Whales and Easter eggs – at first glance, they don’t seem to have much in common, but give me a minute and it will all (hopefully) make sense.
When I think of Easter eggs, what comes to mind are colorfully dyed chicken eggs, chock-full of protein. Sometimes, Easter eggs are made out of plastic and filled with lots of delicious candy. Others are made out of chocolate (the best kind in my books). And then there are those Easter eggs that are hidden messages or inside jokes in software, video games, and even books.
Whales are, well. . .big. As far as I know, there aren’t any that are made out of chocolate. It would be amazing if there were, because that would be a LOT of chocolate. I’d like to get in on that action.
My great-grandmother, Margaret Chadwick, was born on a whaling ship in Taioha’e, Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands in 1883. Margaret’s mother was the wife of a whaling ship captain. Back then it was perfectly acceptable to hunt whales. Nowadays, it’s frowned upon, with good reason.
When the whaling ships left New Bedford, Massachusetts, they would be gone for years. I guess Margaret’s mother had a choice – stay behind and wait or join her husband on the whaling ship. She, like many other whaling captains’ wives at the time, chose the crazy option – she went with him. Can you imagine being the only woman on a boat full of whalers, giving birth to your children on board, and praying you would survive storms at sea?
My mother has done a lot of genealogical research on our family, and I’ve always been fascinated by my seafaring ancestors. Makes sense, I guess, considering I live on a sailboat.
So, I thought it would be fun to hide a little Easter egg in my cozy mystery, Murder at the Marina, as a sort of tribute. One of the characters is named Penny Chadwick, after my grandmother, and, in her spare time, she likes to read about whaling captains’ wives.
Of course, Penny Chadwick isn’t much of an Easter egg now that I’ve let you in on the secret behind her name. But, there are other Easter eggs scattered about, which someone may pick up on.