I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Rhythm of the Ship
The Noordam is a large ship, almost 1000 ft.
long and 82,318 tons, with 11 guest decks, 6 restaurants, 10 lounges, two
swimming pools, a gym, casino, sports court and duty free shops. Our room is
like a nice hotel room, and dinner is served in a beautiful upscale dining room
like a fine restaurant in any city. Although luxurious and comfortable, it is
still an ocean going vessel making its way across vast amounts of water, and you
are always aware that you are on a ship. But you quickly become accustomed to
the rhythms of the ship.
Getting Ready to start Engines
Although we have had nice pleasant weather
and calm seas, the ship still moves with the waves and rolling oceans. After a
day or two you get used to it and learn to walk the decks and hallways without
stumbling from side to side.
Everywhere you go, you hear and feel the rhythms
of the ship. As well as being rocked to sleep by the motion of the ship, there
is also the hum of the machinery from the AC unit cooling the room to the
rumble of the engines deep under the room. The motion of the ship causes other
little noises; our balcony door had a little squeak, that was mostly white
noise rather than annoying, and on certain days at certain speeds and wind
conditions, there was a constant rattle from a balcony down from ours.
As you walk the Promenade deck which goes
completely around the ship (Three times equals one mile for the walkers), you
get a variety of noises, from the rumble of the engines and propellers as you
cross the open back deck looking down at the wake streaming out behind the
ship, to the ventilation fans cleaning and circulating air throughout the ship.
When the ship is underway, there is a
gentle constant vibration everywhere you go on the
ship caused by the massive
engines generating power to run this floating town and to push the thousands of
tons of steel through the ocean. The sounds increase when entering or leaving
port or anchor, as the ropes are untied, anchor chains raised or thrusters
activated to move the ship in the desired directions. We often leave port at
dinner time and the hustle and bustle of getting hundreds of people efficiently
fed can hide much of the initial movement and noise, but the sudden increase in
the rumble under the ship as the propulsion pods push us away from the dock
lets people know we are underway.
Loading the Tenders
If the seas get a bit heavier you get an
additional sound added to the rhythm of the ship as, instead of slicing through
the waves, the ship gets lifted on one swell and crashes into the next one
sending a shudder through the entire ship. In very heavy seas this becomes a
constant addition to the ship’s ongoing symphony of sound and motion.
Sunset at Sea
After a week on a cruise you get very
comfortable with the ship’s rhythms, and the first day on land you miss the
gentle motion and noise. I imagine that after 43 days at sea it will take a few
days before I get a good night sleep without the ship rocking me to sleep.