Slow Boat to China #2

We board the Hanjin Geneva in Seattle the evening of August 30 after a day exploring Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square but mostly hanging out on the waterfront watching for our ship to come in. Wanted to check out the Seattle Public Library for my book titles but was dismayed to find it closed. Impressive night view from the wing deck. Full moon, city lights, Ferris wheel in patterns of greens and blues. Nice touch. Thanks, Seattle. Containers still being unloaded by the time we go to sleep. It’s a quiet procedure, a low hum of whirring cables. 

At breakfast we discover we’re not the only passengers. Hans, from Switzerland, boarded in Pusan, South Korea, and is getting off in Vancouver. He’s been on 36 freighter trips, beginning in 1976. Name a shipping route and he’s been on it. Many of the best ones, unfortunately, are no longer available because the particular shipping lines are no longer in service. We looked into them some 10 years ago, thinking, must do that trip. But didn’t. Kick, kick. And speaking of kicks to self, I forgot to pack two essentials on sea trips: binoculars and ginger tea. Portland shopping list.

Dolphins leaping in the bow wave (Patrick Lawson photo)

Leave Seattle August 31 at 8:30 a.m. and head west along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Familiar coastline. Smooth sailing.

In the afternoon the 3rd Mate gives us a bow to stern tour of the ship’s safety equipment and procedures. What to do and where to go in case of …  Afternoon’s entertainment is trying on our immersion suits.  Hope we never have to do it in a hurry.

Hope we never face an incident like the disastrous one on board the MSC FLAMINIA in July. Fire at sea, crew and two passengers rescued by an oil tanker, two fatalities.


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