Elenka the Trickster

Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Samoa  , Tuamasaga,
Monday, October 15, 2012

Samoa is a six-day, 2,240 nautical mile journey from Honolulu, along a seemingly endless wet plain. On the third day it rained non-stop. Then just before six-thirty the following morning the skies cleared. We were approaching the equator. The Captain's office had said the ship would go into quite a drop as we entered the southern hemisphere. On our balcony perch I held the rail expecting a Niagara-like exit from the north. Elenka held onto me. My knuckles were white and I held my breath. When nothing much happened I turned to see the trickster Elenka laughing her hind-end off. The drop couldn't have been more than three or four metres, tops. Her and that darned Captain's office had been putting me on all along.

For the better part of our Hawaii to Samoa trip we sailed through a kind of dead-zone. It's major league baseball playoff time and the Oosterdam can't pick up any of the sports channels. So we found ourselves tuned in to the vice-presidential debate. In need of a sports fix more than politics, my mind began to wander from the political arena to the boxing ring. Joe Biden came out from the opening bell and landed with his left, then his right, over and over and over. With his opponent, Paul Ryan, backed up against the ropes, unable to muster any sort of attack or defense, the elder-statesman threw a sharp smile, then a wicked sneer, followed by a volley of laughter.

When the debate was over the broadcast switched to the only live news program we could pick up – Fox News. Elenka was about to switch the set off when I asked her to hold for a moment. The moment lasted more than an hour. Each and every one of the Fox commentators barely touched on the subjects of debate, choosing instead to go after Biden for his vicious sneering and what they termed his "uncontrollable laughter". After an hour the consensus was in. Ryan had won the debate because Biden was far too rude. Afterwords, I fell asleep and dreamed of the time Elenka and I were in Communist China watching a very similar version of TV news.

Okay! So tumbling into the southern hemisphere wasn't much different than rolling into the ship's Lido restaurant. But last night we crossed the International Date Line. Essentially, when the clock struck twelve we went from Saturday to Monday. If I were to phone home just before midnight and again just after midnight would Matus say, “Wow, it's been 24 hours since we last talked, let me tell you all that's happened.” Or, “We just hung up, why are you bothering me again?” Cumulatively, it's all too much.

It's real-time now: This morning Elenka and I, along with Gloria and Dennis from Alberta – we're all part of a trivia team called the Albertarians – took a cab across the island of 'Upolu, in Samoa to a nice little snorkel beach. The island is quite picturesque with many hilltop spots where you can stop and experience wonderful views of the sea. Samoans are also very Christian. There must be at least one church for every dozen or so people. What's really quite different here is the manner in which they deal with the dead. Loved ones are buried in the front lawn of the family home.

Photos to follow once we have a better Internet connection.
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Magnus on

Ahoy Jack,

Sounds like you got off lightly. It's tradition when one sails across the equator that the crew upend you into a barrel and bugger you. (or maybe that's just done on the first occasion)

Sounds like you're having fun.

Keep it up


Magnus x

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