Telstar Logistics recently received electronic mail from Mr. Justin Watt informing us that he was traveling with his girlfriend Stephanie as a passenger aboard the Cap Cleveland, a container ship making the passage between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Zealand.
Phillly and NZ are not in any way close together, so Justin and Stephanie's journey took a month. Along the way, the two updated their Internet weblogs with tales of nautical experience — which had the effect of making us feel very, very jealous.
Justin explains why and how he booked the trip. (Executive Summary: "Why not?!") We learn about basic architecture of the ship, how to steer it, the itinerary of a typical day, what's up in the engine room, delicious onboard barbeque parties with the crew, Abandon Ship drills, and much much more.
Here's Justin, enjoying his morning coffee in a rather civilized fashion:
And here's a photo Justin took while passing through the Panama Canal:
Stephanie wrote a must-read Container Ship Passenger FAQ that explains both the basic mechanics and spiritual logic of their voyage:
6. What are amenities like?
Our cabin has a double bed, a couch, a coffee table, TV, DVD player, our own bathroom with toilet, shower and sink, a small fridge, a desk and a closet. It’s actually quite spacious.
7. What will you eat? Do you have to bring your own food?
We have a cook! Well, the crew’s cook, but we’re eating in the officers mess. The food is actually not bad at all. It’s not gourmet but it’s well balanced (each meal has some type of meat, some type of vegetable, some type of starch and fruit). They even have Nutella on the table! If anything, the portions are too big, so most of the time, Justin and I split a meal… we figured that out after stuffing ourselves a couple of times.
We did however bring few comfort foods and drinks, like nuts, pretzels, cheese, dried fruit, some beer and wine. On that topic, we can buy beer and wine on the ship at a reasonable price in case we run out.
8. What will you do with all that time?
Well, a whole lot of nothing. When do you ever have time to just hang out, let your mind wander for any length of time, nap as many times as you want, meditate. But that would get old, so we brought plenty of books, our computers, painting supplies and yarn for some crochet projects.
Justin and Stephanie are back on dry land, but wannabe container ship travelers (like -- ahem! -- us) will enjoy going back to reread their blog archives from September and October 2010 to learn everything you ever wanted to know about traveling to New Zealand on a container ship.
Images: Justin Watt