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Thursday, January 26

Passenger's Log Part 2

More bits about my trip to the coast. I'm afraid I'm not so good at retelling things like this and I realize it's probably boring to most. I had fun, though, so I want to post about it so I can remember it better later.

Saturday, January 16, 2006
12.10 Having lunch (ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, and lemonade or punch).

Playing on the beach. The weather was perfect for shorts or long pants and a tshirt - sunny and windy. The water was very cold but not too cold for splashing around a bit.

I touched a jelly fish. Someone said it was called a "cabbage head" and that it had such a mild sting that it would be ok to touch. A few of the boys touched one lightly at first and then picked them up to play with.

Eventually, I worked up the courage to try it myself. Although it looked very slimey, it felt somewhat rough and firm and not unpleasant. Later, another fellow me to make sure we washed our hands carefully after touching them because they give off a mild poison that might cause a rash. I handled a lot of sand in helping to get a castle started, so I wasn't too worried. I washed them later, though, just to be safe. I never noticed any symptoms from it.

Opening Ceremony
I don't know if that's what it's called but the "drill master" guy talked to us a bit about the plan for the evening. Dinner, tours of the ship, movies, an evening ceremony, free time, ghost stories, and lights out.

I was so hungry and tired from the beach time that I think dinner tasted extra good. It was some sort of chicken casserole and cake. There were veggies too but I didn't pay much attention to them. I noticed as I was waiting in line for dinner that I had quite a sunburn. I've had worse, but I was a bit annoyed with myself for not bothering to pack sunscreen.

I really enjoyed wandering around looking at things below deck - in the engine room. I had to go through it pretty quickly, so I didn't get to see as much as I'd like. I was amazed to see that there was a dentist, a chapel, and a lot of other things you might expect to see in a small town.

The movie was interesting. It started off with a view of the pack of a plane/jet as a pilot is taking off with it and going vertical and then upside down (at least it looks that way). It reminded me of a roller coaster only faster, higher, and more exciting. Then it went onto show the "final training" some pilots get.

The evening ceremony was about as I expected. Patriotic music and pictures.

I didn't have much interest in hearing the "ghost stories", but I thought they might be mildly entertaining, so I found a seat near the back of the darkened room. The same drill master was the story teller. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stories really seemed to be a sneaky way of giving a bit of history about the ship while adding a bit of excitement and fun to the telling. It amazed me how many people had died in accidents on board.

Finally, it was time to go to bed. I climbed up to my bunk and then realized there was no rail. I thought it unlikely that I'd actually roll off as I'm an extremely light sleeper and have slept on top bunks before, but I was a bit nervous about how narrow they were. Even if I didn't roll off, I knew I'd worry about it all night and get even less sleep. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of sleeping in a lower bunk. I dislike close spaces although I can tolerat them if I have to. I looked around at the other bunks and realized that it was just my one that was missing a rail. I looked around and found another top bunk.

Another woman came in after me and seemed terrified of getting in a lower bunk due to claustrophobia. She apologized to me about it. I sympathized with her and offered her my bunk. She declined and eventually settled in. I eventually fell asleep but then woke up to a crash. I wasn't sure if I'd dreamed it though because then it was relatively silent. I wondered if I'd bumped my rail or if someone else had. There were a lot of little noises with so many people sleeping in the same area. It took me a long time to fall asleep again and then I found I kept waking up. It really wasn't any worse than any other time I sleep in a strange bed, but I was relieved when it was morning and I could finally get up.
originally composed January 21, 2006

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