January 31, 2012
It is Tuesday and we are a little more than halfway between San Diego, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii. We have been at sea for two days moving at an average speed of about 20 miles (32 kilometers) per hour. In all, it will take us five days to cover the approximately 2,500 mile (4,000 kilometer) journey from the mainland of the United States to the Hawaiian Islands.
A funny thing happened as Darren and I boarded the ship on Saturday and went through security with our bags. One of the security officers indicated that there was a problem and asked to rescan one of our duffels. This security person then asked us if we knew we had a shovel in that bag. “Of course,” I replied, “We are Trekking the Planet”. I went on to explain that we needed the small shovel for our treks during those times when we did not have access to a bathroom. After an awkward moment of silence, we were on our way.
Once on board, we spent some time with Princess Cruises Public Relations answering some questions and telling them more about our journey. Then, after dropping our bags in our cabin, we returned to the deck to admire the San Diego skyline. As our ship left the dock, the sun was just setting. The scene was beautiful — we were so excited to finally begin our journey!
The next morning, we returned to the deck for a quiet moment alone. The thing that struck me as I looked upon the endless ocean was the solitary feeling that I got. There was nothing but water in every direction and the continual sound of waves pounding against the ship. My eyes strained to see anything other than water as we moved along. Being at sea like this makes one realize just how large the world really is. It is hard to imagine what it was like for the explorers who first navigated this ocean in those slow wooden sailing ships not knowing what they would find. Before air travel became popular and affordable, this was the way that people moved between continents. It seems appropriate for an expedition such as our own, whose mission is to improve the knowledge of geography, to return to this form of transportation.
We are looking forward to some shore time in Hawaii. We will spend a day on the island of Oahu and a day on Kauai before five more days at sea en route to the South Pacific.