Webmaster's Note: This was sent via satellite from the ship.

Feb 12th - March 5th - Trans-Pacific Voyage, Pacific Ocean: On February 12th, Joey and I left our secure cooshy lives in Studio City, CA and said goodbye to our rad friends. We caught the train to Long Beach and luckily we got to stop in Compton, CA birthplace of all of our favorite Eazy E lyrics. We met a nice lady with two black eyes and a 1 qt. ziplock bag filled up with "prescription" medication. Now I'm a physicist with some street cred. Then we got to Long Beach, started walking to the port and ended up catching a ride from an El Salvadorian Mack truck driver to the Hanjin shipping terminal and there we feast our eyes on our mighty ship - the Punjab Senator.  

The boat 964.9 ft long, longer than than three football fields, it is 151.5 ft tall (from water level to the top), and 105.6 ft wide. It has 55,819 horsepower - how does that compare with your 1984 Civic with the spoiler and giant muffler? It weighs 82,505 tons.This is a mighty vessel. All that space was divided among 21 crew members, Joey and a Dutch couple in their 70s (who unfortunately had to leave the ship in Tokyo). There were 8 Germans, 3 Russians, and 10 Kiribati and one drunken American with giant bleached hair.

 The first part of the voyage was from Long Beach to Oakland, CA. The 2nd mate sat us down in our cabin and said in his thick Russian accent 1.) You are crazy 2.) The north Pacific in winter is the worst body of water in the world for traveling 3.) You are crazy 4.) You will definitely get very sick 5) You are crazy - but good luck. Then a German crew member brought us a beer and said, "You never forget a storm at sea, you will remember this for all of your life". After hearing all this we got pretty anxious. Joey's stomach started acting up already on the voyage from Long Beach to Oakland and we were still in calm water. I made fun of him and then he threatened to throw me overboard and told me that action figures don't float so I shut up.

The thing about traveling on a freighter boat is that they go max speed the entire trip. It is not like a passanger ship where personal comfort is an issue. They go balls fast and it feels exactly like an airplane in turbulence, not to mention the 20 degrees of sway in either direction.  The sway was first noticed when Joey was taking a shower and all the water, instead of going to the ground fell sideways out the bathroom door because we were tipped at such an angle. On our second day he completely soaked the carpet OUTSIDE the bathroom by taking a shower sideways.

After a few days, the sea didn't phase me at all, but we were still a little big nervous about impending storms. We were on the bridge and we saw a weather printout that looked like a bullseye. Apparently we were headed straight for a hurricane. The ship diverted slightly north through the Aleutian Islands and into the Bering Sea. After many years of watching the Discovery Channel I knew that the Bering Sea was one of the most violent bodies of water in the world and thanks to it the Alaskan King Crab fisherman earned the honor of having the "Worlds Most Dangerous Job". As we got to the Unimak Pass, entering the Bering Sea, the news got even better. There were two hurricanes north of the Aleutians and we were stuck there north of Unalaska Island. Apparently we were going to try to thread between the two hurricanes and the movie A Perfect Storm came to mind.

 The next day we woke up in the Bering Sea and everything was eerily calm. I posed in my yellow sweater for some glamour pictures on the front of the boat. The sea was remarkably calm and sunny around our boat. In the evening we watched a gorgeous sunset and the clouds that surrounded all of our sunny patch of sky turned cotton candy pink. That evening Joey and the Captain got trashed together (they've since become quite good drinking buddies) and he passed out. At 1 AM,he woke up being thrown out of his bed. He ran up to the bridge to see 30 ft waves crashing into the boat which was being thrown around like a toy. Apparently the day's calm was because we were in the eye of the storm. He was so stoked about his first big storm at sea and realized that all hopes for seasickness were lost if this storm wasn't affecting him. After a few hours of being a spectator he returned to his room which was trashed by the storm and attempted to sleep in his bed on its rollercoaster ride.

After two weeks, they saw land on the horizon and we descended upon an island called Japan...

- Albert Einstein

Next adventure: The Far East:Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore