Walking on a Cruise Ship

On August 29 we were on the cruise ship Noordam on the way out of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. The Noordam’s deck 3 is the main deck where all main exits are, with access to the life boats. There is a plank path all around the ship, from bow to stern. In the bow, there is a plaque indicating that the distance around the ship is exactly 0.33 miles, meaning that three times around the ship comprises a walk of one mile.

To get a sense of the scale of the ship, here is a (partial) picture of her [lick to enlarge]:

Deck 3 is where the orange life boats are, just at the top of the black painted hull. The top deck is number 10.

I decided to do my customary two mile walk in the late afternoon on the way out of Glacier Bay National Park. The wind was brisk, particularly when walking forward toward the bow. I estimate that the ship was moving at a speed of about 14 knots or so.

I turned on my Garmin Instinct watch to track my walk, and it was supposed to be an experiment. The Garmin tracks walks with all manner of statistics, and it saves a map of the walk. I have displayed such maps many times on these pages, usually when I show hikes. I was interested what a “walk” of two miles would look like going around in circles on a moving ship.

Doing the two miles, or six times around the ship, took about 35 minutes. Here is the map:

Obviously, it’s on water and it shows up as a straight line. The width of the ship is only about 100 feet or so, which is not enough to show up as a wiggle on the path. The red and blue areas are fast and slow. I would have registered as walking faster going backwards away from the direction of the ship’s movement. But it did not turn out that way at least consistently. It may be that the ship slowed down or speed up at one point, or that my Garmin was starting to get wonky.

[Note, the Garmin was getting wonky, and I have since upgraded to an Instinct 2 for that reason].

I wish I had another chance to do this experiment over again with a reliable device. But there you have it, a map of a two mile walk on a moving cruise ship.

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