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April 26 – New York City, NY

26 Apr

It is good to be back on the North American Continent . . .

. . . and not only will we be back on the North American continent, we will also be back in the good old USA!!

Here’s a little about North America that JJ and I found out:

North America . . .

  • is Earth’s third largest continent.
  • has 23 countries as well as multiple territories and possessions included in this continent
  • includes all of the Caribbean island countries, all the countries of Central America, the United States and Canada.
  • also includes the largest island in the world – Greenland.
  • is bordered in the north by the Arctic Ocean, in the south by the Caribbean Sea, in the west by the Pacific Ocean and in the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • covers an area of approximately 9,540,000 square miles or almost 5% of the Earth’s surface or almost 16.5% of the Earth’s land area.
  • had a population of approximately 529 million people in 2008.

The Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle both run through North America.

You better get busy reading up on North America – I’ve only given you some of the highlights . . .

, before you go and learn more about North America, let me ask you one question . . .

Did you have a good time?

I had an AWESOME time!  It was so much fun to tell you everyday about all of my many adventures!!  We visited a lot of countries, made new friends, met a bunch of people and saw some pretty amazing sights!


April 25 – I’ve been everywhere man . . .

25 Apr

I’ve been everywhere!  Well, maybe not exactly everywhere, but I’ve been a bunch of places . . .

I’ve traveled from Marietta to Montevideo

I’ve traveled from Dowagiac to Dubai

I’ve traveled from Hilton Head to Hiroshima

I’ve crossed the Equator (twice!), the Tropic of Cancer (twice!), and the Tropic of Capricorn (twice!)

I’ve seen the Milky Way (no, not the candy bar!), the FABULOUS one in the sky

I’ve been in the desert in the Sinai Peninsula

I’ve been in three oceans  —  the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean

I’ve been in a bunch of seas, straits, and bays

I’ve been through the Suez Canal

I’ve been almost to the top of the World’s Tallest building in Dubai

I’ve been to the beach in several countries in the world and put my toes into 3 different oceans

I’ve been able to see two continents at one time just by looking from one side of our ship to the other side of our ship

I’ve been on 6 continents  —   North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe

I’ve been on fast trains, fast elevators and fast ships

I’ve eaten a bunch of great food

I’ve been to a flat mountaintop in Cape Town, South Africa

I’ve seen the spot where two oceans merge – the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean

I’ve ridden in a cable car and on a funicular

I’ve eaten a true Italian pizza in the piazza

I’ve had a picnic in the park and at the beach

I’ve been around the Cape of Good Hope on the tip of Africa

I’ve met a lot of people and made some more friends

I’ve heard a lot of different languages – and even understood some of them!

I’ve seen a lot of different cultures

I’ve seen lots of familiar brand names in almost every country I’ve visited, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Burger King, KFC

I’ve had a SUPER time on this World Cruise voyage . . .

Thank y’all for traveling with me!!!


JoAnn and Jim Ryan (JJ) and Woody

JJ and I wish you safe travels where ever you may go in the world!   Tomorrow we will be back in New York City – the United States of America!  And it won’t be long and I’ll be back at school . . . so, see you soon!!

April 24 – Happy Easter

24 Apr

Happy Easter!  The QM2 was all “decked out” today with lots of Easter decorations!  We didn’t see the Easter Bunny, but we did see lots and lots and lots and lots of chocolate . . . 

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April 22 – Strait of Gibraltar

22 Apr

The Strait of Gibraltar . . . Gibraltar . . . a British overseas territory; home of the “rock” made famous by that insurance company who used the image of the Rock of Gibraltar in its logo; the spot where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet; the Strait is the body of water that separates Africa from Europe.

This is a heavily traveled route – you’ve got to go through the Strait to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Med or from the Med to the Atlantic Ocean.  Although many ships stop in Gibraltar, we were just passing by.  The ship had asked for and received permission to come “close” to the Rock.  So, just as the sun was starting to set, we came within 2 miles of shore.  Photography wasn’t great as we were on the east side of the Rock with the setting sun in our faces.  The Commodore did slow the ship for the passage so that we could get a good look.  He also gave his usual informative and chatty commentary! 

Most of the citizens live on the west side of the Rock.  Natural resources are scarce.  Fresh water is obtained through a desalination plant.  Gibraltar’s northern border is with Spain.  The Rock is the real attraction in the Strait.  But since the Strait is only 7 miles wide, Morocco can easily be seen!

There you have it . . . it took all of about 30 minutes to see the Rock and to pass through the very famous Strait of Gibraltar. 

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April 12 – At Sea – The Mediterranean Sea

12 Apr

Today, we’re in the Mediterranean Sea . . .

on our way to Rome, Italy . . .

Did you know that the Mediterranean Sea is actually part of the Atlantic Ocean?  Check out the globe below that shows the Atlantic Ocean:

The Mediterranean Sea is the World’s largest inland sea with approximately 965,000 square miles.  It is surrounded by Europe, Asia and Africa.  The Mediterranean Sea has slightly more salt than the Atlantic Ocean and has little tide variation.

There are about 400 species of fish that live in the Mediterranean Sea.  Sponges and coral are plentiful.

Can you see on the map above the Red Sea and the Suez Canal?  That’s where we just were . . . and now we’re going to be in the Mediterranean Sea for 2 days as we sail toward the port of Civitavecchia, Italy – the port city for Rome, Italy.  Remember that Rome is the country that is shaped like a boot.  Do you see Italy on the map above?

April 7 – At Sea – Red Sea

7 Apr

Today, we’re in the Red Sea . . .

on our way to Safaga / Luxor, Egypt . . .

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia.   The Red Sea has a 169,100 square miles. It is about 1,398 miles long and, at its widest point, is 220.6 miles wide. It has a maximum depth of 7,254 feet in the central trench, and an average depth of 1,608 feet. However, there are also extensive shallow areas, noted for their marine life and corals.

April 6 – Indian Ocean – Gulf of Aden

6 Apr

No, we didn't see Captain Jack Sparrow

Hi kids  —  today we’re in the Gulf of Aden.  Actually yesterday and today we are sailing in the Gulf of Aden on our way to the Red Sea.  Here are some maps that will help you see where we are in the world.

The Gulf of Aden is part of the Indian Ocean and today we’re just off the coast of Oman.  Tomorrow we will be between the coast of Oman and the coast of Somalia.  We’re on our way to the Red Sea.

The part of the world is in the news a lot.  That is because pirates from Somalia have taken over some cargo ships and demanded ransom for the release of the ship, the ship’s cargo and most important, the crew of the ship.  Your Mom and Dad have probably read about this activity in the newspaper, or you may have heard about it on a TV newscast.

JJ and I have learned that the pirates will take on a ship that is moving slowly and has a valuable cargo.  Our ship, the QM2, is taking precautions against a pirate attack by having our security guards on the deck and we are going very fast – almost 25 knots – that is almost 29 miles per hour.  Now, on land 29 miles per hour isn’t too fast, but at sea, that is VERY fast.  So, the QM2 has an advantage in that the pirates can’t go as fast as we can.  Although we are very valuable cargo, the pirates want tangible stuff – like oil or cars – not a bunch of people on vacation!!

The ship also has onboard a Commander of the Royal Navy – Commander Chris Lade – who will serve as our liaison with the military ships in the area.  Commander Lade will stay on the Bridge with Commodore Warner while we are in the Gulf of Aden.  JJ and I learned that we are sailing in a corridor where the Royal Navy (that is Britain’s navy) and the United States Navy both have ships present – actually there are other countries represented in this Allied Anti-Piracy operation.  We do not anticipate any trouble, but IF something should happen, there are lots of military help close by.

And just in case you were wondering, the waters in the Gulf of Aden are a very pretty blue color and very calm.

Please don’t worry about us . . . JJ and I feel very safe on this very large and very fast ship!  Thank you Commodore Warner for being a great leader!!

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