Greetings from the North Pacific!

January 31, 2016

We’ve been at sea for almost a week now, and were on land yesterday for the first time since last Sunday, when we left San Francisco. Being in the Pacific Ocean has been a great time for reflection, as we cruise along with no land in sight, no birds, and only the noise of the waves. But a busy time, too – there are things happening all day and night on board.   We have met many nice folks from all over, and there are about 350 people who will be onboard for the entire 100+ days (others join us for specific segments of the trip).

Lectures abound, many focused on the conflicts in the Middle East as do classes on a wide range of topics (photography, bridge, computer, piano, Spanish, knitting, health and wellness, history, geology, etc.). Fortunately, many of the lectures are taped so you can watch them on TV if you are busy when the original lecture takes place. Agonizing decisions every for us: Joe – whether to take a photography class or a lecture; MA – whether to take Spanish or pilates.   Tons of sports classes and clinics too (golf, paddleball, etc), as well as an onboard Olympic Games challenge.   Happily, clergy of various faiths are on board, and Mass is celebrated every day.

Yesterday we saw Honolulu during a brief visit. Enjoyed the Lyon Arboretum and a great party at the USS Missouri (where the papers ending WWII were signed on the Surrender Deck).

Tuesday we reach Fanning Island in the Republic of Kiribati, but we won’t yet be at the Equator. This Pacific is one big ocean!