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Partway Through 1st Crossing

7 AM Mon Jan 6:  Lat 26d 41′ 72″ N ; Lon 125d 54′ 41″ W. 
We sailed from Ensenada into the sunset on Jan 4, and we’re now crossing the blue water of the North Pacific Gyre about 20% of the way to Hawaii.
What a transformation in shipboard life since the students embarked! Big crowds everywhere, lots of laughter and genera rowdiness. And HUGE lines for meals! That first night with the students, Jennifer and I waited about 30 minutes for dinner, then couldn’t find a place to sit..
We’re learning when the waits are shorter — typically students queue up to eat right away when dining halls open. If we wait until the very end of meal service, lines are much shorter and there are plenty of chairs.
Students had their orientation (including a much more chaotic lifeboat drill. Last night they formed and joined dozens of social clubs on everything from French to fitness to Pokemon.
Since dinnertime last night the seas have gotten much rougher. Waves are around 10 feet. We applied the Scopolamine patches, so not sea sick, but it definitely takes some getting used to! It’s fun to watch groups of people standing in line swaying in unison. Walking down corridors is hilarious as everyone weaves back and forth bouncing off the walls like crowds of drunks.
My brain is a bit mushy. Not sure whether it’s the Scopolamine, or a reaction to the physical rolling of the ship, or I’m getting sick, or just getting old! Maybe a combination of all these.
We’ve been sailing under a low-lying blanket of patchy stratocumulus clouds since we left Ensenada. Maybe breaking up a little this morning. I’m hoping we get some clear skies before Hawaii to introduce students to the constellations of northern winter. Looking forward to stargazing across latitudes over the coming weeks as Orion rises to the zenith and then slowly stands on his head!  By the time we get to autumn in South Africa we’ll be in Celestia Incognito with the Magellanic clouds, Alpha Centauri, Omega Centauri, the Coal Sack, etc. 
Today is the first day of classes!
I’ll teach two sections of Global Studies: 8:30 – 9:30 and then 10-11. We’re learning about the power of stories and imagination to frame what we do and believe. Tomorrow I teach my oceanography course at 2:10 pm.
It’s going to be weird standing on a stage to lead two groups of 300 each in Global Studies while staggering around as the ship rolls.
Anyway, lucky to have slow internet right now, so I wanted to post an update before we lose the signal.
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