Yokohama to Port Louis: reflecting on the first leg of the voyage

Photo: A train judders past Peace Boat's chartered vessel the Ocean Dream, as it pulls away from the Port of Kobe (Joseph Hincks)
A train judders past Peace Boat’s chartered vessel the Ocean Dream, as it pulls away from the Port of Kobe (Joseph Hincks)

After three weeks at sea with Peace Boat, charting a westerly course around the world, time has become a slippery concept. Every few days we hit a new longitude and gain an hour – an anomaly I’m told will be resolved somewhere beyond Easter Island, when we shoot through 24 of them in sixty minutes.

“The day after the time change, it is always difficult to find space at morning Tai Chi; everyone has gotten up earlier and it’s way more crowded,” said Ian Kennedy from New York, who is volunteering as an English teacher on Peace Boat.

Onboard, spaces shift too: a media center has been set up in what was – in the Ocean Dream’s former incarnations– a casino. One evening geriatric partners waltzed across the ship’s Starlight Lounge; the next it was packed with syncopated ravers in headphones, blurting lyric snatches at a silent disco. The Piano Bar, whose walls and ceiling are frenzied with a black and white key motif, hosted English lessons, Shigin classical poetry recitations, a newly formed choir, and a lecture on US —> Read More Here

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