2013 © Copyright Debbie King. All rights reserved.
Visited 89 countries (41% of the world)
These pages are a miscellany of nautical fun facts and fiction, interesting snippets
of seafaring information and anything else to do with the sea, ships and cruising. It is also
YOUR page, where I'll encourage anyone to send in pictures and stories of your own
cruises or any other interesting seafaring experiences. I will then create a guest page for
During our many thousands of nautical miles of sailing, we have passed many milestones
and experienced some interesting phenomena. It is also traditional for seafarers to
undergo a special ceremony (for which we also receive a certificate) when crossing
significant lines of latitude and longitude. The awards we can claim so far are as follows.
Clicking the links will display the appropriate certificate (where available):
The Order of the Blue Nose for crossing the Arctic Circle (66° 33' N) - 1999, 2008 & 2014
The Order of the Golden Dragon for crossing the International Date Line (180° 00' E/W) -
2009, (180° 00' W/E) - 2019
Trusty Shellback for crossing the Equator (00° 00' latitude) - 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019
The Order of the Rock for transiting the Straits of Gibraltar - 1995 and 1999
The Order of the Ditch for transiting the Panama Canal - 2007
Tropic of Cancer (23° 27' N) - 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018
Tropic of Capricorn (23° 26' 16" S) - 2013 and 2015
We didn't quite make the Order of the Red Nose (crossing the Antarctic Circle) on our 2006
Antarctic expedition as we *only* got down to 65° S, but we still received a certificate for
being one of the privileged few to set foot on the White Continent.
As seasoned sea-dogs, Trevor and I are often asked by friends and workmates various questions.
These questions, with their answers, are given below.
If you, dear reader, have any questions you would like to ask us, email us and we will feature them
on this page.
Q. At sea, I hear they refer to distances covered in nautical miles. How far IS a
A. As you know, position at sea is measured in latitude (how far north or south you are) and
longitude (how far east or west you are). A nautical mile is the measure of distance used to
describe one-sixtieth of a degree (one minute). Therefore if you started at the equator and headed
north, by the time you reach 1° N, you will have travelled 60 nautical miles. The earth has a
circumference (at the equator) of 21,600 nautical miles. One nautical mile = 1.1508 statute miles.
Q. I've never been on a cruise before. What happens if I'm sea-sick?
A. There are several things you can do. (a) Visit the ship's doctor for an anti-seasickness injection.
There is usually a charge for this, but no doubt it will be worth it. (b) Try chewing on some
crystallised ginger. A lot of ships provide bowls of this or you can go prepared with your own (c) As
a last resort, and if you're really feeling like death warmed up, you can make arrangements to
disembark the ship at the next port of call, then fly home.
Q. I can see the attraction of visiting lots of ports of call, but what happens if you're at
sea for days at a time; say, on a transatlantic voyage. Don't you get bored? What on
earth do you find to DO all day?
A. There is absolutely no chance of ever being bored. Check the ship's daily programme - there
will be a plethora of activities, lectures, guest speakers, a cinema, a sports centre, gym, swimming
pools, short courses, a computer centre, internet cafe... and of course all your fellow passengers to
socialise with... not to mention the numerous cocktail bars, pubs, restaurants. Oh and duty-free
shopping of course. Or you can visit the spa for a massage or other treatment, or get your hair
done... or sit up on deck enjoying the sun and (literally) watching the world go by, and.... need me
to go on?
Q. Have you ever been out in really rough weather?
A. Oh yes! Some areas of sea are notoriously rough, e.g. the Drake Passage or the Bay of Biscay.
Try crossing it on a 10,000-tonner in November!!
On a transatlantic crossing you will often feel a gentle roll to the ship because of the swell.
Generally, the larger the ship, the less you feel the motion. When you disembark the ship after
several days at sea, you will notice that strange phenomenon of still thinking you are moving, even
on terra firma.
Q. What is the difference between a cruise ship and an ocean liner?
A. A cruise ship is designed for short 'hops' between ports of call in the style of a floating luxury
hotel, usually in calmer waters such as the Mediterranean or Caribbean. The shape of the keel
tends to be flat-bottomed and the steel thickness is usually about 12-15mm. The usual cruising
speed is about 15-18 knots.
Ocean liners, on the other hand, are designed for longer non-stop trips and are therefore built for
speed and their ability to withstand the battering of rougher waters such as the North Atlantic.
Their keels, therefore, are a pointed shape and the steel is much thicker at 25mm. There is
currently only one true ocean liner afloat - QM2, which can cruise at 28 knots.
Sometimes we send in photos of our travels to magazines such as the
popular “Take a Break”. It gives us a chance to earn some cash as
well as see ourselves in print! Here are the ones we’ve had published