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sailing along

A year or so ago my husband Ted and I attended a charity auction for Gage Academy. By the time the evening was over (wine was served), my husband had bid on (and won) a trip aboard a freighter ship.

“You bought WHAT?” I asked, incredulous. 

click here to see the YouTube video

A year and a half went by before we could find time to use the tickets. I dragged my feet, hoping it would all disappear. A freighter trip was not on my bucket list, as it is for some. Eventually we made the arrangements: Fly to Anchorage. Overnight at the Captain Cook Hotel. Board the ship on Sunday afternoon. We would stay in the owner’s suite on a working roll-on/roll-off freighter called the Midnight Sun owned by TOTE (Totem Ocean Trailer Express).

Roll-on/roll-off means that those containers you see on freeway attached to big semi cabs are rolled onto the ship at one port and rolled off at the other end. The containers are parked in a logistical ballet of weight, size, contents, etc. The parking itself is amazing. Highly skilled people maneuver the containers into place, parking them about six inches apart. In the end the ship deck resembles a package of vacuum-packed sausages.

The freighter, which is about 80 stories long, holds some 250 cars and 600 containers that might carry washers, dryers, refrigerators, clothing or frozen seafood. With everything packed, the tug boats arrived to give us a nudge and off we went!

We were on the open sea for three days with nothing but water in all directions, sailing at 20+ knots from Alaska to the Port of Tacoma. When my husband asked how far from land we were, the captain said, “two miles.” That would be two miles straight down!

In the end it was a wonderful trip. The crew of 24 men (and a few women) was very friendly. The food was excellent. We were given tours of the whole boat, including the massive engine room. There was no email. No cell phone service. I read a bit, made photographs, played my guitar and even took a nap. And even though the trip was not on my bucket list before we went, it is now.

Thank you to my dear husband for expanding my horizons on yet another great adventure!


One Response to “sailing along”

  1. Aimee says:

    Yeah, not exactly what comes to mind when you say, ‘hey sweetie, we should take a cruise this year.’ Although, I think Clay would probably prefer this one to the one I have planned! 🙂

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