CRUISE FOUR
THE SEQUEL TO
THE MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE
PART 7
THE VOYAGE HOME
Once more the Wheaten Princess was back in the Atlantic, heading for New York. Everyone was keeping their paws crossed for calm weather after the terrible storm on the way over.  Many of the passengers had been dreading more of what had gone before - the huge waves, the rolling and pitching of the ship and - the sea sickness! At least, they were sure they wouldn't have terrorists to deal with this time!

A notice went up announcing a CAKE BAKING COMPETITIONto be held in the Mediterranean bar - if they could find enough competitors!

Naturally, some of the girls were interested.  Buddy had decided not to enter as he was a trainee Chef and it would not be fair. However, he DID agree to be one of the judges!

Abby had fewer entries than she expected. Perhaps the girls on board were not into baking cakes!  Except for Buddy offering to judge, none of the boys showed an interest, other than in the fact that the cakes would be served for Afternoon Tea after the competition had been judged. They preferred to be 'partakers' rather than 'participators'!

                                                  The prizes for the three best cakes were to be as follows:
1st  PRIZE    -    $100

2nd PRIZE     -     $75

3rd PRIZE      -     $50
However, there was also a competition to interest the boys! It involved some 'toy planes' which they would be 'driving' in a race from one end of the boat deck to the other and back!  The little aircraft were the 'pedal' type, like the little cars they had as children. It promised to be HILARIOUS, and Abby and Jimmy were swamped with eager lads who gathered at the Purser's office to 'sign up' for a Pedal Plane.  (After this, the boys certainly would have good appetites for the cakes that the girl's baked that same afternoon!)
On the day of the race, everyone turned out to watch the heats. The first four to go were Bailey, Boomer, Finnegan G and Clancy. 

Cooper, being a reporter, preferred to be an observer. He could see that this would be a great story for him to send to press when they reached New York. He had his camera and notebook ready!

Finn wasn't impressed with the colour of his aircraft, but Clancy thought it was rather funny!
THE PEDAL PLANE RACE!
Jimmy blew the starter whistle, and off they flew!(not literally!)

Along the way, Shadow, Reese, Murphy M and Seamus gave reports on their progress as they passed their checkpoints.

Shadow announced that Clancy was in the lead as he passed the first checkpoint.

Reese reported that he was still in the lead at the second point, but that Boomer was coming up fast!

Murphy M excitedly reported how Boomer had passed Clancy, but that Bailey was running a close third.

Seamus reported that Finnegan G had come from nowhere, and zoomed past all the others as if a wasp was on his tail!

                           At the finishing post, it was Finnegan G FIRST past the flag.
                                            In second place was Bailey.
                                        Clancy and Boomer tied for third.

As this was a heat, only Finnegan G would go on to the finals.
TIME FOR THE SECOND HEAT!
        There were five competing in the second heat. They were Dasher, Bailey Beachboy, Teddy, Buddy and Max.

They 'manned their planes' and waited for the starting whistle. Buddy looked decidedly nervous, and Teddy seemed too pre-occupied to notice Brandi's supportive cheers! Max didn't seem all that confident either!

                                                      The whistle sounded - and they were OFF!
Bailey Beachboy and Dasher made a quick start and left the others still figuring out how to make the Peddle Planes work!  However, Max soon got the hang of it and zoomed up to catch the others, while Buddy and Teddy weaved all over the deck trying to steer straight!  (Oh dear!) 

Shortly, though, they caught on and got up to speed. Soon, all five were almost even. It was not going to be such a clean sweep for Dasher and Bailey Beachboy after all!

It wasn't until they passed the third checkpoint that things began to pep up. Dasher 'dashed' to the lead, followed by Max, who was now coming down the straight like a Greyhound! No matter how he tried, Dasher could not shake this tenacious Terrier.

Then it was all over!  Max flew past the flag and won by a propellor. Dasher and Bailey Beachboy tied for second, Teddy was third, and Buddy came in fourth. (Poor Buddy was limping. He had blisters on his little feet from pedaling so hard!  But waiting for him, with lots of TLC, was Maeve, so he thought it was kind of worth it! )
After a short break, it was time for the final heat to be run. The 5 competitors climbed into their cockpits and it was clear that they were all full of enthusiasm and confidence.  They'd had time to plan things out during the previous heats, and when they arrived, they were 'dressed for the occasion' - much to the delight of the spectators!

All five of them - Hurley, Murphy V, Rudy, Guinny, and Riley M - were wearing colourful scarves like the famous 'Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines'of the past!
The whistle blew, and they were away. No awkward starts this time. All 5 were peddling to win and there didn't appear to be any novices in this group.

At the first checkpoint, Murphy V, Hurley and Guinny were in the lead. But by the time they passed Murphy M it was difficult to tell who was in the lead, because the positions kept changing as they each pulled level,  spurted ahead, and then fell back as others shot forward. It was anybody's race!

The last checkpoint before the finish was the one Seamus was reporting from, and he announced that Riley M, Guinny and Murphy V were trying to hold off Hurley and Rudy, who were looking for a space to break through.

As the five of them sped up to the finishing flag, it was clear that Hurley was in the lead, and Rudy was close at his heels. (wheels?) The other three were only a half length behind!

With a final spurt, Rudy edged forward on Hurley and was the winner of this amazing third heat.Hurley was second, and Riley M was third. Murphy V and Guinny had got their wheels tangled and that had put them out of the running.

Everyone cheered, and the winners of the three heats had a 30 minute break before competing against each other for the prize of $100.  The 2nd and 3rd place getters would receive $75 and $50 respectively.
THE FINAL HEAT
THE FINAL RACE
Riley and Guinny gave their scarves to Max and Finnegan G to wear so that they would look very professional. It was a friendly, sporting gesture, and was much appreciated.

Finnegan G decided that his pink plane must be lucky, so he decided to stay with it, even though he was offered one of the others. Rudy and Max had the same planes too. (When you're on a good thing ......!)

Soon, the whistle blew and they were on their way.

It began at a fast pace as all three 'pilots' tried to obtain a lead position.  They were abreast most of the way and the cheers from the spectators urged them on.

The last checkpoint was reached, and that was when a final burst of speed was put on by all three. They just about pedalled their feet off!

With only about 30 yards to go, young Finnegan G took the lead and held it right up to the flag.

He won by a half length from Rudy, and Max was close behind in third place.

They alighted from their planes and went over to congratulate Finnegan G, who put his win down to 'PINK POWER'!

Captain Guiness presented them with their prize money, and Finnegan G shouted all his fellow contestants to drinks at the Mediterranean Bar.

After a buffet lunch on deck, it was time for the Cake Baking contest, and everyone set off for the special 'kitchen' which had been set up in the Fun Lounge.
Click on the pause button above, then click on the arrow below to hear the next song.
THE CAKE BAKING CONTEST
There were only 5 entrants in the Cake Baking contest, much to Abby's disappointment, but at least the five girls were keen, and busting to get their paws in the dough.

They stood before the table with all the ingredients they would need, and Abby rang a handbell to signal that it was time for them to begin.  Flour flew, eggs cracked, milk flowed and the cake baking contest began with a burst of enthusiasm.
They finally 'got cookin' and soon the five cakes were in the ovens, and five little ladies were holding their breath and warning everyone NOT to make any loud noises or drop anything!

The boys were standing by, drooling at the thought of the delicious treats to come.

The judges (who were the top Chefs on the Wheaten Princess along with Buddy, the young Trainee Chef)  also waited eagerly, because they would be cutting and tasting the cakes before choosing a winner.

The tables were being set in the dining room where Afternoon Tea would be served, the highlight of which would be the cakes the girls had baked for the contest.

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Soon, the cakes were removed from the ovens and carefully lifted onto coolers, ready to be iced and finished. Oh, how magnificent they looked!

When they were ready, the girls stood back as the judges took over. Now it was paw-crossing time!

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The judges moved around the table looking at the cakes, and then cutting them. Everyone watched their faces for signs of pleasure, or pain!

From their expressions, it appeared that they were all impressed. There was a great deal of head nodding and raised eyebrows as they moved from one cake to another.

Finally, they retired to consider their verdict. (There were several sighs and nervous  glances among the five girls.)


After what seemed like ages, the judges returned and handed a folded paper to Abby.  She read it, and then smiled at the contestants, then addressed everyone present:

"It is with great pleasure that I announce the winners of the Cake Baking Contest."  She cleared her throat, then continued:

"THIRD prize goes to - MISS BELLA BEACHBUNNY!"

Bella stepped forward, smiling broadly, and accepted her prize of $50.

Abby then dropped her eyes to the piece of paper, and everyone held their breath!

"SECOND PRIZE goes to -  MISS KELSIE!"

Kelsie gasped with surprise and ran forward eagerly. She had won $75 and it was the first time in her life that she'd ever won anything!

Now was the big announcement.  Who was the winner?

Abby gave her audience a wicked grin, and waved the slip of paper as if it was hot!  (Why do MC's always prolong the agony and take so long to announce a winner?!)

"Now," she said in a soft voice, "for the announcement you've all be waiting for!" (Someone in the Audience called out 'Get on with it!' )   But Abby wasn't being rushed!  She gave that cheeky, secretive smile of hers, and then looked down at the paper again.  When she looked up, every eye was upon her.

"I have great pleasure in announcing the winner of the Wheaten Princess Cake Baking Contest -

MISS MACKENZIE JANE!"

There was a brief pause, then applause broke out across the room, and Mackenzie had to be prodded to help her realize that HER name was being called, and SHE had WON!

She was surrounded by her four fellow competitors, who 'escorted her' up to Abby to receive her prize of $100.

Shana and Katie T, the two who were unplaced, gave her a hug and their warm congratulations, while Bella and Kelsie greeted her with big smiles and 'high fives' as she joined them.

Abby chatted with them all afterwards, before the cakes were taken away to be cut and served for Afternoon Tea.

The judges confessed how very difficult it had been to choose three from the five because, in their opinion, EVERY cake had been worthy of first prize.  It had finally come down to small details such as texture, taste, and artistic presentation.
MORE SURPRISES!
The five cakes did not last long at Afternoon Tea, and some of the boys did rather make little pigs of themselves!

Shana was delighted to hear that her boyfriend, Riley A, had PAID one of his friends to give his piece of Shana's lovely Sponge Cake to HIM!  Now there's loyalty for you!

Likewise, Bailey had made sure of getting in early for a piece of Katie T's beautiful Jaffa Torte.

The cakes created by the winners were very quick to disappear, and everyone thought it a wonderful gesture when the winners shared their winnings with Katie T and Shana.  What a wonderful and selfless group of girls they were!
As the Wheaten Princess drew closer to New York, Abby was busy arranging activities to entertain the passengers while  they crossed the Atlantic.  Fortunately, the weather was being kind to them on this crossing, and it was possible to hold outdoor activities and deck sports as well as having good entertainment in the evenings.

On this particular evening, she had arranged something special for the passengers. It would be included in the special 'MUSICAL THEATRE NIGHT' which was being provided by Shadow and his Band, and the Passionate Pooches.  Only the Band knew what it was to be, because it was to be a surprise.

Everyone rolled into the Grande Ballroom. They were looking forward to being entertained with music from the big Broadway shows, as well as films. 

It began with music from Kiss Me Kate, followed by My Fair Lady, Showboat and The Desert Song. One selection that 'wowed' the audience was the title song from the Doris Day film, APRIL IN PARIS.The Band played a sentimental jazz rendition, and then the Passionate Pooches joined them.  It was impressive, to say the least!
Well, to end the night's entertainment, came the big surprise!

 A unique interpretation of a well known song from the film'SINGIN' IN THE RAIN'was presented by three very unique little ladies.

Yes, you guessed it!  The THREE LITTLE BALLERINAS -

Everyone
had grown to love these little girls, and they were greeted with cheers and excited applause as they        flitted onto the stage in their sweet costumes.

                 Their voices were as sweet as their smiling faces, and they melted every heart on the ship.
 Scroll up to click on the pause button of the previous song, (if it hasn't finished) then click on the  arrow below to listen to this song.
Scroll up to click on the pause button of the previous song, (let it finish first!) then click on the arrow below to listen to this song.
Everyone had a chuckle at Riley M's 'Ba ba ba boos' - and the solo melody, played expertly by Finnegan B on Alto Sax, had all the girls swooning. As always, Shadow's piano playing was supurb and Sadie, on Bass, gave body to the arrangement. The strings were provided by a pre-recording Shadow had arranged.

The Passionate Pooches were in fine voice and when the final bars faded away, everyone wondered what was to come next!
                                           Oh, how delightfully they danced!  How sweetly they sang!

When they had finished, and given their bows, the audience loved them so much that they called for them to repeat the performance, which they did, with shy smiles and blushes of happiness.

Brandy G, Darcy and Khaki had 'made history' on the Wheaten Princess. They had danced their way into every heart.        

                                    As Hurley predicted, it was 'NEW YORK - HERE THEY COME!'

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It had been an exciting and entertaining day, and a delightful evening of music and dancing, and everyone retired to their cabins to get some sleep before another day. The angelic voices of the three Ballerinas remained with them.

As for Brandy G, Darcy and Khaki, it was like a dream come true. They had been so broken-hearted at not being selected in Paris for the Ballet Company. Then they had met Hurley, and their lives changed completely. Now they had the promise of a wonderful future, and success beyond their dreams.

                        They snuggled into their beds and thought of New York. Oh, it seemed too good to be true!  

                         With smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts, they dropped blissfully off to sleep.

CONTINUED IN PART 8
Copyright - A P - 2009 -2010
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