cruise

Photo 101: Day 14: Scale and Observation

This was a fun exercise. In a travel photography course I’ve taken, the teacher suggested we bring something small to slip unobtrusively into the photo, to connect the pictures. I took the idea a step further and invited my “frog”, Marley, on our cruise around the British Isles. Here is Marley scaled with the Atlantic Ocean in the background, and Marley and my husband, Bill, resting after a long day of touring Glasgow, Scotland. It was easier to make Marley look small in scale.

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I took these photos of Marley today:

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Staying in Focus: Better if by Sea

One of the best things about taking a cruise is arriving at a new country or city by water, which is so more interesting and scenic than arriving at an airport. I’ve been in several international airports and they all look the same. But each city looks entirely different when seen from the ocean’s eye view.

Sometimes the ship arrives in port overnight and when I open my drapes and look out, I see an entirely different view than the day before. Sure beats opening my blinds at home and seeing my backyard every day. It took four hours for us to traverse the islands of the Stockholm archipelago before reaching port. What a beautiful way to view Sweden for the first time! All of these photos were shot from my balcony aboard the Eurodam.

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Stockholm Sweden

Here are a few harbor views:

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Kristiansand, Norway

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Stockholm

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Stockholm

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Stockholm

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Stockholm

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Island in the Stockholm Archipelago

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Oslo, Norway

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Oslo, Norway

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Helsinki, Finland

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Stockholm Harbor at sunset

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Gothenburg, Sweden

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Kristiansand, Norway

Staying in Focus: A First Glimpse of Copenhagen

Well, we have returned from broadening our horizons, this year, in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Germany. We had a wonderful time, and learned a lot about the history and culture of the people living there, sampled their cultural cuisines and visited the capitals of each country, as well as taking excursions out into the countryside.

This trip further convinced me of my findings on previous visits to  England, France, Ireland and Scotland and that is that although they may celebrate different holidays, have different customs and political systems, different architectural styles in their buildings, homes and apartment and different languages, people are just people wherever you go. They are busy with their careers and families, they look forward to the weekends, with plans to shop, go to a park, launch their sailboat or go to an amusement park like the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is where our adventure began, on the good cruise ship, the ms Eurodam. IMG_5994

But before we can board the cruise ship, we have to fly the not so friendly skies, in an airplane. We are, of course flying coach. I love how they make you walk past the first class seats where the flight attendants are tucking the people in and singing lullabies to them. Next, we trundle past business class, where they at least acknowledge that people have legs and finally into coach, or economy class, where we are packed together like a roll of peppermints.

My first question is, how many more seats can you pack into an airplane and still leave your customers the ability to walk off the plane at the end of the voyage? And my second question is, why have seats that recline if doing so puts the person sitting behind you squashed for 8 hours between your reclined seatback and his upright one?

This happens to my husband a few minutes into the flight. Sleeping Beauty, and I use that term lightly, must have downed a handful of valium or something prior to boarding the plane.  Just as my husband is handed his dinner tray, she flips her seatback into total recline, pushing his dinner into his lap, and there she remains for the remainder of the flight, sound asleep. My husband is about 6 feet tall, and I see the panic in his eyes at the thought of being squished in like that for 7 hours. So we manage to trade places, so he can at least feel a measure of freedom by sitting on the aisle.

The time slowly passes and we finally hobble out of plane. We arrive in the baggage claim section just as I hear my name called out.  It is the Holland America representative, and after some totally confused and contradicting instructions, we find ourselves on a bus, with our baggage stowed beneath us, the recipients of a free tour of Copenhagen (thank you, Holland America), to keep us busy until it was time to board ship. So here is our first glimpse of Copenhagen. IMG_4887IMG_4842IMG_4870

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Staying in Focus:Daily Prompt: Good Time

 Daily Prompt:Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/daily-prompt-good-time/

a path of gold from the sun to me You have to see this place!

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I awaken just before sunrise, after a good night’s sleep free of the crazy, Technicolor dreams induced by my medications. I get out of bed, quietly tiptoe across the room, and peek out between the drapes. The sun has just cleared the horizon and the beautiful hues of pink and orange sunrise dance across the waters toward my feet. As I take pictures of the beautiful scene, I enjoy total silence – no one would believe thousands of people surround me. As the sunrises, it reveals mountains covered with snow, their lofty peaks shrouded in mists. Small icebergs float by, jewels of aquamarine. Slightly ahead and off to the right, I am treated to the breaching of a humpback whale.

The day that has just begun will be filled with amazing scenery, more whale watching, maybe exploring a coastal town, say Juneau  or Sitka, followed by a delicious dinner, an evening’s entertainment, maybe some trivia in one of lounges. The sun is unwilling to set in this Land of the Midnight Sun and we are reluctant to stop for the day because this is an imaginary day and tomorrow reality returns.

I am reminded of a scene in the movie Groundhog Day, when Bill Murray, trapped in time and made to repeat Groundhog Day again and again recalls a far better day in his past life and says,  “… that was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I have that day to live over and over…”

I try, on special days like these, to be present, in the moment, but as hard as I try, the day slips away, leaving only memories. I look at the pictures I have taken on such special days, and think to myself, was I really there?  Why didn’t I pay more attention? But I can close my eye and remember all the beautiful places I’ve seen and one of the most beautiful is Alaska. As I hold to the adage, “Think Big!” I could think of nothing bigger or more  beautiful, than spending my imaginary day in Alaska.  The following is  a poem I wrote following my visit to Alaska in 2012.

This one is a sestina.  It has 6 verses and each sentence of each verse must end in one of six words.  I chose; Alaska, glaciers, aquamarine, paradise, mountains, whales.  In each verse these words move around according to a preset form.  It ends with a tercet (3 lines) and in each of those lines are two of the six words. It is a form of poetry that uses repetition.

And Did I Mention the Water is Aquamarine?

a pristine wilderness, wild and untamed,  a place called Alaska

a land of bears and  bald eagles;  graced with icy glaciers

and did I mention the water is aquamarine?

our ship slowly starts passage into the fjord, a slim slice of paradise

we pass the silent sentinels,  the mighty mountains,

a sudden disturbance in the water;  we are in the company of whales

we spy a spout of steam,  a telltale sign, we watch for the whales

in summer, they come to feed on small fish off the coast of Alaska

fresh water runs in rivers from the melting snows of the mountains

slowly they move, ages old, ever changing,  grinding rock and ice, the glaciers

glow on a rare sunny day in July. We are thankful to be here in such a paradise

enchanted,  we watch the sunlight sparkle on waters of aquamarine

this is a color rarely seen – a translucent version of aquamarine

so pretty when it swirls, and suddenly,  there appear two killer whales

azure skies, the brilliant sun, running waters, crystal ice, this is my paradise

and a dream come true – long have I waited to come to Alaska

to see blue ice glowing in the fissures of the glaciers

and marvel at the snow- capped peaks of lofty, rugged  mountains

beaches are fine, but take me to the mountains

especially those that surround waters of aquamarine

crack! the sound echoes, as  ice splits from the glaciers

in the gold of the setting sun, the breach of a whale

I’ll forever remember the unrestrained beauty –Alaska

has all the facets of a true paradise

I walk in the beauty of this wilderness paradise

where wisps of fog conceal the tops of the mountains,

the leaves strung with pearls of morning dew.  Of Alaska,

I’ll always remember that incredible shade of aquamarine

and that sound in the night – the exhaling  breath of a whale

and those blue icebergs sailing by,  spawned by the glaciers

despite their age, there is a fragile beauty in the glaciers,

which is woven in the fabric of this natural paradise

I can hear it calling to me in the singing of the whales

as it  echoes through the canyons of the waiting mountains

and reflects in the waters of aquamarine

it’s a song of the wilderness,  – the song of Alaska

I came in search of whales, and the snow-capped mountains,

which rise in silhouette above the glacier icefields, in a paradise,

a dream taken form in aquamarine – Alaska.

Staying in Focus: Daily Prompt: All It’s Cracked Up To Be: Our Trip of a Lifetime

Daily Prompt: Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped.

Our cruise around Great Britain last summer was a bit complicated, but fortunately, as it was the vacation of a lifetime for us, everything went well. This was the first time we had ever used passports, but we sailed through security at RDU . We were in plenty of time to catch our ride (we even had time for chocolate ice cream). IMG_1204 We boarded our tiny plane and made it to Toronto, where we had a quick supper before boarding a larger, nicer plane for our trip to Heathrow Airport in England.

We had an almost glitch when, about halfway there, the flight attendants asked if there were any medical people on board because a passenger was having chest pains.  Fortunately there were, and when we arrived at Heathrow, a medical team was there to meet the plane.

We made it through customs and security, collected our luggage, which had the decency to take the same plane, and found our cruise line representative waiting for us, holding up a Princess Cruise Lines Card. We waited for a little while and were able to tap into the free Wi-Fi at the airport. Then we headed for a bus which whisked us off to the Southampton to board the ship.IMG_1180 IMG_1215We arrived at our cabin, and so did our well-behaved luggage, attended the requisite Titanic Scene safety drill, wearing our life jackets and assembling for a brief demonstration on how not  to drown while fumbling with our life jacket. Finally we were free to enjoy our cruise.

We didn’t get the Norovirus, or lose engine capacity or anything like that. We ate a lot of great food, enjoyed the musicals at the theatre at night, and the shore excursions by day. We even lucked out in getting the best guide for our Liverpool excursion, which was called “In the Footsteps of the Beatles.” Our guide, Marie, grew up across the street from Ringo and she was a font of information on everything to do with the Fab Four. Fantastic!IMG_1253

The weather was warm and dry for the most part, with one day of rain in Ireland. We also visited Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the beautiful town of St. Peter Port in Guernsey .IMG_1091 We spent a day in Paris and our two days at sea were spent enjoying the hysterical humor of the two cruise directors and their staff.

When our cruise was finished, we stayed for 2 more days to explore London and visit Stonehenge. We walked from our hotel to Buckingham Palace, ate some fish and chips in a pub, and rode on the upper deck of those familiar red buses of London.

Unseasoned travelers that we were, I think we did pretty well on our first foreign country experiences. I must give credit where credit is due, to my husband who did the planning and to the cruise line staff and the tour guides, who made it all, come together.  And, of course, to Air Canada, who flew us safely there and back to Toronto and then to RDU.  In Star Trek vernacular, the trip was “as smooth as an android’s bottom!”

Staying in Focus: An Autumn Wedding, Autumn Colors and a Look Back

Well, we are back from our next to last trip of 2013, and what a summer of travel and fun with family and friends we have had! We visited Atlanta in late May with our friends, Kathi and Don.We were exploring the Gone With the Wind Trail and highlights there were a bus tour of historic Jonesboro and  a tour of the Margaret Mitchell house where she wrote GWTW. We also took in a Braves game, where once we had hope for an exciting postseason. But that is a subject for my other blog, Focus on the Atlanta Braves. We also celebrated Mom’s 90th birthday on May 20, with a party at my sister’s house. She had a rough time this summer battling back a second attack of breast cancer, but her strength and positive outlook is getting her through.

My Mom at 90: So strong in her battle with cancer

My Mom at 90: So strong in her battle with cancer

Later in June we drove to Washington, DC to attend the wedding of our niece, Jeanette and Jarred Tafaro.  A week later found us flying to Heathrow airport in England to board the Caribbean Princess for a cruise around the British Isles. IMG_1375We toured St. Peter Port on the Isle of Guernsey and made ports of call in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, France and England. We covered everything from Stonehenge to The Beatles, sampled the local cuisine and searched for Nessie on a boat ride across Loch Ness. Bill saw the church in which his great grandparents married, and we visited The Cavern, a launching pad pub for the Beatles. We learned much about each place we visited, and the people in each country were delightful!

We returned home and attended a Monkees concert with our boys (what fun!) and then enjoyed a week with our house guests, Denise and Geoff, and dogs  Buddy and Bailey. Although there were some stressful moments as Denise and Geoff negotiated the closing on their house and the delivery of appliances and furniture (quite a nightmare at times) we really enjoyed having them stay with us. They moved out into their new home just before our family from NJ arrived. We enjoyed the usual shopping forays and looking at new houses, not to mention the traditional goodbye at Goodberry’s.  A few weeks later and we drove up to NJ to see our other niece, Becky, marry her new husband, Ally Randazzo.  As they took off for a honeymoon in Fiji, Bill and I headed to our haven in the Poconos for a few days of rest and relaxation. Here is a look back:

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And now we look ahead to the holidays, my favorite time of year. I love the fall, the changing leaves and that glorious blue sky free of the heavy, humid air of summer. That first nip in the air speaks to me of warm sweaters,  long nights, firelight, the crackle of leaves under my feet, hot apple cider and bowls of chili.  With all the holiday festivities and preparations, it will be time to pack those suitcases again for our annual Christmas visit to New Jersey before we know it!

New Jersey and Pennsylvania are a bit ahead of us in the autumn color display, so here is a sneak peek:

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Staying in Focus: Final Thoughts and What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

Some final thoughts and musings on the best vacation ever. And what I learned on my summer vacation this year.

1. One of the things I enjoy the most about cruises is the escape. Just for a little while,  I am transported into a different world. A world where food is prepared for me, served elegantly,  and I don’t have to clean up afterward.  A world where my bed is made in the morning,  turned down at night, with a chocolate resting on my pillow. I can be pampered  at the spa, or relax  in the hot tub after a long day of sightseeing while I watch movies under the stars. In the theatre, talented singers and dancers entertain me. Numerous clubs offer after dinner drinks, trivia games, karaoke, dancing and entertainment.  A little TLC is welcome every now and then and the cruise lines have this down to a science.

2. I love waking up each morning somewhere else!

3. And the ships themselves, tastefully decorated and impeccably clean. I applaud the Princess and Holland America Lines for their excellence in this regard. Until I saw one up close , I had no idea how big these ships are and my admiration also goes to the captain and the crew who manage to steer these floating hotels.4

4. On this cruise I had the opportunity to complete a  “Walk on the Deck for the Cure,” in honor of my mother and my friend, Debbi, who are fighting breast cancer. I applaud the social director who set this up  and gave us  a chance to be socially involved while on the high seas. We had to complete 6 circuits of the ship to make the 5K goal. I was proud of myself, at 60 and with Parkinson’s disease , to have completed the walk. Below is a picture of me, still standing! A wonderful opportunity to take part in such a worthy cause.

5. In addition to making each moment of our cruise one to remember, the cruise line was so helpful in transporting us to our hotel in London, and two days later driving us out to the airport  for our flight home.

6. One of the nicest advantages of taking a cruise is the fellowship we quickly develop with the other passengers and the crew as well. A few dinners in the dining room, playing trivia in the lounges and taking excursions, and the faces begin to look familiar and  a camaraderie soon develops.

On our cruise last year , our social director, John, pointed out how, during the cruise, for a week people from all over the world spent time together aboard ship, shared a dinner table and conversation and  were considerate of  each other.   In other words, we all got along and if we could do it for a week, certainly  the rest of the world could do it , too, if they reall.y tried. This year our cruise lasted 12 days and again, people got along. Perhaps the answer is putting everyone on a cruise ship – wouldn’t that be fun! But we  can’t stay on vacation forever, and we need to find ways to be tolerant and accepting of others in the everyday world.

And what I learned on my summer vacation this year is just how similar we all are, no matter where we call home I was sitting in the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland,  finishing my soft drink and just watching the people walk by, and I thought, you know, I can’t tell if this group walking by is English, or Canadian or Australian. They are just  people enjoying  a tour of the castle on a sunny afternoon in Scotland. Mothers pushed their babies in strollers, backpacks were slung over shoulders, young people wore jeans and T-shirts, most of them with some sort of “smart” electronic device in their hands.

I realized, then, that what seemed most different about the countries we visited was not the people, but the scenery. Basically, people are just people wherever you go. Our similarities are far more numerous than our differences. I didn’t feel like  a stranger in a strange land, I felt a part of the people gathered here at the castle . Later in the trip, on a walk through Green Park in London, there were people playing frisbee, and soccer, people sitting on lawn chairs and resting on blankets spread on the ground just enjoying  a warm summer night in England, a scene I’m sure was repeated all over the globe that day.

I wonder why it is so hard for us to  celebrate our shared humanity,? Why not build on those things we share – families, home, life, love and watch the differences shrink away? As my friend from Liverpool once wrote “You may say I’m a dreamer..”  Maybe one  day dreams like this will become  reality.  But until then, I’ll remember , with fondness, the people I had a chance to meet and share a wonderful experience with, once upon a time, on a cruise. Here are some pictures of the beautiful Caribbean Princess, which carried us away and brought us together, if only for a little while.

Still standing after the 5K walk the deck for the cure

Still standing after the 5K walk the deck for the cure

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Focus On: Dr. Seuss, Smiles and the Moments of our Lives

        don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened — Dr. Seuss

I came across this quote by one of my favorite writers, Dr. Seuss, and I realized how nicely his words speak to the cultivation of mindfulness.   How often do we miss out on the joys in our lives by anticipating their conclusion?.  How many moments are lost to our attention by our fear of living them and letting them go? This can apply to everything from a long anticipated vacation to a simple weekend.

Let’s take today, for example.  I have a choice.  I can fill my day up with things I enjoy doing with mindful attention, or sit here and lament the fact that it’s already 10:00 AM on Saturday morning and the weekend is already slipping through my fingers.

A great example of this is Christmas.  We spend so long anticipating this celebration. We decorate, buy and wrap gifts, plan menus and are so wrapped up ourselves in the planning that we hardly take time to really enjoy the moments of the season itself.  When we suddenly find ourselves sitting amidst the torn wrappings or looking at the remains of the holiday dinner, we feel a big letdown.  Christmas Day itself becomes anticlimactic, and we get the blues as we  dwell on the fact that it’s over, when we should be happy to have had the opportunity to enjoy this holiday with our loved ones once again.

Last summer, when we  were on our cruise to Alaska, we noticed there were floor mats in the elevators with the day of the week printed on them. Now, we could look at those mats each morning and think , “Oh, no, it’s Wednesday already.  Our cruise is almost over”, or we could choose to smile and think, “another beautiful day on this cruise is waiting for me to discover and enjoy.” A simple change of perspective can change the way you live your life.

I must admit  I did let the blues slip in when this experience in Alaska was over. It’s hard to go from a life of pampered leisure on a cruise ship, or a week hiking in a national park, or returning from a part of the world we never thought we’d see, and go back to life as usual, with the harsh reality of work, bills to pay and doctor visits to endure.

But mindfulness teaches us the importance of being present in the moment because this moment is all we really have.  It is pointless to waste it lookinging back, or anticipating the future. In this moment, right now, the sun is shining on a beautiful Saturday morning,. I am writing which gives me great pleasure, I feel good, I’m not in pain, I have much to smile about and I don’t have to be in Alaska to do it. (Although it would be nice…)

So let’s embrace the moments of our lives with attention and joy, and not squander them with regret, but  rather celebrate them with a smile – – because they happened.

Moments

Nothing is worth more than today,
A simple thought — but true,
For the past is just a memory
and no one has promised tomorrow to you.
So embrace today as the moments unfold,
Each one more precious than silver or gold,
Love and be loved, live and forgive,
and show true compassion for all living things
Then you’ll find peace of mind and joy of the soul
And your spirit will soar on gossamer wings.
                                                               pc ‘08

Focus on: Doby’s Adventures in Alaska

To wind up my musings on our recent cruise to Alaska, I will  record for posterity Doby’s Adventures in Alaska. My photography instructor suggested we take an object of some sort to provide continuity and  a splash of humor in our travel pictures.  I chose Doby because, first of all, he is a walrus and would fit in with the local wildlife  and he is also the avatar of a character my friend and I created for a parody of Moby Dick in high school,so it seemed like a good ft.

Doby was thrilled at being chosen, and was packed and ready to go long before we were.  All he packed was a hat and a blanket:

       Doby’s Alaska Hat 

Hurry up or we’ll miss the plane!

We finally got our act together and made it to the airport in plenty of time.  Doby chose a seat by the air sickness bag just in case.  Walruses do not usually travel by air. When the ride got a bit bumpy, Doby found a safe seat in my neck pillow.

Doby enjoyed the flight and the tiny pretzels and peanuts they handed out for a snack.  We saw some interesting cloud formations  as we .flew across the country to Seattle.

   The cloud formations look like cloud cities

We stayed at a really nice hotel in Seattle.  Doby liked the marble bathroom.  Can you spot him in this picture?     He’s pretty small.   

We were all very excited to get aboard the cruise ship. While we were waiting for our luggage to be delivered we explored the ship.   Doby caught some rays relaxing on a deck chair.

But possibly,the greatest surprise was waiting for Doby in the city of Sitka.  .  I was passing a store when I spied a walrus there, looking  a lot like Doby.  We went  to talk to  the walrus  in the window. It turned out he worked for the store, adding  the face of a walrus to authenticate their merchandise.I offered to leave him there for awhile , but he said he could keep in touch via Skype and e-mail . He’s a pretty savvy walrus..

Doby finds a cousin in a store in Sitka. Who knew his roots were in Alaska? Doby has lived with me for so long (since 1971) that we both forget exactly how we came to be together.

Doby made friends with the strange towel creatures that mysteriously appeared on our bed each evening along with  2 pieces of chocolate wrapped in gold foil
                        Doby also made friends with our cruise mates, Geoff and Denise

Finally, Doby gazes out the window of the Crow’s Nest, as we  depart Alaskan waters.  I have a feeling he’ll be back.  I have a feeling we’ll be back, too.

Focus on: Walruses and Whales

I know everyone is anxious to find out what object I’ve chosen to use in some of my photographs on the cruise.  But first, I must fill in some background.  It all begins in high school with an English assignment following our reading of Moby Dick. My friend,  Kathi and I, were in an accelerated English program, which more or less meant that they made it up as the went along.  At the time of this assignment, we were being taught by a student teacher who allowed us to choose whatever we wanted to do for our assignment.

We decided, as the creative geniuses we thought we were, to write a parody of Moby Dick. As crazy as we were creative, we named our book Doby Mick.  Doby Mick being a walrus rather than a mighty whale with an attitude.

Let me preface the following;  This book was  a work of fiction, any resemblance of characters to persons living or dead is purely intentional, I mean, coincidental.

.First, we needed a protagonist and we couldn’t think of anyone more capable of causing agony than our very own lead English teacher.  For with her malicious red pencil she would slash and burn her way through our compositions as if she was leading Sherman’s March through Georgia.  She would then place the offending paper on the overhead projector and it would appear on the wall ten feet tall (or so it seemed to the hapless writer).  The agony would continue as the paper was further critiqued by the erstwhile teacher and the doomed author of the piece longed only for the floor to open and swallow her. Despite her best efforts, however, she did not deter me from writing, as is obvious to anyone reading my posts.

. We named the pencil Herman, and being a pencil, he could write and therefore was chosen to begin the book with the line, “Call me Herman.  Only I have survived to tell thee the tale.”  We chose the name Professor Roberts, later to be known as Captain Roberts for our protagonist and to.to round out the crew, we scrambled the letters in our student teacher’s last name and he became Kokonets Quomodo, the captain’s cannibal friend (more about this later).

The book was exciting and topical, drawing in information learned in our other classes as well.  For instance, the ship was named the Peapod (we were learning about Gregor Mendel, the founder of the study of genetics, and his research cultivating pea plants).  In their quest for Doby Mick, the Peapod comes up against Scylla and Charybdis (Grreek Mythology). and finally,on Shakespeare’s birthday, they encounter Doby Mick. The great battle ensues and  you’d have to read the book to find out how it ends, but suffice it to say you could (If you don’t have a life, that is) read Moby Dick — it’s a close copy.

Unfortunately, one of the writers who shall remain nameless, loaned the only copy of the book  ( Hey, this was 1970, folks, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, in the age before computers, home printers and copy machines.) to a classmate who failed to return it. If anyone out there has that copy write a comment and let me know.  I’d love to have it back,but realize it is probably long gone.  All that remains is our two page synopsis.  Such a loss to the world of literature.

Needless to say, we received an A for our efforts, but were advised to put it in a locked trunk in our attic by our somewhat embarrassed student teacher.  You see, it wasn’t until he was reading parts of our novel out loud to the class that he realized who Kokonets Quomodo was based on. The realization was evident in the flush of red that began at his collar and worked its way up his face.  Thus the” lock it in your attic” comment.  He survived his year with us and actually came back the next year as a fully fledged teacher.  If he could survive us, he could survive anything!

IAnd now for the big reveal,.  If you haven’t guessed already,  Doby Mick himself will accompany me to Alaska.  He wants to meet a humpback whale.  And so do I.

Doby Mick

Herman