Prelude

Entry begun on Saturday, June 28, 4:58 am

I had been hoping to begin this entry for several days now, but as soon as I got off the ship on Wednesday I’ve had much to attend to and enjoy. On Thursday morning and again on Friday afternoon we made our final decisions and completed the installation of The Art of Seeing Whales exhibition. On Thursday I had lunch with Vanessa and was able to see my GoPro images for the first time on her laptop, which she uploaded to my portable hard drive for me. Last night I met with Jaime (Jim) Campomar, our Melville Society Archive Fellow from Argentina, whom Bob Rocha from the Whaling Museum had met at Logan Airport in the afternoon. After the three of us met at the Whaling Museum, we drove over to the Wamsutta apartment at which Jim will be staying, after which I took him to a Portuguese feast at Antonio’s restaurant.

New Bedford harbor from hotel window before sunrise on June 28

New Bedford harbor from hotel window before sunrise on June 28

I’ve snatched what time I could to finish up my account of the day on Martha’s Vineyard before beginning my entries for the voyage itself (beyond the two short entries I had written on the shiip). After writing out the Martha’s Vineyard entries longhand, I had to find places and times for typing them out into a Word document, consulting as much as possible the clusters of photos I have taken on my digital camera and my iPhone, which I have so far no way of organizing into integrated files the way I would be able to do at home. For three days I’ve been feeling like Jake Heggie did for several months when he began composing his Moby-Dick opera after a visit to Nantucket in 2008. He was dying to write the heartfelt duet between Starbuck and Ahab inspired by the “Symphony” chapter near the end of the novel, but he could not let himself begin until he had written all of the music that preceded that moment in the opera, since all that had happened before would be shaping what each man thought, felt, and sang then.

Ben Hepner as Ahab and Morgan Smith as Starbuck in 2010 Dallas Opera premiere.  Photo copyright Karen Almond

Ben Hepner as Ahab and Morgan Smith as Starbuck in 2010 Dallas Opera premiere of Heggie and Scheer’s Moby-Dick opera. Photo copyright Karen Almond

I had planned to get up at 6 in the morning today and begin writing after breakfast, but after waking up about an hour ago I could not get back to sleep, and ideas were beginning to come, so I decided to open this journal and write. One good thing about beginning in the dark is that I could see the sun before and after it rose this morning, the silhouettes of the Morgan’s masts enriching the wonderful vista from my hotel window.

View of harbor as sun rises at 5:30 on June 28 (masthead of Morgan visible to right of central window pane)

View of harbor as sun rises at 5:30 on June 28 (masthead of Morgan visible to right of central window pane)

 

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