Because we enjoyed our first cruise last year sailing on a 16-day trans-Atlantic voyage from New York to Rome so much last year we booked a second one this year. A 16-day trans-Pacific cruise from Honolulu to Vancouver Canada. This trip allowed us to visit four islands before crossing the Pacific to Alaska and then ending in Vancouver.
Cruising, it turns out is kind of a lifestyle thing, some cruise all the time, for others it is a one and done sort of thing. We like it because it is an efficient way to get a taste of a place without the exhaustion of modern travelling: multiple airports and security checks, rental cars, hotels, etc. I took my QOR half pan set I won from the Watercolor Live! conference and 4×6 sheets of Arches cold press 300#, my Winsor Newton series 7 #6 pointed round, my sumi brush and my Rosemary & Co extended point series 46, a pencil, and a Micron .05 black pigment pen along for the ride. Each morning we would head out after breakfast and return as late as we dared before the ship left port to see as much as we could.
Being kamaʻaina, we didnʻt feel the need to book any tours in Hawaii and except for Kauʻai, we have been to the Big Island, Maui, and of course Oʻahu enough so we just went to the places we enjoy. Going to visit my motherʻs family graves in Paia, walking about town in Kona and Hilo was nice to take it at a leisurely pace. We rented a car in Kauʻai and tried to drive around the island, and almost made it but we saw enough to know we want to return and do some hiking. On the sea days crossing the Pacific we went to the shows in the evenings and took walks around the decks to see the huge expanse of ocean. The Pacific is strangely deserted, compared to last year on the Atlantic we saw dolphins nearly every day, seabirds, even buoys, I didn’t spot a living thing after a day of sailing from Hawaii and not until the day before we arrived in Icy Strait Point Alaska, an Tginglit village. Once we arrived in Alaska, the landscapes there were so rich I couldn’t stop sketching and painting. The day we sailed through Glacier Bay National Park, I painted no less than 8 paintings…sitting in the fore observation room to warm up before running back outside to see the amazing sights. We saw whales, seals, birds, otters, it was full of life.
This is the best part of travelling–taking my sketchbook and paints along because nothing captures feelings and memories like drawing and painting. The act of looking and responding with ink or paint creates a meme, a memory device that when you look at it, you are back there–it is not the same taking a photograph, which capture an image in time, but the image is seen through a filter, literally and doesn’t record feelings and emotion quite the same as if you write or draw your experience.