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.


A Blue Sky, Red Letter Day

yellow lupine flowers on Dallas Road cliffs

Yesterday, my early morning walk along the waterfront yielded yellow wildflowers and an unexpected sighting of Anna’s hummingbird. The red-crowned hummer, a year-round resident, was on a different perch than usual. Driven out by a competitor? Who knows. His new lookout — the tip of a branch of a wild rose bush — is a perfect spot from which to survey his territory.Image

Another Attempt at Blogging

This is a blog that Julie wrote. This is a sentence that makes up the blog. This is a word that makes up the sentence … and on and on ad nauseum.

I’ve just spent an hour attempting to change the subtitle on my header, to no avail. So rather than have “just another WordPress site” follow “julielawsonwrites” at the top of every post, I’ve deleted the header text entirely.

It should be easy. Millions of people are blogging ad nauseum, but I find it difficult. Friends and fellow writers have given me all sorts of tips and advice, and I’m determined to get out of my technical fog.

It could be that no one will read my blog. It might be exceedingly boring. I won’t be making lists of awesome or irksome things, or finding 1001 creative uses for a paper clip, or trying out a year’s worth of rutabaga recipes. I probably won’t list 1546 novel ways to procrastinate, though it’s tempting.

A bad feather day … or is it a good one? We all need to shake out our feathers from time to time.
Patrick Lawson photo

But great blue herons are flying at eye-level outside my office window and I might want to blog about the heronry in Beacon Hill Park. Or about the sailboats flying in swift and sure from the dining room window (not literally). Or about my recent readings in the Northwest Territory, at BookFest in Nanaimo, and at the rocking Silver Birch celebrations in Toronto and Thunder Bay. My blogs may not be immediate or follow a timeline — in fact, I can guarantee that they won’t. But my goal is to post one a week. Or more. I’ll see how it goes.