Day 23

Today is Wednesday. We missed Tuesday entirely. Everyone onboard received crossing the 180-degree meridian certificates, since we crossed the international dateline sometime last night.

This morning, Dr. George Losey spoke about “Fishes of the Coral Reef.” He showed some nice slides of colorful parrotfish, surgeon, and others and explained their life cycles. We never knew that lots of fish change sex as they mature- large females can transform into males in order to create more offspring by mating with multiple females. He spoke some about how to tell a harmless shark from a dangerous one by looking at their teeth. I can’t imagine staying around long enough to wait for a shark to open his mouth to see which one he is. Dr. George’s talk was very interesting.

A pastry presentation followed, given by Pastry Chef, Pascal Eber. He is in charge of 8 chefs and 3 bakers. Pascal demonstrated how to make Mississippi Mud Cake with all the ingredients on hand. He passed out recipes and we followed along. He usually makes batches five times larger than our family-size recipe for the dining room. He also made Classic Lamingtons, a rich, yellow cake dipped in chocolate sauce and covered in coconut. He had already made the cake, and distributed pieces to each table along with gloves, chocolate, and coconut. We all got to dip our cake into the chocolate until it was covered, rolled it in the coconut, and later ate it. Dessert came before lunch today.

Mac stayed in the lounge to listen to Andrew speak on “Why We Fought – Propaganda and World War II-part 2 of 2.” Historian, Andrew Jampoler, discussed the early origins of Japanese evolution from a feudal empire, when Cook arrived in 1854, followed by a long build-up into a military power. Japan began exercising its perceived right to invade Manchuria and China in the 1890’s, the Sino-Japanese wars. The Russian-Japanese war of 1905 followed. The military leaders grew more confident and powerful. After decolonization of the Pacific by the world powers following WW1, Japan saw opportunities to advance militarily into SE Asia and the islands and before WW2 joined the Axis with Germany and Italy. He showed Japan’s propaganda justifying their expansion in SE Asia and America’s written and film propaganda trying to stimulate interest in an insular country at that time. Pearl Harbor changed everything. Now the focus was supporting troop morale.

Having a leisurely sea day, so we thought about a walk on deck and were surprised that is had rained briefly. The walking deck was officially closed for safety reasons. We participated in the noontime game today – Family Feud. We had another fun time with Lisa and Morry but our efforts fell outside the scoring range. After another fine dinner at the Prime 7, we attended ShowTime’s “Music and Song” starring multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Danny Elliott. He played at least 12 different instruments, sang, tap danced, and provided moments of humor.

Later, we checked the moon from the top deck. The clouds seem to be disbursing. We might get a chance to see the trifecta, a super blue blood moon with an eclipse, a Supermoon Trilogy. Weather permitting, at 11:50 p.m., the event begins and totals by 12:50 a.m., becoming completely red, or reddish. We will stay up to try to witness this phenomenon that last happened 152 years ago. We just don’t know if the cloud cover will improve. At this time, the moon is behind clouds with hazy occasional peaks. Not the best.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac

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