The celebration began at Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal with free-flowing champagne and excitement thick in the salty air. I witnessed InnerSea Discoveries’ CEO, Dan Blanchard, speaking proudly of his ships as if they were his own children. He spoke just as highly of this staff and colleagues. His hugs and amiable kisses on the cheek showed that he meant every word of those high praises. It was like a family celebrating the birth of its newest member. For me, as a self-proclaimed foodie, it got even better at dinner. Who knew that a true gourmet meal could be prepared on a ship?! Previewed by a cocktail hour with a sweet-sounding Latin jazz band playing in the background, the party moved on to the Endeavor’s dining room. Some of you may not care that I am about to describe the menu of the night, but please humor me. You’ll probably be hungry by the end… -Coho salmon tartare with avocado mousse served with homemade flatbread crackers -Tender roasted duck on a bed of butternut squash and Swiss chard -Passion fruit tart in a nut & shortbread crust served with a web of burnt sugar & raspberries Throughout dinner, I had the opportunity to meet Tim Jacox (Vice President) and Eric Gier (CFO), as well as Astrid and Naomi, whom I email frequently from work. The people at InnerSea are even more amazing in person! Eric had my husband and me in stitches telling his off-the-wall stories until 11:00 p.m. around the dinner table! I could already tell this was a special group and that it was going to be a special weekend.