Crossing the Atlantic

When we boarded the ship, Stephanie was almost overcome with emotion. She said it felt like she “was home”. And not because we were on our way home—because she was back “on a boat”. There were a few subtle differences from our experience on the Cap Cleveland, but for the most part our ten days on the Hanjin Palermo felt very familiar and passed comfortably.

Traveling with us were four other passengers. Three men had boarded a few days before us in Germany. Two were German, one of whom had always dreamed of arriving in America by boat. The third was a British-born Swiss man who bore a striking resemblance to my Scottish-born grandfather. Finally there was a man from Paris who boarded with us in Le Havre, and eagerly awaited news of the birth of his grand-daughter.

Otherwise we had a welcoming, affable German captain, a spacious two-room cabin with five portholes, and calm, almost placid seas the entire way from Le Havre to New York. Amazingly the ship had two pools, one on-deck just outside our cabin, and one indoors, below-deck, but since they had no way to heat the frigid Atlantic waters, both were empty. We ended up spending less time on the bridge and more at the bow—where we saw a surprising amount of wildlife in the middle of the ocean: migrating seabirds, playful dolphins, spouting whales, and even a shark!

Saturday, August 13

Clouds hanging over the port in Le Havre, France taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Clouds hanging over the port in Le Havre
Pulling out of the port in Le Havre, France, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Pulling out of the port in the mist
Reaching the outer seawall of the port in Le Havre France, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Reaching the outer seawall in the rain
Passing incoming container ships outside the port of Le Havre, France, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Passing incoming container ships in the fog
Looking back towards the port of Le Havre, France, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Looking back towards Le Havre (Goodbye France!)

Sunday, August 14

The wake of the Hanjin Palermo in the Atlantic Ocean
Hello blue skies!
Shadows of the containers on the Hanjin Palermo in the Atlantic Ocean
Container shadows

Monday, August 15

Cloudy seascape, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Cloudy seascape

Tuesday, August 16

View between containers on the Hanjin Palermo
View between containers
The engine room of the Hanjin Palermo
The engine room (and that’s just one of three auxiliary engines)
Cloudy seascape taken from the Hanjin Palermo
A foreboding seascape

Wednesday, August 17

Migrating Atlantic ocean birds, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Ocean birds 1
Migrating Atlantic ocean birds, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Ocean birds 2
Migrating Atlantic ocean birds, taken from the Hanjin Palermo
Ocean birds 3

Thursday, August 18

View from the bridge of the Hanjin Palermo in the fog
View from the bridge in the fog
View from the bridge of the Hanjin Palermo, coming out of the fog
View from the bridge, coming out of the fog
View from the bridge of the Hanjin Palermo out of the fog
View from the bridge, out of the fog (5 minutes later)

Friday, August 19

Stephanie and Justin enjoying the sunset at the stern of the Hanjin Palermo
Enjoying the sunset
Atlantic Ocean sunset from the Hanjin Palermo
Setting sun
Atlantic Ocean sunset from the Hanjin Palermo
Pink wake
Atlantic Ocean sunset from the Hanjin Palermo
Orange glow

Saturday, August 20

Colorful containers on the Hanjin Palermo
Colorful containers

Sunday, August 21

Telephoto container ship seen from the Hanjin Palermo
Telephoto ship 1
Telephoto container ship seen from the Hanjin Palermo
Telephoto ship 2
Telephoto cruise ship seen from the Hanjin Palermo
Telephoto ship 3

9 Comments

Patrick

Welcome back to the good ole U.S. of A!

enda

Hi Justin, I’ve checked in to your blog quite a few times over the past year to see how your great adventure was going and it was always a joy to read about some of the places that you’d been and to see the great images that you captured along the way. I can’t believe that it has been a year. I am sure that it is even more unbelievable for you. These final photos are particularly beautiful and poignantly echo some of the photos that I remember from the beginning of your travels. I have been particularly interesting to see your experience travelling across the oceans on these monster ships. It is some thing I would love to do myself someday mainly for me because my father was in the merchant navy when he was in his 20’s and I grew up listening to many stories of voyages across oceans on giant ships.
Anyway I wish you both a very safe voyage home.

Great photos and I love the one of you two on deck – you both look so content. Glad to hear that the long boat back was as fulfilling as the one you took to start out the trip and very happy to have crossed paths with the both of you in Chiang Mai!

Been following your adventures and have quite enjoyed getting to vicariously travel the world.

I saw a post on Design Milk today that I thought you would be interested in: http://design-milk.com/ship-toys-from-papa-foxtrot/#more-80039. Beautiful wooden toy ships.

Welcome back to Texas – and a heat wave. I guess it beats a hurricane in NYC.

Patrick, hard to believe we’ve been out of the country for a year. It’s good and strange to be back.

Enda, I highly highly recommend it if you get the chance. Several of the passengers were making a vacation out of the journey, and flying right back to their respective homes in Europe after only 2-3 days in NYC. Glad you’ve enjoyed following along.

Jodi, it’s funny, Stephanie looks at that photo and says “we look so old!” I think it’s the light and the windblown hair. But we were quite happy to be back onboard, and now we are looking forward to the as yet unknown adventures that await us.

Jacob, thanks for reading—and wow! I must order the Emma Maersk. Except it doesn’t yet seem to be available from http://papafoxtrot.com/

Welcome home guys. If the sea calls again you know where to find us. the Hanjin Palermo is running fully booked right now so we could use a few more like her on the Atlantic run!

Kevin, thanks for connecting us with such a great ship. I can say there’s a high probability we’ll consider traveling the high seas again one day.

Nina Levitt

fascinating… i am thinking of taking Utrillo from USA to UK in October. Am concerned about foul weather, it being hurricane season! Glad you missed Irene…. can you tell me how you were able to post your blog on the voyage? is there web access on board? thanks for any info.

Nina, I posted this the day we arrived in NYC, not on the ship.

During our Pacific crossing (on the Cap Cleveland), there was no internet aboard (technically you could give the captain a Word document and have him send an email for you from the bridge, but I don’t consider that “the internet”). However we did bring a rented satellite modem along and left daily updates from the middle of the ocean. The posts start at Boarding the Cap Cleveland and continue from there.

During our Atlantic crossing on the Hanjin Palermo, there was a computer available for the crew that they could use to compose emails. I believe these went to the captain who was responsible for sending them out. So it was a better system if you needed to contact someone in a pinch, but we didn’t have any use for it.

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