The weary travellers almost home…

Almost to Vancouver, and then home!

It’s been quite a journey. Everyone seems both happy and relaxed, and tired. Much sleeping-in to be done tomorrow I suspect.

Thanks for following along! Next vacation is scheduled for sometime between May and August 2018, so until then we return you to your irregularly scheduled blogging.

Vital statistics

The map from the TV in our room:

You can see in this one where the ship turned for a short time while the helicopter was operating above the bow.

And in this one you can see that we did go up the straight towards the open ocean, but turned around at about 11:30 to head back towards Seattle. You can also see that we traveled 1772 nautical miles in total this week.

Seems dark outside…

Virtual balcony indicates it is indeed quite dark…

Although that’s not actually true! Here’s the real view from outside!

Couple of shots from the top deck of the ship.

Off to our last breakfast!

Sailing away for the last time…

And awwwaaaaay we go!

That other ship left Seattle 20 minutes after we did, then went to Alaska, and now we meet again in Victoria…

It’s fun watching the sea planes in the harbor. I’ll travel that way one of these days.

The pilots were off the boat in no time flat. Much easier than the poor guy in SF. The guy driving the pilot boat was having fun getting squirrely and going in circles for… Fun?

Back in the promenade, stuffed animal demo:

To the boat!

Miles to walk, plenty to see…

We’d never seen a “sushi burrito” before, so that was fun.

They have a cathedral here too. Even more modern.

It was quite pretty, but yet still lacks a certain oomph…

On our walk back we were stalked by a seal.

And now the ships horn has sounded, and we’re headed down the channel back to Seattle.

Actually I’m not sure where we’ll go. It can’t possibly take us until 6am to get back to Seattle, so will we just hang about in puget sound? An adventure awaits!


We decided to visit “Canada’s Castle”, Craigdarroch Castle. A nice 2.5 mile walk later we’re exploring the inside of this amazing building.

The lap of luxury, a library with a book holder which includes a candle holder! How wonderfully decadent!

They had neat original radiators which are circular or quarter-circle to fit in corners. Kinda neat.

I think certain types of music would be dangerous to play on a piano with candles perched precariously…

Bevin liked the lamp.

The coal magnate who built this castle had interesting ideas.

Of course, as it turns out, he wanted BC to get annexed by the US so he wouldn’t have to pay tariffs to sell coal to California. His vocal support for this seems to have been why he was never knighted by the queen.

The view from up in the spire. You can see our ship!

There was a piece of art that had what seemed to be quite an odd style. It made not sure what’s wrong with these animals. (terrible picture, I did my best)

The back of the castle from the outside.

It may not be a “castle” in the European sense, but what a place!

Too bad about the guy who won it in a lottery and lost it with poor speculative investments.

Victory! I mean Victoria!

Sunrise in the straight of Juan de Fuca.

Backing the ship into the slip is impressive to watch. Such perfectly detailed and exacting control, no tug required…

The pixel ate view from our virtual balcony.

Off we go to explore!

Sea day excitement…

We were sitting in Brian and Julian’s Romo enjoying the view. We went to head upstairs to dinner and I noticed that we seemed to be moving slowly. Turns out there was some sort of medical emergency.

Those coast guard guys really know their work. Very impressive moves on the part of everyone involved. Really wish I had been able to get a better view of the big roping the medic, doing two basket lifts, and hoisting the medic off.

No idea what went wrong, but someone had to get hauled off the ship and off to Newport. Julian says it must’ve been immediately life threatening or they would’ve just kept them on board until we arrived in Victoria.

Sea day has been fun, we hit some weather and actually experienced some reasonably severe movement of the ship for most of the day. Pretty severe wind up on the deck, made it challenging to walk in a couple of places. We seem to have gone further out away from the coast than we did while headed south, seemingly to avoid weather.

Waking up to the ship moving, and going to sleep being rocked back and forth, this feels like being at sea!

Sail away, sail away…

Leaving SF was the first time our mighty ship has had the assistance of a tug this entire voyage. I assume due to some Californian nanny-state law about how they’ll do it FOR you thankyouverymuch… Alcatraz… Glad we escaped you. An imposing island to be sure. Here comes the bridge! Photo dump of us passing under the bridge: Right about here the fog horn blew until the bridge of the ship had passed under the bridge. That was fun! I swear it looked like we had maybe 20 to 40 feet of clearance. The best shot back at the city I could get with the horde of people on deck: Rare shot of us! Very windy at this point. Basically the minute you pass under the bridge you’re no longer sheltered. In fact we could see the weather out ahead. It suddenly got rather choppy. The actual shore of California. Nice location for a VA hospital. Looking back to the south of the entrance to the bay. That’s a lot of houses. We did an S-turn to create a leeward side of the ship so one seriously brave dude could leap across the open ocean into his tiny boat. Amazing bunch these pilots. The sharp turn back to the north had us listing quite hard. It’s hard to see here, but it was impressive. And then our pilot just waited out there for the next boat and the next pilot. Sixth and lastly, my most terrible attempt at soft-serve yet.

Pilgrimages were made…

I had to go see the new Apple Store which my old boss Consuela now runs. Didn’t get a chance to say hi to her, but what an amazing store!

They have a garden.

And the garden extends indoors.

I think you’d need sunglasses to work on the sales floor here. Quite amazing. The upstairs area has quite a view:

And the downstairs has quite the door…

Other pilgrimages were also made. I maintain my disdain for 19th century American cathedrals, but eh, they tried.

If I remember correctly this is the St. Francis of Assisi church.

I could not for the life of me figure out what biblical story was happening here…

Went into three different cathedrals in total. None terribly impressive. Didn’t even take pictures in the first. This one was the Peter and Paul church, which was actually very nice and ALMOST European, but could still have had a more impressive organ.

There’s something about cathedrals here that I never realized until I went to Vienna. They’re soft. The glass work is too detailed, the stories in the panes are about love and mercy rather than the Gothic old-testament fear-inspiring morality tales, the lack of grotesques and stone animal carvings is notable.

Unlike Jesuitenkirche, you do NOT walk into an American cathedral (on the pacific cast anyway) and think “these people have the correct god”. The jesuits did it right.