Well, I am back from my stint as a cruise lecturer on the wonderful mid-size luxury ship Paul Gauguin. And, as expected, it was all perfect. The crew remembered us and greeted us with joy and affection, and the ship was as sparkling clean as ever. A bonus was the crowd of passengers who shared the voyage with us, and who attended my lectures with interest and attention. They all loved hearing about Tupaia, Captain Cook, the Mutiny on the Bounty, Shipwrecks and Castaways, and the discovery of Tahiti by the first Europeans ... particularly the bit where Captain Wallis had to take his departure in a hurry, before his ship fell apart, having lost so many nails to give to the girls.
The passenger list included a fifty-strong group from the Dana West Yacht Club, who all seemed to know each other for twenty or more years, were cheerful and friendly, and had a blast of a time. Each year, it seems, the current commodore gets to choose the destination for a club holiday, and the man at the helm this year, George Bloomfield, had the wit and wisdom to choose the Paul Gauguin.
Who knows where they will head next year? That's up to the next commodore. Meantime, I hope to publish George's account of the group's experience on this lovely ship, from the club's newsletter, "Lines & Bits."
There was also a big group from the friends of the San Francisco Opera. And so the ship had a couple of opera singers on board, along with a magician (the rising star Nicolas del Pozo), ocean expert Denis Schneider, and (briefly) archaeologist Mark Eddowes.
Add wonderful food, superb wines (including whites from New Zealand), and luxurious surroundings, and I know that everyone had a great holiday.
|Paul Gauguin at Bora Bora|