As of 0700 Eastern Standard time, 1200 GMT and 1300 ship time, the Empire State was underway from Barcelona, Spain and enroute to Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. She was located at 40 degrees 38 minutes North Latitude, 001 degrees 44 minutes East Longitude, steering course 209 degrees true at 13 knots. That position places her approximately 55 nautical miles southwest of Barcelona. The weather was clear and hazy with light and variable breezes. Barometric pressure was 1030 millibars of mercury.
The air temperature was 62 degrees and the sea water temperature was 60 degrees. The depth of water beneath the keel was 1300 meters.
At 0824 this morning watch section three hauled the last, heavy line aboard and Empire State was officially underway. We slipped quietly from the harbor and the last liberty port of the Millennium Sea Term became a fond memory. Let me tell you, Barcelona gave everyone reasons to remember.
We are steaming some 60 miles out, steering a southwesterly course that parallels the East Coast of Spain. Judging from the somber mood, I expect continuous visits to the starboard rail as cadets gaze pensively toward the mountainous shore. I've heard many wonderful stories from them. Wide-eyed with enthusiasm and overflowing with excitement our "Touristas" described traveling through Barcelona and into the Catalunya countryside. Most were pleasantly surprised to find that Spain is much more scenic than the spectacle of the bullfights or news clips heralding the traditional running of the bulls in Pamplona depict. The Monastery at Montserrat, is only 24 miles from Barcelona and it enthralled. Even if one is a non-believer a visit to this ninth century monument is worth the trip. The adjoining road is rough and crowded so getting there is just as exciting as looking into the abyss of surrounding terrain. The ancient stone Monastery sits among rugged mountaintops and appears to be part of the earth. The view is breathtaking so I know that our cadets won't forget that sight.
Spain is predominately mountainous and those beautiful "Sierras" have long divided the nation culturally and politically. Consequently, each stop along the way was somewhat like visiting a different country. While the regions and towns retain their diverse cultural identities that make them so attractive, the political and economic landscapes have changed. As I wrote earlier, the 1992 Olympic Games, coupled with the Sevilla World's Fair radically transformed every aspect of life here. The economy took off, the country stabilized and it is rapidly becoming "global". The globalization has reached into the heartland and we will probably see fast food chains in the villages on our next visit here.
Regardless of how I describe it the fact of the matter is; Spain whipped us. Everyone is exhausted. I am in the habit of touring the ship shortly after we sail. I perform this ritual for solid professional reasons such as sampling food quality; fresh pastry, hot from the oven, might be detrimental to health so I have to taste test it first... I also inspect the holds secure for sea but the real reason for the trip is to see the troops and determine their collective states. I know that they are exhausted because the ship looks like a ghost town. They have expended every last ounce of energy running up and down the mountainsides and around the shops and "malls" buying for you. Now, they are hybernating between commitments or meals, depending on which awakes them. I will understand if my readers aren't too sympathetic to our plight; after all, you know that we have twelve days of leisurely crusin' at sea to rest and 6 hours of time to make up on the return voyage. Gotta go...See you tomorrow.
QUESTIONS FOR TUESDAY 08 FEBRUARY 2000
The Empire State is heading home, and will more than likely not spot land until she reaches Race Point in Provincetown. Let's say the Empire State was traveling directly north from Tahiti, which of the following would she encounter - Canada, Alaska, Russia, or California?
At night cadets will often hear whales 'singing.' Whales, however, do not have vocal chords. So how do they sing?
The crew and cadets of the Empire State rely heavily on a compass as a
navigational tool. Who invented the compass?
The Empire State can produce 58,000 gallons of water per day. If one cubic foot of space contains 7.48 gallons then how many cubic feet of tank space is necessary to hold one day's production?
ANSWERS FOR MONDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2000
GEOGRAPHY: North America
SCIENCE: Yes. Sharks breed very slowly; some species take more than 20 years to reach breeding size, and then have only 2 pups every other year. At present we are killing 100 million sharks a year; we are killing sharks faster than they can reproduce. "If the carnage continues," predicts shark scientist Sonny Gruber, "species that have lasted some 400 million years could vanish within 50 to 100 years."
HISTORY: 2750 B.C. - the first recorded expedition of exploration was from Egypt.
MATH: 4 p.m.