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.

Misc evening shots…

Obligatory sea lions in San Fran. We went to Bubba Gump for dinner. Or, as I call it “the Red Robin of the sea”. After that we walked way down to Ghirardelli Square and get some ice cream. Dangerous dairy experiences. Walking back to the ship was quite pretty: The mighty Explorer of the Seas! Although apparently not that mighty to Julian and Brian after being on it’s larger sister ship. Back on the ship and lounging around after all the walking we did! Something like 7 miles today?

We got caught!

We seem to have been caught for… Something? We’re being shipped to alcatraz.

It looms ever closer. Dang windy out here.

I didn’t actually take too many pictures while we were there. We were busy doing the tour and wandering about. It was really pretty interesting.

For some reason I really enjoyed how rusted out the metal in this building was, yet in these lighting ballasts the ceramic/plastic where the bulb snaps in is perfect. It made it feel decidedly un-real.

The view from the top was pretty nice. There’s our ship! (we’re on the port side, so you can’t see our “house”)

Another look from the top.

I thought the power systems on the ship for our return trip were interesting!

A little bit of nerdiness about the power systems:

Alcatraz was neat. Highly recommended.

Photo dump: band-in-a-box

Mostly just for me to remember later, I want to look a couple of these up.

Especially this one.

“does not sound like music” makes me hope there’s a good audio recording somewhere on the internet. At a museum type thing at fisherman’s warf.