She Dreams of California While Stranded on a Cargo Ship in China

Sometimes Madeleine Wolczko goals of her runs up the mountainsides of the Sierra Nevada, or the weekends diving for abalone off the Mendocino coast. Her solely travels today are in her thoughts.

Wolczko, a graduate of the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, has been stranded on a cargo ship in Shanghai since early February.

She is the second officer and first navigator of the President Wilson, a container ship that left Oakland in January and now has turn into a form of jail. The Chinese authorities haven’t let her or any of the crew members, all American nationals, disembark, not even dockside, whereas the ship undergoes upkeep delayed by Covid lockdowns.

As the monthslong quarantine lifted in Shanghai final week and jubilant residents descended into the streets, Wolczko sat in her cabin dispirited and pining for the day when she and the remaining of the crew aboard the President Wilson will be capable to sail once more.

“It will get to a level the place you actually must numb your self to it, in any other case you spiral in this downward despair,” Wolczko stated by phone on Friday as she jogged on the ship’s rickety treadmill. Of the almost 30 crew members onboard, she is the one lady.

She vents her frustration by kickboxing a punching bag in the gymnasium. But it’s the psychological blows that damage essentially the most, the false rumors about being airlifted, the numerous departure dates which have come and gone.

“It undoubtedly feels we’re getting bludgeoned again and again and at this level are simply form of taking the hits,” she stated.

She was purported to be performed with this tour of responsibility on March 18.

The crew has survived the ordeal with darkish humor and Chinese authorities rations of greens: cucumbers, winter squash, carrots, broccoli and daikon.

And Wolczko, figuratively, has made lemonade from lemons. She has filmed, edited and posted mini documentaries on YouTube, titled “Restricted to the Ship.”

She hopes to lift consciousness of mariners the world over through the pandemic who’ve had the identical straits — marooned off the coast of Long Beach, banned from disembarking on the world’s greatest ports, homesick and infrequently disconnected to the world.

“The large takeaway is that this must be in the general public eye a lot greater than it’s,” Wolczko stated. “Just as a result of we’re thus far out of sight, folks don’t care, as a result of they don’t know.”

Wolczko received her sea legs at a younger age. From age 6 to 13 she lived on a sailboat together with her dad and mom. They sailed from Seattle to New Zealand.

She says she has no downside being on a boat for lengthy stretches of time. Just so long as it’s transferring. Being docked in Shanghai has been a “psychological battle.”

Maybe the ship will depart this week. Or perhaps that’s simply one other wishful rumor.

All she will be able to do is sustain her routine.

Running, working. Punching, punching. Dreaming, dreaming.


San Francisco’s liberal district legal professional, Chesa Boudin, faces a divisive recall in the famously progressive metropolis, fueled by issues about burglaries and hate crimes.


How to make ice cream.


Today’s tip comes from Jackie Leventhal, who recommends the Tilden Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley:

“The backyard is dedicated to the gathering, show and preservation of the native vegetation of California. There are picturesque manzanitas, oaks, tons of bunchgrasses, and flowers. There are so many stone pathways to discover set in pleasant landscaped settings, and an award successful rock backyard and plantings.

I can’t wait to return for extra days of exploring, and contemplation in this uniquely California conservatory.”

Tell us about your favourite locations to go to in California. Email your solutions to [email protected] We’ll be sharing extra in upcoming editions of the e-newsletter.


Kenichi Horie had made the solo sea voyage from San Francisco to Japan earlier than, a 94-day journey in which he lived on canned meals and rice. But that was when he was a relative teenager in 1962.

Now 83, Horie arrived Saturday in Kii Strait because the oldest sailor to traverse the Pacific Ocean by himself, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. His first journey six many years in the past made him a nationwide hero in Japan and impressed folks all over the world.

“When I first got here right here 60 years in the past, I by no means imagined I’d be again right here 60 years later,” Horie instructed a Bay Area crowd by means of an interpreter earlier than he left.


Thanks for studying. We’ll be again tomorrow.

P.S. Here’s as we speak’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: What bioluminescent creatures do (4 letters).

Soumya Karlamangla, Jack Kramer and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can attain the staff at [email protected].

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