The Certainty of Weather

by ruthsmason

Maybe you think that weather is uncertain, but on a ship weather is very certain and always a part of a voyage at sea. We just passed through a squall (we are somewhere off Land’s End in England en route to Dublin) that closed in and pelted the ship with rain.

Now the horizon is back, grey clouds in more than fifty shades hang around and the white caps have increased as the wind has probably picked up out there too.

The weather and the sea dominate my days. Outside the windows it is raw power that we travel through and it has my attention.

Inside our little world of about 950 people, it is warm, light, not too crowded, quiet where I am in the faculty/staff lounge and pleasant.  In the classrooms students and faculty are doing what they always do and between classes lively, youthful energy runs up and down the stairs between decks, along the corridors and fills the dining rooms at mealtimes with a lot of noise, laughter, joshing and fun.

Behind doors that say ‘crew only’, men and women are doing our laundry, cooking our meals, navigating the ship, mending what’s broken, checking electricals and plumbing, having safety drills, and conveying a sense of order and hierarchy that is very reassuring.

And that’s good! Thinking about being a speck on the ocean is too much like looking a long time at the Milky Way on a clear night.  Too much information about the unknown.

So, this part of the blog has not begun by talking about the ports already visited: St. Petersburg, Hamburg, Antwerp and Le Havre. Thoughts just won’t form any patterns yet.  The voyage has been fast-paced, surface learning so far. It’s also difficult to send photos from this I-pad while on the ship. So hang on for a while please, as I am hopeful that gradually shape and volume will emerge like those still images in the swirl of a JMW Turner painting or like this person on the beach just a ways from here on the coast of England.

along the shore at Hythe

along the shore at Hythe