Slow Boat to China #3

Mist over the river (Patrick Lawson photo)

Night passage up the Columbia River under a full moon. A blue moon, since it’s the second one in August. Daybreak is stunning.

Spend the day in Portland. Markets, markets.

Back again the next day, this time taking a cab from the terminal only as far as the Expo Centre (a quarter of the cost of going downtown) and hopping on the wonderful light rail MAX. For $5.00 an all day pass, anywhere you want to go. (Only $2 for Patrick) Finally found some binoculars and tried them out on a walk along the Willemette River before returning to the ship. Almost 2 full days shore leave.

Mist over farmlands, along the Columbia River (Patrick Lawson photo) 


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!