All at Sea

Trip Start Aug 26, 2008
Trip End Dec 14, 2008

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Flag of Bahamas  , New Providence Island,
Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hey Everyone,

Sorry this is my first post since we've left the internet on the ship hasn't been everything it's cracked up to be. Well I've been at sea for over a week now and I love it. It's crazy because every morning that I wake up for breakfast/lunch I sit on the back of the ship and watch the ocean and think this is school. I don't think i'll ever get over that. I hope I won't.

Life aboard the ship takes some getting used to. The ship rocks a lot more than I anticipated so people just pinball down the hallways falling on each other. It's actually pretty funny and I'm going to take a video next time we are rocking pretty decently. An upside of that is everynight it's like being rocked to sleep... which for those of you who know me well know I don't need any help getting to sleep or staying asleep so mornings are slow. The food is pretty decent considering it's a ship that doesn't dock for a week at a time and has to cook for 1,000 people.

The Bahamas were unbelievable. When we first got there and stepped off the plane they had a three piece local band playing music and a bacardi stand serving free bahama mama's (a local drink since the bacardi plant is located in Nassau). Needless to say I knew this was going to be a great experience. I met a few Semester at Sea students on my flight down and we decided to share a taxi to the Atlantis because it was a good 15 miles away. Our cabby had a 'pimp my ride' tahoe. We pulled up to the Atlantis in a tahoe with blacked out windows, at least 22" chrome rims, the seats had dvd players in them and there was a bottle of wine already in the car... another good sign. We left the cabby and went to check out the atlantis which is a vacation in and of itsself. Once internet is better i'll upload the pictures I took from my balcony at Atlantis during the day and at night. Me and a few of the SAS kids hit up the waterpark at the hotel for a little while. They actually have a waterslide that goes through a glass underwater shark tank with sharks swimming over head and around you. It was so awesome. After a few rounds of the waterslide we hit the beach to check out the ocean. I've never seen water that looked like that. It was amazing. The waves were amazing too. There wasn't anyone surfing but you easily could. Me and a few others were bodysurfing on one wave that just dropped us straight into the ground it was so rough. That was the end of that and it literally took two showers to get all the sand off from being pummeled by the waves.

After the ocean we met some more students and decided to head to a local spot for dinner. We hit up this area called the fish fry and it was mostly locals. We ate on the second story of this restaurant with big open windows facing the ocean. It was amazing. Each of us got a different kind of seafood dish and we all rotated so we could each try the different dishes. I had conch for the first time. It's a large shellfish and has the texture of calamari but tastes completely different. It was interesting but I liked it. I also tried grouper and a few other fish styles I had never  had. All of which were pretty good. We actually watched some guy out back prepping the fish for our meal, needless to say it was fresh.

There was a big party at Senor Frogs and the Atlantis' club with tons of Semester at Sea students. We probably constituted 90% of all their business at both places. Both were cool but my roomate at the atlantis and I decided just to throw a party in our room and that went over well. We probably had 25 people in our little hotel room all partying, it was a fun first night and I met a lot of people because of it.

The next day we set sail. My roomate's name is Jess and he is from Colorado University Boulder. He is very chill and a great roomate. He actually works as a river guide on the colorado river and I think is going to do an independent trip with me on some whitewater either in Africa or Malaysia. Most of the students on the ship are from Colorado or California and there are only six from UVA itsself (the academic sponsor). Most of the people are very laid back so it's been a lot of fun meeting new people and just having random game nights/dinner parties with new people. I think after Brazil people will probably start settling into more 'groups.'

We made a quick bunker stop in Puerto Rico, which means we were refueled and restocked at sea without ever docking on Puerto Rico soil. It was interesting watching these floating docks pull up to the ship and a full crew come on board even though we couldn't leave. We also had to divert 75 miles off course to avoid hitting hurricane weather. We saw a few small storms but nothing worth commenting about here. Now we are just one day away from port in Salvador, Brazil. I  have one night in Salvador and I have to do a few things for classes during the day. Then the following day I set off on a three day trek to Iguacu falls on the Brazil/Argentinian border. This is the first of many trips and I don't think I could be more anxious. After I get back from the trip i'll try to upload my pictures of the falls and of the Bahamas. Hope all is well back in the states. Miss everyone... for now ;)

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