04 February 2011

The Atlantic Ocean and Sea Olympics

We are now more than half-way across the Atlantic Ocean.  As we get nearer to Ghana, the excitement on board is definitely increasing.  It also may have something to do with the fact that we held our opening ceremonies for the Semester At Sea, Sea Olympics.  Everyone on board has the opportunity to be in a "Sea", which is pretty much the equivalent of a residence hall at a land university.  Each sea competes throughout two days of light-hearted competition, including events such as group cheering, dodge-ball, two on two volleyball, trivia, and the crowning event:  a synchronized swimming/comedy routine.

Sea Olympics allowed the whole shipboard community to come together in a great shared experience of competition and all-around fun.  The Red Sea won the Sea Olympics, and the right to disembark in San Diego first after we dock.  Apparently its a big deal to get off the ship first.  I will say, though, that I really loved the Yellow Seas Synchronized Swimming routine, and the Bering Sea's Limbo competitor was very gracious in defeat.  Also, the Aegean sea was amazingly gracious when they were announced as the second place sea.

After the end of competition, we had a wonderful dinner of grilled meats and bar-b-q cooked on the 7th deck by the ship's kitchen crew.  The ribs were delicious, and so were the hot dogs.  Everyone chowed down and probably ate way too much, but it was so scrumptuous, it was hard to pass up.  The evening was crowned with various flavours of ice-cream, chocolate sauce and sprinkles.  What could be better?

Dr. Bill lead the closing ceremonies, and after-wards I pretty much headed straight to bed.  It was an exhausting day, but well worth all the effort.  In retrospect, it is remarkable the amount of creative and organizational talent that went into making the Sea Olympics a success.  Julie, the LLC who facilitated and organized the Olympics definitely deserves a medal.  Without all her hard work, the Sea Olympics would have never happened.

After heading to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour, I was startled awake by an intense thunderstorm.  Although the ship barely rocked during the whole of the storm, the sky danced with curtains of rain and lightening.  It was so interesting to see a thunderstorm at sea.  Without all of the traditional reference points of ground, foliage and geographic features, it was strange to see the storm spread out toward the horizon.  It was also interesting to see lightning strike the ocean surface.  What happens to nearby fish?  Do they get electrocuted?  This is something I will have to research further.

I will leave you with a picture, graciously provided by Mary Johnston, our Voyage Librarian.  Here Julia and I chill under some palms in Dominica:


  1. Callie -- I enjoyed hearing about the Sea Olympics and LOVE your photo in Dominica! Can't wait to hear what you discover in Ghana.

  2. Great photo! I wish we had that weather instead of a wind chill of 24 today!

    Did you participate in the Sea Olympics? I love the team names. Nice and geeky!

    Miss you!