ellinis
My Tribute to the RHMS ELLINS
Ellinis
   

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An E-mail from Michael Pellegrini

Hi:
 
I was looking at your Ellenis page - it brought back a lot of memories.
 
No, I wasn't on your voyage - I believe I was on the voyage immediately before yours.  I don't remember the exact dates, just that we were back in New York before the 1968 US presidential elections (which were held in November).
 
I was 15, travelling back to the US with my parents.
 
We boarded at Wellington, then sailed to Tahiti, then from there to Acapulco, then through the canal and up to New York.  I think we were at sea for something like 29 days.
 
When we went through the canal, it was just a few days after a revolution had taken place there.  We stopped overnight on the Pacific side of the canal (Balboa?) but we weren't able to go outside the canal zone.  Revolutionary soldiers had checkpoints on the Panama side of the streets, and would track you with their rifles as you walked along the border.  It was quite a trip.
 
I looked up the date of the Panama coup - it was in early October 1968.
 
I don't recall why, but the Ellenis wasn't very full on our voyage.  Hardly any young people at all.  A shipping strike or something?  I spent most of my time with a couple Irish guys that were probably IRA soldiers (they were smuggling guns back to Ireland).  One of my most memorable events was puking off the aft rail of the ship, following a night of a way too much rum.
 
We also had occasion to get drunk in Quinn's Bar in Papeete - and I have to say that I feel quite privileged in having drank at Quinn's.  That place was a legend in the South Pacific.
 
It was a very memorable trip, all the way around.  Lots of warm fuzzy memories.
 
And looking at your page brought that all back.
 
Thanks!
 
Mike Pellegrini
Tacoma, Washington, USA

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