Ten days ago our ship set sail from NYC trying to out run Super Storm Sandy. Although the seas were a bit rough we made it through just fine and six days later we found ourselves on the shores of Southampton (UK). I stayed on the ship during our port day in Southampton as I was assigned to In Port Manning (IPM) duty. Fortunately I was able to head up to deck 13 for the sail away party, giving me a chance to get some fresh air. The evening was cool and crisp and it made me miss home. Well, actually it made me miss splitting wood on cool autumn days. It's funny the things you miss when you spend so much time at sea.
From Southampton we sailed South for three days. During these days I spent most of my time working, training, and of course, eating. The highlight was adding swimming to my training schedule. Although there are several pools on the ship they tend to be very small. The one that I am aloud to use is around twenty meters long. Given that I didn't want to be swimming such short laps, I put my ingenuity to use to come up with a way to swim continuously without turning around. Fortunately I was able to use a pair of running tights to anchor myself to the end of the pool. Doing this allows me to swim in place as if I am on a treadmill. It works pretty well. Of course I may tweak my design and create something even better but for the time being it works quite well.
At the end of the three sea days we arrived in Medeira. Located off the coast of West Africa, I believe Medeira belongs to Portugal. Our visit to Medeira was made a bit more interesting because Medeira has recently had an outbreak of Dengue Fever. Given that Dengue Fever is transmitted via a mosquito bite, we were advised to wear long pants and long sleeves. Anyone who knows me knows that I pretty much never where long pants when I run. Nonetheless, I did my entire run in Medeira's warm climate in orange RIT sweatpants (thanks Lars). Despite the small set back of having to wear long pants, I had a fantastic run in Medeira! From the Ship I followed the coast line in search of some sea cliffs that I had read about. At 580m (1,902ft) above sea level, the cliffs are the second highest sea cliffs in the World! Although finding them was not difficult, getting to the top was quite the adventure. Stride after stride, hill after hill, I wound through the streets of Medeira in search of the top. The ascent from the bottom to the top probably took about 30-40 minutes and it was quite the CLIMB! Some of the streets were incredibly STEEP. Given my love for hills I thoroughly enjoyed the climb. And the views were FANTASTIC! The lush, green landscape filled with banana trees and red roofed houses was just marvelous. At the top there was a transparent platform that extended out over the cliff. You could stand on the platform and see right through it to the ground 1,902 ft. below. After reaching the top I retraced my steps back to the ship. All in all it was a fantastic day. As I was ascending to the top of the cliffs I thought to myself that they wouldn't even have to pay me for the work that I do. They can just pay me in runs and adventures such as today's. Then again, I am not going to argue if they want to give me both! As I type we are sailing to La Palma. La Palma sounds like a really great place. I suppose I'll find out soon enough.