Noah And The Princess

Written by Ralph Tippin

Remember – it was professionals who built the Titanic; it was amateurs who built the Ark.

Noah and the Princess? Now there’s a weird subject! Let’s see if I can make any sense out of it (or some strange attempt to link the two at least).


The Bible tells us that God told Noah to build a boat, exactly according to His instruction. It was to be 450 feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. It was to have three floors (decks), a window eighteen inches from the ceiling all the way around, one door which only He could close, and it was to be sealed with pitch so it wouldn’t leak. Then Noah was to bring a pair of each of the land animals and birds into the ark (and seven of some to be used later for sacrificial offerings) so that the earth could be repopulated later on. Along with Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives, these animals would be kept safe from the flood.

The floor space on the ark was 100 000 square feet, which would be more than 20 standard-sized basketball courts. The cubic volume would be 1 518 000 cubic feet, which would equal the capacity of 569 railroad stock cars. That made it the largest sea-going vessel prior to the 20th century. Since the ark was closed and under sail for 371 days, enough food and provisions would be needed to keep all on board healthy and fed. Bible scholars and scientists suggest that far less than the content equivalent to 200 stock cars would be sufficient to supply those on board the S.S. Noah for its total voyage. 

An amazing sidelight to the dimensions of the ark is that the length to width ratio was six to one. All ship builders today will tell you that this is the best ratio to maintain excellent stability on the high seas. It would have been almost impossible, humanly speaking, to capsize the ark in the tremendous storms in the year of the flood. God’s directions were perfect as usual. Archaeologists and scholars tell us that most ships which sailed the Mediterranean Sea and in ocean waters in Jesus’ day were built on ratios of two or three to one. This necessitated staying in port on many days or risk being sunk in windy, stormy weather. By the number of wrecks found in those areas, there were many tragedies at sea and many lives lost as a result in ancient times.

Windows were built into the ark, eighteen inches from the top, roughly the distance from your head to your heart. We can receive enlightenment (facts, teaching, and philosophy) about God in our head and be subject to persuasion, but until it drops that short distance into our heart, true faith and commitment just hasn’t taken hold of us. The pitch that seals all the seams and chinks in the walls prevents leaks and disaster through flooding. The Bible says that true believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit, keepng us safe from the elements in the world which try to sink us.

And then there is the door. Only one. Those who wished to be saved from disaster had to enter, by choice and obedience, through the door and into the ark. Jesus said in John 10:9, “I am the door; whoever enters in through Me will be saved. He will go in and out, and find pasture.” One door and only One – your choice. Once in, He will indicate when its safe for you to go in and out and so live your life according to His provision.

The Princess

Oh, if only old Noah could see this. Over 6000 years since the Ark was built, the Sapphire Princess cruise ship was born. Noah’s craft was finally fit to sail 120 years after it was begun. This modern queen of the seas began its maiden voyage in 2004, just three years after it left the drawing tables for the shipyards. Today it is quietly churning its way to Whittier, Alaska, nearing the end of yet another successful cruise. On board are some 2700 passengers and 1100 crew members. Fully 946 feet long (that’s over three football fields) and 136 feet wide (that’s a length to width ratio of seven to one), it is deemed completely safe due to the genius and the careful building methods of man. Twenty decks high (203 feet) it easily dwarfs Father Noah’s ark. Complete with elevators, carpeting throughout, elegant staterooms, boutiques, several restaurant and buffet areas, lounges, swimming pools, a spa, fitness rooms, a jogging track, a luxurious theatre, yes – a casino (close to the chapel, ironically), a kid zone, an internet cafe and library, a full-time medical staff – well, you get the idea – not a bad place to hang out for a week.

The statistics concerning food to provide for this floating mid-size town are mind-boggling. Food is available for the eating 24 hours per day on the Sapphire. Just to mention a few – in one day, the galleys (that’s ship-talk for the kitchens) process: 1500 pounds of fish,1800 pounds of poultry, 2100 pounds of beef, 1600 pounds of salads, 300 pounds of shrimps, 2000 pounds of potatoes, 1700 pounds of flour, 470 gallons of coffee, 400 pounds of sugar, and on and on. I saw a sign while touring the galley area, “Calories don’t count; they multiply!” One must develop a steely resolve not to gorge oneself before getting on the ship. I’m afraid mine was underdeveloped. No wonder “Deliver us from temptation” is in the Lord’s Prayer. At present, however, I am trying to practice repentance. Somehow, I don’t think that was a major problem for Noah and family.

Barb and I are currently recovering back at home – AW! Poor us! After a 2945 km cruise, we are back to reality, dealing with the “everyday”. We are thankful the Lord allowed us this vacation trip – our once in a lifetime experience. When we think of Noah and his spectacular ride, we are humbled. When I think of eternity and dream about what it will be like in the New Heaven and the New Earth, Alaska will take second place – EASY. But until then, I’ll look at our pictures and rejoice.

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