Slow Boat to China #4

September 3. Sunset over Southern Vancouver Island on a sea as still as the water in my glass.

Picking up the pilot of Ogden Point, Victoria, BC. A scene we normally see from our window or along the Dallas Road Waterfront. (Patrick Lawson photo)

A perfect evening after a day of fog, with the Victoria coastline so clear we can make out not only our apartment building but the flowers on our balcony. Well, almost.


Slow Boat to China

“You’re going on a container ship? There’s cruise ships, you know!” The person who said this clearly thought we were crazy. Maybe we were. But the trip in question did more than take us from Vancouver, BC to San Antonio, Chile. It got us hooked. Now, 12 years and 5 container ship trips later, we’re about to embark on #6 — a twenty-six day voyage from Seattle to Shanghai on board the MV Hanjin Geneva.

The Hanjin Geneva is a sister ship of the Hanjin Madrid, the ship seen in the header. Patrick took the photo from our window — that and over 7000 others, all posted on the Marine Traffic website. Okay, not all were taken from our window, not all are of container ships, and not all were taken in Victoria. (That’s the thing about living on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. You can become obsessed by what’s on the water both home and away.)

Back to container ships. The Marine Traffic website shows the location of any vessel, anywhere, in real time.

See the little blips? They’re all ships. See the green arrow at the end of a long string of arrows? That’s the Hanjin Geneva a few weeks ago in the China Sea.

Right now the Hanjin Geneva is berthed in Prince Rupert, BC. She’s scheduled to leave for Seattle early tomorrow morning. So are we, via the Clipper. The evening of August 30, if all goes according to plan, we get on the Hanjin and sail off to Portland. Then Vancouver.

Windy day on the waterfront.
(Patrick Lawson photo)

If you happen to be on the Dallas Road waterfront on September 3rd  don’t be distracted by paragliders or whatever. Watch for a hulking big container ship picking up a pilot en route to Vancouver. If you have binoculars handy, and it’s not the middle of the night, watch for us. We’ll wave. Same thing on the 4th when the pilot gets off. After that, it’s Seattle (2nd call) and then — nothing! For two weeks, nothing except for whatever’s on, in or above the sea. Until we get to Pusan, South Korea. First stop after getting our shore leave will be an internet café. Wi-fi au lait!

Lightning over Victoria

Spectacular lightning show last Friday (the 13th), and very unusual for this part of Vancouver Island. I heard the first rumblings of thunder at 5:30 a.m. during breakfast, then nothing … except for that eerie closeness in the air that signals something is going to happen. And it did, several hours later, right in the middle of our watching The Inside Man on DVD. Well, forget that. We went onto our balcony and watched the sky show instead. I was hoping that lightning would strike the Parliament Buildings and do some illuminating of certain minds.