Jeff Warner PHOTOGRAPHIC, Golden, Colorado, USA

Sunday, August 28, 2011

8/28/11 En Route to Casablanca, Morocco

46° 14.91N  / 056° 10.93W

The MV Explorer departed the Iberville Port of Montreal promptly at 1700 hours, with dozens of parents on the dock, waving, screaming, probably some crying, too. Turned out to be a beautiful day, clear skies, felt 80-ish, and not too humid this far inland, for once. The college kids are all running around trying to meet people, get their bearings on the ship, basically figure it all out. They keep asking us "Where is Classroom X?", but not having to pay attention to classroom locations, we are no help whatsoever.

It's currently the 28th at 1300 hours (I refuse to accept the fact that the USA Pro Challenge is, at this moment, probably getting ready to roll past our house, 2 blocks away!), and last night was our first night to have to move the clocks up due to going eastbound. We'll lose 5 hours in the next 7 days en route to Morocco, and it will be an interesting challenge trying to adapt. We woke to IMC conditions outside (i.e. it's zero-zero in the fog, can't see a thing; I gotta get the nautical lingo for such conditions down!), and it's the first day of class for the students. Breakfast at 0800 was nearly devoid of college students, and many are clearly feeling the effects of the new ocean swell, as we sail toward the outlet of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The Captain (often called 'The Master of The Ship') has re-plotted our previously-forecast great circle (i.e. ‘direct’) route to Morocco, and now has us motoring perpendicular to the landmasses that are now nearly behind us, presumably to get as far clear of Hurricane Irene's predicted path as quickly as possible (ship can pretty much outrun most hurricanes if necessary, as it’s unofficial top speed is quite close to 40 knots with all 4 engines running!). It is apparently forecast to affect Quebec soon but we should be clear by then, and The Master is actually predicting relatively calm seas for our crossing of the North Atlantic, a fairly unusual occurrence. Many previous voyagers speak of typically rough seas in the North Atlantic, though I’m sure we’ll see our fair share of high seas along the way.

Reade's 6-day crud has now firmly taken hold in my respiratory system, and ibuprofen merely takes the edge off the wicked sore throat and achiness. Tate and I spent all of yesterday (the 27th) in our cabin, trying not to be vectors for this nasty bug. I sincerely hope we succeeded, as I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Murphy's Law dictates that I basically haven't been sick in two years, and now that there's 500+ new people to talk to, laryngitis prevents me from doing so. Hopefully it'll be distant memory by September 3rd, the day we dock in Morocco.


  1. Loving your entries, especially the one about Nova Scotia. Keep 'em coming!

  2. You better not give that bug to everyone on the ship, or Heidi will make you answer all of the middle-of-the-night calls pertaining to it!!!

  3. No kidding, Ann, I've already considered the far-reaching ramifications of that! LOL


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