Boats, ships, waves, and art

Rough seas

Being from the glacial moraines of southern Ohio, my universe of “watercraft” was limited to rowboats, canoes, sailboats, and “motorboats” (anything with a gasoline engine).  Over the years, I got exposed to a wider assortment of watercraft, from jet skis to ferries to large ships, like the Celebrity Eclipse.  The master of this vessel, the Celebrity Solstice, Captain Tasos, has made it very clear to the passengers that we are on a ship, not a boat, but I have to admit that “boat” is a word that keeps slipping off my tongue.

So what is the difference between a  ship and a boat?

Which one is a ship, and which is a boat?

According to the Oxford Dicttionary, a boat is “a small vessel for traveling over water, propelled by oars, sails, or an engine.”  A ship is a “a large boat for transporting people or goods by sea.”  So, it seems that all ships could be boats, but not all boats are ships.  I came across a cute description of the distinction between the 2:  

1.  A ship can carry a boat, but a boat can’t carry a ship.

2.  A ship’s captain gets annoyed if you refer to the vessel as a boat, but a boat’s captain never gets annoyed if you refer to the vessel as a ship!

I’ll be spending a number of weeks on this SHIP, sometimes taking tender BOATS to shore. I’ll see if this Ohio boy can improve his marine vocabulary.


We are sailing to New Caledonia today, and we will arrive in 2 days.  The seas are rough, with waves exceeding 4 meters (12-15 feet).  Last night, laying in bed, you could feel the rocking of the SHIP, and the acoustics of the SHIP were different... there was a constant noise similar to a hard rain on a window, or a floorboard creaking in the apartment above you, every time the SHIP swayed (I am really trying to use the correct word).  The guts of the SHIP were groaning as the ship was lifted up, down, and sideways from the sea. Captain Tasos has recommended that passengers refrain from wearing high heels, so that obviously limits my wardrobe.  The treadmills are off limits, but the pools are open.  I went for a swim today (if you do it early enough, you can swim laps.  Otherwise, there are enough people in the pool that it is impossible).  It felt like the ocean... there were 1 foot waves, and at times I was swimming backward and my hands touched the bottom because of the sloshing of the water.  Seasickness pills are being distributed to all guests for free, and there are barf bags clearly available in all restrooms.  Yippy!  I took a time-lapse video of the waves at the stern of the ship on Deck 5.  Tighten your seat belt before watching!


Finally, I found some of the artwork on this SHIP interesting.  First, some paintings might get a teacher fired in Logan, UT.

And in the stairway for all to see?  Think of the children! (note satirical bent).

I assume these are photos of a large flock of European starlings... on a SHIP in the Pacific! 

A glimpse of a quiet dawn.


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