Friday, February 18, 2011

#467 Flexibility, Safety, and Semester At Sea

Things change quickly at sea.

Semester At Sea travelers are wise to remain flexible. Our first two SAS voyages included mid-trip itinerary changes. During Fall 2006 typhoon Shanshan intervened so we skipped a port. Summer 2008 we were on our way to Istanbul when bombings there resulted in our unexpected visit to Alexandria instead.

Now on Spring 2011, outside forces again intervene. We arrived at the entrance to Cape Town harbor yesterday right on time. But rough seas prevented the local pilot from boarding our ship and guiding us into the harbor. Now we’ve circled the harbor for 24 hours waiting for improved conditions and our harbor entry remains at the local pilot’s discretion. Safety really is a priority on Semester At Sea.
Yours in being patiently flexible,


  1. Oh no. How frustrating. I hope you get to start your next port soon, I'm sure everyone is really eager.

  2. Oh how exciting! Did you know you are close to the land of flying sharks? Seal Island, close to False Bay, is where they filmed Air Jaws, where the great whites launch themselves from the water to catch the poor seals. Hope you're able to dock soon! Maybe you can work in some cage diving while there ;)

  3. Erika: First excitement, then the realization that trips were impacted, then frustration.

    Tina: All around Cape Town I've seen those pix of sharks flying through the air...thanks to you I know why!

  4. Kelly

    Love your graphic of the Explorer's route into the harbor of Cape Town! At least you finally made it.

    The Fall of 1990 and Spring of 1991 voyages found the harbor closed and the Universe had to make the jump from Mombasa, Kenya to Salvador, Brazil (and visa versa) (over 5800 miles) without a port call. Over three weeks at sea and no internet.

    Reason: Beetles.


  5. Ralph:
    That GPS graphic of our route sure makes the wind direction evident. And your historic info helps me put our 1 day delay into perspective. Thank you. So far we appear to be beetle-free!