There was still time before lunch duty and so we relaxed on deck –yes, away from the passengers- and watched the ocean go by. Regardless of how I was doing it, I was thoroughly enjoying my new adventures at sea. I’d catch full views of whales occasionally and other fish swimming around too, it was fun!
It’s the 7th day and our ship is approaching Honolulu Harbor, it is still the dark hours of the morning. The ship has slowed its pace as it enters the waters of Hawaii, the Harbor Master must board, enter the Bridge and take over, bringing the boat into the port.
I am awake and find myself at the railing on deck to bare witness something I never even dreamed of; the lights of the city. Twinkling from the homes along the mountains were thousands of tiny lights; it was like someone tossed millions of diamonds on to hills of black velvet and I remember saying to myself, “Oh God this must be heaven.”
The experience of a different place; it is now twilight and as if lost in a dream yet feeling the state of wakefulness, I watch the sunrise happening over Honolulu. It was something completely new to me. It wasn’t at all dark like Fiji as in the level of lights there; just as you cannot count the stars in the sky, it’s how the sight of those lights affected me at that moment. I am looking onto Waikiki –
Back to the kitchen for breakfast service with a definite air of excitement! We’ve stopped here for supplies such as fresh water, fresh foods, mail and laundry exchange as well. The length of our ship’s stay in port is 12 hours; our shore leave would be about 4-6 hours.
A group of us hailed a cab and asked the driver to take us to a great place where we could shop and check out a little of the local scene, which we could enjoy in a short period of time. He took us to a big mall complex (which a few years ago I returned to, it was still there) and I ate pineapple of course! And for another enjoyable treat I had a watermelon shake for the first time in my life, it was delicious! I bought some Hawaiian shirts too.
Back to the ship and we are heading towards Vancouver, Canada and another 7 days at sea. Our ship is bringing sugar in from the plantations of Fiji for delivery into B.C., Canada. British Columbia was extending a wet welcome – it was soooo cold especially due to the fact I come from a southern tropical climate. I was used to warmer rains! This rain was freezing and it was my first experience in cold rainy weather.
There was a warming period however – I met and fell in love (or so I thought) with a lovely French – Punjabi girl. Sonia was 18 and one of many daughters of a sawmill big shot in Canada. We first met at local nightclub, dancing and having a drink or three. Hold on, I got just a little ahead of myself, so I’ll detail it out for you just a bit.
A friendly passerby on the street directed my friends and me to this particular club as we walked along the streets of Vancouver one early evening. He too was an Indian national. We fell into a mutual hello as our eyes met, we all began conversing.
It started off with our ‘what to do around here’ answered with his suggestions of shopping, restaurants and a great club that was a good place where a younger crowd meets. He told us that he too went there sometimes.
We found it and went in. It was a nice dance club, no hard liquor, only beer and soft drinks; that’s a good thing as younger people were welcome there too. We grabbed a few seats and about 3 or 4 tables away sat a group of young girls. I couldn’t see exactly their faces but naturally that assemblage received my attention. Ah, eighteen and still so innocent.
At first it was difficult to catch a full glance of her face but as the girls began going off to the dance floor, I got a clearer vision. And I’m so glad I did. She and I definitely began to notice one another; it was that subtle eye flirtation and shy quickly looking away yet a corner smile would form as the head turned.
And every time I looked her way I noticed she too was looking my way. All the while I’m going through fifty ways in my head as to my approach and if I did, what should I say? This went on all evening. I felt we were surely on to something and I wanted to know what that might be. I felt she may be thinking the same things, I hoped.
Well that night, we didn’t meet, the guys and I just hung out for maybe two and a half hours but not once did this young lady and I verbally communicate. The guys and I had to return to the ship for an early morning start for breakfast, so we left and that was that.
Sonia is of course a fictitious name but trust me, the young Canadian gal was very real 🙂