Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hello from the Southern Hemisphere!

Drabbles are on hiatus while I am on a boat. Also, probably, while I am on a plane.

It's just as well, because I don't think even after this much practice I could summarize everything I have seen and done today in 100 words. I will try to figure out how to get pictures to post from the boat, and if so you will see pictures (guaranteed) of sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and land and sea iguanas at very close proximity. As in, I could almost touch the critters. If I can't figure out how to get those up onto these computers, well, you'll all have to wait until I get back California-side. At which point I'll have a big picture-posting party.

So, that's awesome.

I have a lot of thoughts in my journal, in part because I would journal when I didn't have anything else to do (which meant very often, in transit). But in the interest of not using up all of my internet minutes today, I'll keep those mostly to myself and put up highlights here (now that I've abandoned the 100 word limit, who knows how verbose I could be if I sat down and tried. And by tried I mean just wrote stream-of-consciousness).

At first I must admit I was a bit tentative about the cruise. There is a decided age gap in the passengers, one that I noticed when I was on a cruise with my parents last summer and continues to be the case here: the middle ground between 12 and 35 (where, for the present moment at least, I count myself) is... shall we say sparse? So I was a little bit nervous 1) that the excursions wouldn't be very exciting, if marketed mostly to a 'geriatric' crowd of retirees, and 2) that I wouldn't really find someone to be a buddy. But, fortunately, that's not a problem; there are four of us in this younger-but-not-kids age group, and I've made friends with them (as much as an awkward antisocial snellian like me can make friends, hah). Plus all the real grownups who aren't in their grown-up capacities since they are on vacation.

That said, today was full of nothing but good news. First is that there are empty beds on the ship. And one of them is in a cabin with me, which means that I have the cabin all to myself. Hooray! Second is that I've been here a total of one day and I have already seen galapagos sea lions and blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. As in, nesting on the trail for the first two. They said "Watch where you're stepping so you don't trip over the wildlife" and I thought they were joking. But I guess the sea lions and the boobies would have made a lot of noise if we had come too close to stepping on them.

Which means stepping on them, basically, since we all but touched the critters. I expect the rest of the time to be more of the same, so I'll hold back on details, but everyone here is friendly and nice, and apparently I'm supposed to tutor one of my new friends on basic genetic concepts like the maternal inheritance of male pattern baldness ("But what if you inherit your x-chromosome from your father?" "Then you're a woman." odd, I know, but whatever - I've got little better to do) and I can rarely pass up an opportunity to talk shop. I'll quiz him on Kuhn; he says he studies history of science.

In short, hello from the southern hemisphere! (I'm just barely south of the equator at the moment).

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