Winter on the Pacific

They don’t tell you this when you plan on doing Semester at Sea, but wintertime in the Pacific Ocean is pretty rough. Right now we’re on the last few hours to Japan, which means we’re traveling in a kind-of Northwards direction. It’s pretty choppy. In my classes today there were so many students absent due to sea-sickness, and the classes ended early because nobody can really concentrate on subject-matter when you’re trying not to topple over with the chair (or the podium, for that matter).

The really funny thing is that for the first time in probably a week I can actually see the moon. It looks full, or close to full. There is no rain. There are barely any clouds. But the water is rough as can be.

The waves are absolutely fascinating. In a doomsday kind of way, y’know. One of my classes was on the seventh deck, and at times the waves came right up to us. Which is scary when your room is on the third deck… but on the other hand, the rocking feels better the lower down you are.

DSCN2345 (640x480)

The Captain made an announcement earlier in which he sounded incredibly calm. That helps, he has been a captain for over thirty years. He just asked that everybody cooperate in not going onto the outside decks and being generally safe. We can do that, yeah?

Having been on the water for nine straight days probably makes it a little worse. Everybody is feeling the need for some solid ground beneath their feet, and we are counting the hours to docking in Japan – about thirteen hours now, although the ship is traveling at around 14-16 knots as opposed to the usual 20, so we might be late.

My head hurts, probably from my brain hitting the inside of my skull each time we roll. Oh well.

I’m still not seasick – but a little freaked out.


  1. Choppy seas are rough, but at least you’re getting to go to Japan!

  2. That is the precise reason I would NOT tolerate a Semester at Sea very well… but I’m glad you’re hanging in. Enjoy Japan!

  3. Barbi Harrison says:

    Hi, trying to get the girls to log in too. Good luck for the choppy seas; never really thought about that aspect!! Love Mrs H xx

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