Sarah's Log - Leg 2
Sept. 13, 2002
We finally reached the port in Japan, when we docked there was a band playing outside on the balcony of the terminal. It was so awesome being able to leave the ship for the first time in two weeks. My first day in Japan I went on a tour to an earthquake museum, the museum was built over one of the preserved breakings of land. The earthquake (Hyogoken Nambu earthquake) occurred on January 17, 1995 on a Monday at 5:45 am with a magnitude of 7.2. Also, at the museum there was a house that was in the earthquake. The house showed what the kitchen looked like after the earthquake, with the dishes all over the place. Around the house was a gesso wall, I could see where points of the earthquake happened because the wall was broken and shifted in a different direction. The next stop on the trip was to the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution. Here I was a able to see a set of what a street looked like after the earthquake occurred, a video of a girl who survived the earthquake, how the are taking measures into making the buildings more stable, and read many article about the aftermath of the earthquake. (USGS Earthquake Information.)
Sept. 14, 2002
Today I attended a baseball game. The fans are a lot different from what you would find in an American baseball stadium. The stands are separated into two different sections, with the fans of each team. The fans bring along drums, trumpets, and huge flags. They play the drums and trumpets and swing the flags every time their team is up to bat or their team makes a good play. At times it is more entertaining to watch the crowd then it is to watch the game.
Sept. 18, 2002
Lat---31 39.0 N Long---132 00.8 E
We are back at sea after an amazing five days in Japan. At first it was weird being back on a rocking ship instead of steady land. Our ship is really rocking today, when watching in my porthole you will see the ocean and sky, then all of a sudden just see tons of ocean, then nothing but sky a few seconds later. The waves are NNW at three to five feet, it seems as though the waves are much bigger than that. When in the cafeteria and the ship rocks towards the starboard side it seems as though the ocean is really close to the window and we would tip over. On the starboard side of the ship, I am able to see mountains pretty close. By our latitude and longitude it is part of the Ryuku Island chain, possible Tanega Island or Yaku Island.
Sept. 19, 2002
Lat---31 04.0 N Long---124 27.4 E
In the past two days from Japan to China I did not see any marine life. Today I was able to see many fishing boats or other types of boats. There were also a few birds flying around. Tonight is our pre-port meeting preparing us for Shanghai. They tell you what to do and what not to do to offend their culture. At the end of the meeting our student life dean tells some jokes and makes it a good time so it is not boring.
Sept. 20, 2002
Today I visited a kindergarten classroom in Shanghai. The school was three stories high; wealthier children attended it. Since China has the one child law, parents send their kids to this type of school so they can learn different musical instruments and other materials so they can be higher educated and get good jobs when they get older. By age four and five the children knew how to play piano and other traditional musical instruments.
Sept. 22, 2002
Yesterday, about 250 SAS people took a flight to Beijing to explore that part of P.R.C., instead of riding the ship to Hong Kong. Today was the day we went to the Great Wall of China. It was really cool. I took the sky ride up to the top, doing it this way you got to see more of the surrounding area. On the top we ate our lunch and got to explore for two hours. The section that we went to, I was able to see many directions that the wall separated in to and there were hardly any people on it. After walking around on top I took the 1,000 steps back down to the bottom.
Sept. 24, 2002
Hong Kong, P.R.C.
It was weird not being on the ship for the four days in Beijing, but it was so nice coming back home to it. Hong Kong is a big city it takes on the resemblance of New York City. The buildings are amazing, once one is finished being constructed it is going to be the largest in China. I also rode on the worlds largest outdoor escalator, it is not continuous it is broken up into sections.
Sept. 27, 2002
Lat---18 31.0N Long---113 33.0E
Last night leaving the port the waters were rough, but this morning they are really smooth (SE 1-2 ft.). There were numerous birds flying around (they were unknown, but they are not seagulls). One of my friends said that she spotted some jellyfish. It was weird going back to classes today; we did not have classes in a week and a half. I could not even remember what my second class of the day was it had been so long. I was also the PE teacher for the children on board the ship. We played octopus, vampire, red-rover, and plankton games. It was a good and fun way for the kids to run around and burn off some energy.
Sept. 28, 2002
Lat---12 25.4N Long---110 08.0E
I was unable to see any marine life today, but there were a few barges and boats on the water. The seas are really calm today that the captains noon report had it reported as calm (no feet written down). Today the crew put on a barbeque for us on the back deck. They had two grills going to cook our lunch, it was very good. It is amazing how you could miss a small thing, like barbeques, when you are on the ocean for so long.
Sept. 29, 2002
Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam
When we were disembarking the ship, there were about ten Vietnamese women in traditional dresses and hats holding a sign that said, "Welcome to Viet Nam." The rest of the day was filled with shopping. (Map)
Sept. 30 Ð Oct. 2, 2002
Viet Nam (Mekong Delta)
I participated in a three-day trip that was along and around the Mekong Delta. The delta was amazing, there were trees and plants in the river to help protect against erosions. Other ways that they fight against erosion is by putting sandbags behind a stick fence, a cement wall, or they have nothing at all. Our first day, we traveled by boat and stopped at some places to eat local fruit and our lunches. Our first night, my group (20 people) stayed in a house on stilts. It was so cool, it was right on the river and between the floorboards I could see the river. The house was in the middle of nowhere and there was a gazebo in the back yard that had hammocks hanging in them. The food that was cooked for us was fresh from the river and the back yard. The next day we went to the floating market, there are numerous boats that sell all different kinds of food. This is one of the main ways that the Vietnamese shop for food. Another main way that they get food is by the street market, many vendors come here with their produce or stock life to sell.
Oct. 4, 2002
Lat---09 11.8 N Long---107 07.2 E
I did not see any marine life today. There were a lot of fishing boats and barges on the ocean; this shows that this area has a lot of fish and makes it a prime area for the fishing industry. Today in ship life, it was a TBA day (we had no classes). There were sport tournaments going on for basketball and volleyball, I participated in the volleyball games. My team kind of lost in the first round, so I got to go swimming in our really little pool. The pool is a little square on our back deck and is filled everyday with the seawater. If the boat starts to rock a lot the pool turns into a wave pool, it is a lot of fun. Today was also a lifeboat drill. An alarm went off saying "skylark, skylark, skylark," and all the smoke tight doors started to shut (these are the door at the end of the halls, middle of hallways, and to any main rooms). After a few minutes of major confusion our lifeboat alarm went off. We had to go to our rooms and get our life vest then go to our muster station. On the way up staff stopped my roommates and me because we were not wearing long pants, it is a mandatory to have long sleeve, long pants, and close toed shoes (I put shoes and a long sleeve shirt on but stayed in shorts). So we had to go back down to our room and change. Once on top all the guys had to work their way to the back of the group because it is women and children first. It was 83 F that day and wearing long sleeves and long pants I know at least two people that have fainted because of being in the heat for so long during the drill.
Oct. 5, 2002
Lat---02 32.9 N Long---105 04.5 E
I still have not seen any marine life or heard of anyone who has. My oceanography teacher said that I would probably not see any whales because the ocean is so hot. The water reading on the captain s noon log was 88 F. Today we were really close to a mystery city. Everyone is saying that it was Singapore; we were refueling and will be at a stand still for eight hours.
Oct. 6, 2002
Lat---01 50.7 N Long---102 30.2 E
When I started off this trip the ocean s water was such a beautiful blue color, now it is a cool green color. The ocean today is so calm, there are no waves being made, just the ones from our ship. The weather is cloudy with a high of 82 F and the wind is light kts. I saw a trail of air bubble marks in the ocean next to our boat, but I did not see any marine life around, it could be left over from a boat or marine life that resurfaced where I could not see. Today is a pretty mellow day on board the ship, just class work and getting ready for Malaysia tomorrow.