Life Onboard
In Pics IV: The Ocean Dream Reaches the Americas, Aug 4, 2018
Scott Ludlam gives a talk on "Nuclear North America".
Before the Ocean Dream departed from Reykjavik, the ship picked up a new Guest Educator, former Australian Senator Scott Ludlam, who joined Peace Boat for the third time on the 98th voyage. Together with Peace Boat, Scott Ludlam is active in ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and gave a talk titled "Nuclear North America", an overview of the situation of nuclear weapons in the continent, just in time for Peace Boat to reach the shores of Canada. Ludlam later also spoke on issues including the rapid advances occurring in the renewable energy sector, and the move we must make towards a "circular economy" to ensure a safe future for the next generations.

Yagi Nobuyo performs on the Ocean Dream alongside her band.
After the Ocean Dream left the United States and began heading southward to Cuba, much of the activity onboard became geared towards learning about Latin America. Yagi Nobuyo, a Guest Educator, singer and author who boarded in New York, rang in this new segment of the voyage with a festive live performance mixing Latin and Japanese sounds. Yagi first moved from Japan to Mexico as a university student, and ended up spending much of her life traveling and producing music throughout the region. Yagi is not only a talented musician, but after studying for years, also an expert on the culture of the region . In addition to her performances that never failed to fill the auditorium, she gave talks on Cuban and Latin music and culture, making the participants even more excited for their first Latin destination, Havana, Cuba.

Peace Boat participants take part in a self-organized magic lesson led by Ara-san.
Magic lessons have become a regular part of life for interested participants onboard, thanks to the initiative of a Peace Boat participant known as "Ara-san". Ara-san offers weekly self-organized classes and has a steady group of students who attend his lessons to learn sleight-of-hand tricks with props such as balls, string and cups. As the date moved closer to the Japanese Culture Show, Ara-san and his students prepared to perform together as a group on stage for the first time. Peace Boat is glad to provide a space for people to come together over old and newly discovered hobbies such as this.

Adrian Godinez gives a talk on the Mexican Drug War.
As the ship travelled through Latin America, Peace Boat participants and staff had the opportunity to learn about a wide range of related issues, from lighter subjects like art and music, to heavier political topics such as the peace process in Colombia, and the formation of the Costa Rican state. Before the Ocean Dream arrived in Puerto Vallarta on July 31, those onboard were able to attend two lectures by Adrian Godinez, a Peace Boat staff member from Mexico. His first talk gave an overview of current Mexican political parties and the outcome of the country's recent election, while his second talk focused on the Drug War that has plagued Mexico for much of the last two decades.

A Peace Boat participants sings in the Japanese Culture Show.
Every Peace Boat voyage features many artistically talented participants, and fortunately, plenty of opportunities for them to show what they've got. Another such occasion came on August 2, in the form of the Japanese Culture Show, a series of live performances by participants in various traditional Japanese art forms. After several days of dedicated practice, the audience was treated to singing, dancing, recitations of poems, shakuhachi flute, echizen biwa lute, and a group magic performance led by Ara-san and his students.

Peace Boat participants carry a Peace Boat omikoshi shrine as part of the Summer Festival.
Though August 3 was a windy day as the Ocean Dream headed up the western coast of the United States towards Seattle, participants and staff still enthusiastically gathered for the Summer Festival, a series of events held inside and outside the ship to celebrate the season. Participants spent the morning and early afternoon dressing up in their yukata summer kimono, doing their hair, and playing ping pong and other games set up in the indoor open area. In the afternoon, a yukata fashion show, a shaved ice eating competition, and games for both children and adults were held outside on the deck, and at night, everyone gathered outside for a bon-odori<.i> dance, and to enjoy performances by the eisa dancers.