Monday, January 31, 2011

VoM: Set To Sail

I’m back in Philadelphia, which means the detours are behind me and I’m back on the Voyage. It also means that I am in position to board the freighter which will carry me across the Atlantic.

I spoke to the ship’s port agent this morning. He confirmed that the ship is due into port here sometime tomorrow afternoon, and added that I will probably be able to board later in the day. I am to call him in the morning to get final instructions.

So, everything is “normal” so far… I have a general idea of what’s going on but nothing definite. For those of you who are new to the Voyages of Macgellan, this is indeed completely “normal.”

What I do know is that the ship will be the Rickmers Shanghai, a Superflex Heavy MPC (Multi-Purpose Container) carrier. The ship is about 600 feet long, 90 feet wide and weighs 30,000 tons at maximum load, with a top speed is 19.5 knots.

What I don’t know is exactly where we’re going, how long it will take, who else will be on board, or any other details. I am scheduled to disembark in Antwerp in about 12 days, but since I’m pretty sure it doesn’t take that long to “cross the pond” I’m figuring we’ll be making a port call or two somewhere en route. Depending where that is, I may disembark early. Like I said, everything is normal… Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

VoM2: Second Valid Passport

For my upcoming travels in Russia this summer, I will need to submit my passport for processing of visas, etc., and I have been told to expect the process to take several weeks overall. The problem, of course, is that I cannot travel without a passport for several weeks while it is being processed!

How to solve this conundrum? Well, it turns out that in circumstances like this, the State Department will issue you a second valid passport!

It’s only valid for two years and it has a special endorsement (for which I’ve provided annotation from the US Code) but it’s all good!

There’s a pretty good pile of paperwork and some fees involved. I used to help with the process and I can recommend them.

So, there you have it… One more piece of preparation taken care of for The Voyage 2.0!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

VoM2: Detour Hiatus

No, I haven’t disappeared… No, The Voyage hasn’t gone astray… I’ve just been on a hiatus to make a couple of detours. Here’s a very quick recap:

After crossing Canada, I spent a few days in New York then took a train to Atlanta where I spent a couple of weeks with friends. Just before the new year I took the train back north through Philly, then west to central Pennsylvania where I have been visiting with family and friends.

My only Voyage-related activities during the hiatus have been to work out some logistics and take care of some necessary paperwork going forward. I have received confirmation that I will be sailing from Philly on or about Feb 1st, and I will post updates soon. Stay tuned!