Episode 160 – It’s For The Birds

January 8, 2022. 64°F/18°C – It was chilly in the Pacific today, but not when compared to back in Canada!


When I started writing today’s post this morning, it was going to be stultifyingly dull – as close to reading the diary of an extremely boring teenager as you would ever want to get. Today was slated to be a “work day”: laundry and emails for me and a marathon photo curating stint for Ted.

Fortunately, we chose to leave our cabin for breakfast (we don’t have to, with room service, but it’s honestly too small a space in which to do much eating), which meant that I ran into new acquaintances Stella and Gary and got to hear about yesterday’s whale-watching experience, as well as chat about a few favourite authors.

When I got back to our cabin, the phone message light was on!! I’m easily excited. Paul, a charming Brit I’d met in the Explorers’ Lounge earlier this week (but who’ll be leaving the ship when we reach LA) invited us to have tea (“and NOT cream cakes”) with him and his partner Tony at 3:30 in the Wintergarden. What a delightful interruption to a work day.

In the interim, Captain Lars’ noon report had some good news: no new Covid cases detected yesterday, leaving a total of 4 passengers and 4 crew recovering in isolation, and 2 close contacts in preventive quarantine. We’re just 2 sea days from the end of the Panama Canal cruise portion of our trip, where about 350 of the current passengers will disembark (no idea whether that includes the remaining 4 currently in isolation) – perhaps we’ll be “all clear” just as we begin the next leg of the journey.

In the end, it turned into the most social day we’ve had on board yet. Jim, who moderates the 21-22 World Cruise Facebook group, asked us to join him and his lovely wife Lynn for drinks at 5:00 back in the Explorers’ Lounge and then, after lots more good conversation, it was time to head to the World Café for dinner: cooked to order New York strip steak, fully loaded baked potatoes, and rhubarb custard tart.

There was a farewell party on the pool deck tonight for those ending their cruise in LA, but tempting as it was to join in for champagne and the music of the Viking Band, we chose to retire to our cabin and listen to Mireille Matthieu, from the Viking Music Library on our in-room entertainment system.

By the way, Ted’s hard work today was not wasted. Of the 2000 plus digital photos he sorted through, he deleted more than 2/3, and gave me 6 of his favourites to share with you.

A brown booby hitching a ride on the Viking Star.
Three images of Magnificent Frigate Birds (yes, magnificent is their name!)
I especially like the talons showing in the centre photo, but note the red pouch under the beak of the male in the top photo. One of Ted’s goals is to see this gorgeous bird with its pouch fully inflated. The female lacks the red pouch, but is physically larger than the male.
A brown pelican in graceful flight over the Pacific.
The same graceful pelican looking cartoonishly awkward diving into the water.

So in the end, it was both a productive and an interesting day.

ASIDE: The pretty green lights all around the ship along hallways, staircases, and door frames this morning were not a last lingering farewell to Christmas decorations, but rather a test by the bridge of the emergency lighting system.


  1. “STULTIFYINGLY” – where on earth did you come up with this?????? Ted’s photos are lovely, COVID news is great, social life sound good, but “stultifyingly”? Rose, you really need to get out more. Oh, wait, you’re out as much as you can be! LOL! And, other than tea and “not cream”, did you two not eat yesterday?

    You continue to amaze/enrapt me with your writing, and I look forward to your daily updates. I know I will never be able to embark on such a cruise, but am enjoying yours so very much. BTW, its freezing cold here – just in case you wanted to know…


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