and sometimes it serves western food.  We have two swimming pools, three jacuzzis and a gym, which I have been using every morning.  We also have several auditoriums for lectures and parties, and every day is very busy! 
One fact of traveling around the world eastbound is that nearly every night we must set our clocks one hour ahead.  I had better start getting used to 23-hour days!
I've been writing about and photographing the many events on board, and my first report was posted on the Peace Boat website yesterday.  You can follow my reports at  Click on the link for the 72nd (current) Voyage.  I'm writing this blog entry offline, and when I go online to upload, it will be my first time trying to use satellite internet from the ship.  Satellite internet is slow and expensive, so please understand why I haven't answered any emails. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Departing for a voyage around the world!

In two days I'll be leaving for an 86-day voyage around the world working as a volunteer web reporter on Peace Boat, a Japan-based NGO that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment. I'll be writing articles and taking photos for Peace Boat's website, and you will be able to read them here:
They will be posted toward the bottom of the page.
In addition, I will update Peace Boat's Facebook page every few days, so if you would like to see where I am and what I am doing, "like" Peace Boat on Facebook.  Let me know if you don't find it and would like me to send you an invitation.
Aside from my duties as a web reporter, I will have limited internet access during the voyage.  I will post a blog entry from time to time at, which will be automatically posted on Facebook, but aside from that my use of Facebook will be very limited, so please contact me by email, and don't be surprised if it takes me awhile to answer.  I'll try to check in about once a week.  Nonetheless, I look forward to hearing from you!  I will return to Japan on April 18.