February 19, 2022. 80°F/27°C
I slept in even later than usual today, partially aided by the knowledge that there were no early morning activities in which I wanted to take part, so the first thing I attended was resident naturalist Stephen Marsh’s 11:00 a.m. talk on blue and sperm whales, called “The Biggest Of Them All”. As always, he had spectacular photos and videos to share. Witnessing, even on film, the 40 ft tall blow of a blue whale, was awe-inspiring.
At 2:00 p.m. our guest artist Laurel led a workshop making pendants out of various beads. It’s amazing how quiet – and possessive of their bead containers! – a group of women can be when they’re concentrating on finding the perfect tiny bead to complete a design.
Dr. Linda Bradley gave another in her series of textile and costume lectures today, focussed on Hawaiìan fashion and the privilege she had of spending time with one of the archipelago’s premiere fabric and fashion designers, Alfred Shaheen – the man responsible for creating “aloha attire”. She’s even fortunate enough to have one of his garments in her own collection: the dress in the photo below, with a Chinese hibiscus design and metallic gold paint. I can only imagine her closet; she’d never be able to show it to me, since drool damages fabrics.
It was both amazing and amusing hearing Linda talk about her first experiences teaching in Hawaiì, as a “haole wahine in King Kamehameha’s aina”. A “haole” is a foreigner, “wahine” is woman, and “aina” is land. Perhaps Linda was initially a foreign woman in the land of the Hawaiìans, where both ethnicity and traditions are much closer to Asian than American, but her time spent living, teaching, and curating museum collections there must surely have made her feel at home in the islands.
Dinner tonight was in the main restaurant again, because we just really like the pacing of table service rather than the buffet. After Caesar salads with generous shavings of Parmesan, Ted enjoyed pasta with black pepper and pecorino cheese and a dessert of warm apple tart with vanilla gelato, while I had a shrimp/clam/chicken/chorizo jambalaya and a South African dessert called Caramel Malva Pudding, which was very much like a sticky toffee pudding, served with poached pears.
It was duets night in the theatre tonight. We’ve been looking forward to this show, called “It Takes Two”, ever since Cruise Director Aaron hinted that it was in the plans. Impromptu musical duets happen quite often on the Star, when one of the entertainment team spontaneously drops in on another’s show, so we’ve had a bit of a preview of how wonderful this could be.
Some of my favourite numbers from tonight’s performance are shown above. From top to bottom: Daniel & Anna-Lyn doing Summer Nights from Grease; Damian & Beth singing The Prayer; Jeffrey & Anna-Lyn singing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough; Henji & King rocking out The Eagles’ Take It Easy; Sarah-Leanne & Damian singing Shallow; Olga & Sasia’s instrumental Theme from Game of Thrones; Aaron & Poppy doing All I Ask of You from Phantom; and Aaron & Sarah-Leanne channeling Sonny & Cher with I Got You Babe (how on earth did Aaron’s baritone end up sounding like nasal Sonny Bono?)
We’re just over halfway through our transatlantic sea days. I’m going to be REALLY glad to set foot on solid ground again, but in the interim Viking is doing a great job of keeping us entertained.