On-ship days have begun blurring together as we journey to Ghana from South Africa. My days have been spent in the Eagle’s nest or media lab or vomit closet, as we called it at the beginning of the voyage. The media lab is nice because it’s a location that’s quiet, doesn’t have any thru-traffic and has a desk with power so that my computer doesn’t die during my worktime.
The downside to being locked away in a closed, windowless room that’s tucked away behind the giant student union is that I become extremely anti-social. When I go out for meals, I’m not in socialize mode, and I forget that the ship is full of excited, interested, talkative people. It's unhealthy for me.
We’ve run into a push for the last three weeks on the ship because we’ve decided to take on an extra project in addition to our other deliverables. Through the Unreasonable project, we’ve been working with some large corporations and, of course, the start-ups that are a part of the program, and they’ve seen potential in our work. One of the largest clients we could dream of working with right now has reached out to us after leaving the ship and is interested in us doing a video to show to their board and major executives why Unreasonable at Sea was worth it for their company’s time and investment. That’s a lot of pressure.
Not only is it a lot of pressure to perform, but we’ve already filled up our time with Unreasonable deliverables. We've worked out the schedule and decided to share the workload as a team, so I have total faith that we can handle it.
Yesterday, we had Ghanian appetizers in the Tipsy Toucan. They were pretty delicious, but they never add up to the amazing, authentic food of the countries. I still took a photo. [photos to come]
The day before yesterday, we had the screening of the Semester at Sea's Unreasonable 72-Hour Film Festival. The students made films in 72 hours starting on the day that the ship stopped in Mauritius. They did a fantastic job. There were some very clever films, a meme film that included all of the inside jokes of the ship and the winner of the festival got posted on Semester at Sea's blog. Make sure to check it out! I was so proud of the students.
Today, we got the excitement of coming within 500 feet of the exact 0º, 0º coordinates. The crossing of the prime meridian and the equator made for an exciting event on the ship. We took photos and watched our GPS. As sailors, you are considered a scalliwag until you cross the equator. Tradition is that when you cross the equator you shave your head and become a shellback. The highest honor is reserved for those who have sailed across 0º, 0º who are called emerald shellbacks. We didn't do any shaving, but Matt and I are official emerald shellbacks. It was actually one of Matt's dreams.
Did you know that there is, for realsies, no fooling, a booey that marks the coordinates of 0º west and east and 0º north and south. We all got to see it. It was less than 500 feet from the starboard side of the ship. It wasn't terribly exciting to see it because it's not very elaborate. It looks like a white booey. It took a little bit to convince us all that it was real. They tried to trick us with the equator and the prime meridian that there is a band stretched or a laser or a line, but at this point, we were all staring at it, and looking at the GPS. We looked it up online, and it really is legit. That was fun to see.
We're wrapping up our post-production and ready to head into Tokoradi, Ghana tomorrow morning. Matt and I have a free day, so we're going to attempt some surfing. Neither of us have ever done it, so we're glad to have Tori and Kevin as our guides. Tori Hogan was just recently featured in National Geographic for the panel that she led with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ken Banks, a Nat Geo Explorer. I got to film the panel. It was amazing. Tori is a fantastic interviewer and mediator, and Ken and Arch were very entertaining. I wrote about it in an earlier post.
Anyway, they're going to allow us to tag along, so I'm sure we'll have some fun stories to tell. Hopefully no injuries.