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March 15, 2007

Day 8: Moving at 21 mph

Moving at 21 mph

Try this the next time you're in a car. Drive into a school zone and be sure to follow the speed limit. When the needle settles around the 21 miles per hour mark, take a good look at how fast you're going. (Not very.) Now imagine driving at that speed all the way to China (assuming I-80 went that far).

That's the approach this cruise ship is taking to trans-continental travel. And the amazing thing is that it works. The trip doesn't take 2 months, as you'd imagine. It takes about 17 days. The secret is never stopping, not for meals, not for sleep, not for bathroom breaks. The boat keeps on plodding along and covers an impressive 500 miles a day. 

The calm Pacific
The calm Pacific

The sea is calm. This surprised me. I expected the swell would be commensurate with the size of the ocean. In a faster ship, you might even go waterskiing.

Presuming that you don't want to hear every detail of existence onboard (lox and cream cheese on a bagel for breakfast, cheeseburger, fries and a sundae for lunch, anti-aging pro-collagen facial, head massage, and shave in 1 hour), I have decided to finally respond to some comments.

But first, news: It has come to my attention that students at St. John Bosco Catholic School in Oshawa, Ontario, are following my circumnavigation. Welcome, class. Hope you enjoy the ride. Your first assignment is as follows:

1. When you go home tonight, please ask your parents to send me money.
2. If they ask what it is for, tell them it is for a school project.
3. When they hand you a wad of bills, say, "International money orders only."

First off, to SebastianB: Good idea, I should be posting my GPS coordinates, seeing as I've gone to the trouble of bringing the top of the line Garmin GPS unit with me. Here's the thing. I don't actually know what the coordinates mean. I have a feeling that it has to do with longitude and latitude. Anyway, expect coordinates from here on in. (Unless I forget to email them to my editor.)

Editor's note: He forgot to send them

Also, some of you are wondering what's happened to Graham. Graham isn't onboard the cruise, sleeping in the Pack 'n Play. Greta is. Graham had to go home, where he claims to be hard at work on his next Big Foot book. I miss Graham, too, though I don't miss his snoring. He's may have a greater natural talent for snoring than he does for illustrating.

To sesom: I understand you plotted my route across the U.S. on Google Maps. I'm not sure I can get it to work. All I see are greeny yellow lines. But be warned, I am color blind. (Yes, I lied about it on the application when I applied for this job.) This wouldn't be the first map I've had trouble reading. Anyway, thanks for the effort. Now that I'm sending GPS coordinates, maybe that'll help with the mapping. And if it doesn't, don't worry because I'm confident the captain knows how to read maps and use his GPS. If not, this blog is going to get real interesting.  And speaking of--ahem--interesting, sesom has a fine photo collection of numbers and cafeteria plates at Flickr.  A person of many talents.

Finally, we're docking in Hawaii in a couple days. Anyone have any suggestions on what we should do/where we should eat? Keep in mind that we have a baby, which is why we're probably not going to be taking any of the shore excursions. Are there any beaches close to port? Can I rent a snorkel and fins at just any old beach? And restaurants - send recommendations. The more Hawaiian, the better.


Unless I missed it somewhere, I am just curious since I have cruised a lot. What cruise line/ship are you on? and what port do you end up at?

Find a Cheeseburger in Paradise! Baby Maybe even see a Parrothead or two.

Yeah I want to see the GPS coordinates too. It's easy to understand the numbers, there should be three for longitude and three for latitude. The first is degrees, the second is minutes, and the last is seconds. Degrees for longitude run from pole to pole, the Prime Meridian being the zero mark, Degrees for latitude run around the planet, with the zero mark being the Equator.

So, for example, if you're at 90 0' 0" longitude and 45 0' 0" latitude, that means you're 90 degrees east of Greenwich Village UK, and 45 degrees above the equator. Those coordinates would put you off the coast of Bangladesh. Hope this helps everyone!

Wait, my bad, those coordinates would put you in Northern China near the Mongolian border :D

You snored too you jerk.
What was coming from me was only payback snores. What ever happened to a fair and balanced media?

I think he is on the Crystal Serenity. The Serenity was due to leave LA for HK with a stop in Honolulu pon a 17 day passage. His first picture taken from the bow observation deck looked like the picture on the Crystal web page (live view form the bridge).

sorry but Crystal Symphony not Serenity

Mark, here's the scoop from a man living on Oahu. On Friday, go to Magic Island in Ala Moana beach park to enjoy the sunset. Sun sets at 6:40 and you'll need to take a cab or bus. You can then walk to Waikiki. Go to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Grab a bite to eat where you can watch the fireworks at 7:30. After that, walk around Waikiki and that should be it. On Saturday morning, I'd rent a car. Go to Hanauma Bay for some killer snorkeling. Then drive up the Eastern side of the island and maybe push to make it up to the North Shore. It'll be a long day, but that's the best of Oahu in such a short time. Good luck.

If you hit the "mark" button on the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx it will mark a waypoint. That screen will then show your coordinates. Good Luck!

Mark, the button is named "mark" - just like you. That should make it easy for you to remember. So where RU? :-)

Maybe I should assign this to my university reading class here in South Korea. They might enjoy it! (I certainly am!)

Goodness, I was going to ask about the cruise too, but its already been asked and answered. Is it a segment of a world cruise or a repositioning cruise? Are we allowed to know the price?

Marks comment about not knowing how to use his GPS is ridiculous. At 20 MPH across the Pacific Ocean he should have plenty of time to figure it out. What is/was the sense of bringing it if you are not going to use it.
Truthfully the caption "One man's attempt...." seems to be fitting for this guy, the operative word being "attempt". Going to the wrong Pier, showing a video of 2 steak restaurants and the weak content of his blog makes me hope that Cond'e Nast is not paying for this adventure.
Come on Mark pony up, give us some good content, learn how to use your GPS or do us a favor and find another job.

Hi Mark,
Don't miss Hawaii's shave (not shaved) ice! See this:
Hit Waiola Store:
2135 Waiola Street
808 949 2269
Location on map:,+HI&radius=0.0&latlng=21306944,-157858333,12802063666935564341&sa=X&oi=local&ct=authority&cd=1
Try the shave ice with coconut and strawberry syrups, condensed cream, and li hing mui, or salted plum powder. Take the cruise ship's chef with you! Bon appetit!
Wendy Perrin

Soo....pretty's late and night and I'm supposed to be asleep, but like many a college student, i'm online late at night. Right now, I stay (am) on Maui, but my friend Kaipo's here from O'ahu (not uh-WAH-hoo, but oh-AH-hu). SNOKELLING: By all means, if you can get over to Hanauma Bay, do it, but do it early, it get choke (very) full early on, and parking runs out often... and you have to pay to get in (there's a line for that) and then watch a video on history of Hanauma Bay and conservation(there's a line for that) then rent some gear (there's a line for that). It's do-able, but get there EARLY. Trust me...we get kama'aina (HI resident) rate, so we get in for free AND we signed up for this thingy so we don't have to watch the video, and it's still a "day's" trip. As an alternative...head over to the Waikiki Aquarium (by the zoo)to drop off your other fellow travelers while you try SURFING: Hans Hedeman (across the street from the Waikiki Zoo)surfshop has board for rent/buy and they're pretty helpful and inexpensive (I got a perfectly usable 9' for teach Kaipo how to surf for around $88, so I'm sure their rental not that bad). Jus walk out to that end of Waikiki Beach (we call that part 'Walls' and 'Queens' the sand is not as rough as by the police station and not as crowded...pretty much closer to the Waikiki Aquarium). Parking at the Zoo is by meters (bring quarters) and is the best bet in town since you'll be on that side. SHOPPING: Don't bother going to Ala Moana Shopping center, it's crowded and it's just a mall. Bypass all of that and get over to Waikiki. Ho yah...bypass allllll 34,059,435 "ABC STORES" that you see if you're thinking of getting 'authentic' Hawaiian crafts. ABC/ and most 'International Marketplace' vendors all get their stuff from the same distributers/manufacturers in China and the Phillippines for dirt cheap and the cost reflects the value. The best bet for as close to authentic Hawaiian things is the Little Hawaiian Craft Shop (808)926-2662 in Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center (recommended) or Na Mea Hawai'i (VERY recommended)(808) 597-8967 in the Ward Warehouse. If you buy something from either store, it's veeerrry worth it. It's worth the drive (parking at Ward Warehouse is free). GRINDS (eating): "Local" food = Rainbows (just google "Rainbow's Kapahulu" and go 1st link) and for sure if you want SHAVE ice hit up Wailoa Store(Waiola Store on google, 1st one)but if you want "Hawaiian" food w/o going to a lu'au (lu-AU, not looWOW) by alll means try to get to Ono ! Jus be daring and get the Combo Plate ($12.50) It comes w/choke (much) food, and try the's ono (delicious) it's also the staple of the Hawaiian diet. CULTURE: Wanna see what a pretty darn accurate Hawaiian style planting area looks like? Head over to 2645 Dole St Honolulu HI 96822...that's the The Kamakakokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at The University of Hawaii at Mânoa. What trip to Hawai'i would be complete without learing about Hawaiians?!!? Even a quick stop is worth it...chances are there will be someone tending the lo'i kalo (taro pond...taro =the stuff poi is made out of, among other things). Keeping in mind that Hawai'i is not just plastic skirts, mai thai's, pineapple (it's a bromeliad from South America). And...instead of heading to the Bishop Museum (cuz that's kinda in the other direction from where you're gunna be in Waikiki...)you can drive to UH Manoa and get in some culture on your way to/from Ono's. The Center is right next to the dorms (the 4 tall circular buildings) Or at least check out their website ( I'm a Hawaiian Studies major and my kumu (professor) would be concerned if I didn't mention something about the culture of Hawai'i. Brah (short for bradah)'s late and I have work tomorrow at 7 in the AM if you have annnnny me up! 808-636-0440 Kaipo is going to be with me all tomorrow and he knows all of Honolulu like the back of his hand (cuz like i said, i live in Maui...but ey... I spend my summers over at UH Manoa.) We'll be at Aloha tower around 9pm ish after flying in from Maui (and i'm pretty sure that's right next to where the cruise ships doc...) Have fun! Eat poi! You're not a haole (foreign)tourist, you're a hau'oli (happy) traveler!
e malama pono (take care)

p.S. I read your article on Medieval me on this when deciding to try for the postcard Hawaii (huh WHY yee) or Hawai'i (huh VAI ee)

it's 'ono(delicious), not ono(a type of fish). oops! the 'okina strikes again! =D

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