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!