Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Ship

The MM Dant ... the ship we took to Japan in 1966.  And here is a photo (taken by my mom) of us debarking at Yokohama.  I am the little one with the BOAC bag ... wonder why we were all dressed up?

We were one of two families on the boat.  The other family were missionaries heading to Japan.  They had two small children.  It was very, very hot on board; I don't think there was air conditioning.  We used to sleep with the port holes open to catch the breezes.  The lifeboat drills scared the beejeepers out of me.  I thought we were going down.  They lowered the lifeboats almost to the water, and I was terrified at the thought of having to get in it while the ship sank.  They rang all the alarms and blasted the horn (is it a horn on a ship?) while I stood, in my too-large life jacket, shivering and frantic, with my fingers in my ears.

Every night at dinnertime a man walked around with a little xylophone thing to announce the mealtime.  They served tongue at one point, and me being the brave epicurean that I was, I ate it.  

I remember the smell of fresh paint.  Flying fish would accompany us, leaping and diving before the prow cut through the water.  Seeing a pod of dolphins was a rare treat.  Above all, I remember the deepest blue of the Pacific Ocean, incomparable, and the smell of the sea air and foam.

Another view of the ship

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