Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day Trip to Victoria

Off to another country, to visit with W. for the day.

Northbound in the morning the ferry had a rescue drill. They announced there would be a drill and would the passengers please stay out of the way; then threw a big dummy in the water, set off the man-overboard siren, and pulled a tight donut in the water while the crew (rather slowly) let down a boat. They puttered off to pick up the dummy. Then we started steaming toward Victoria. 'Don't we pick them back up,' I asked a crewwoman. 'They'll follow us to Victoria,' she said. Well no. Pretty soon we pulled another donut and headed back to pick them up after all, the Hurricane or whatever it was's steering had broken and they couldn't go anywhere. So the ferry pulled up near them and they paddled over with a couple of oars but somehow conditions weren't right. We pulled away, circled a third time, and this time threw them a rope and they hauled themselves hand over hand until they were lined up under the lift cables. Much fussing, slow cranking, and finally the little orange boat was back aboard. Arrived Victoria about 55 minutes late.

Southbound in the evening the 7:30 ferry left on time. (I asked a crewman; he said it had taken them all day to make up the time lost to the boat drill, they were still running 15 minutes late when they'd just arrived in Victoria, but were leaving on time.) It was sunset and dusk. The strait was absolutely calm. The Olympics across the Strait to the south were beautiful in sunset light; Mount Baker (nice photo here from victorialodging.com) seemed to loom right out of the water to the northeast until the light failed; then further south the moon rose enormous and orange behind the Cascade horizon. Just gorgeous.


Mt. Olympus seen across the Strait from the mouth of Victoria Harbor

On both crossings I studied the Olympic Mountains' profile just about the whole way. At the last minute when it was already too dark I turned around and tried to identify the bright sodium lights on the shore of Vancouver Island which I can see from my kitchen window. The lights were visible on the part of the shore I thought they would be, but it was too dark to pick out buildings there. The window of opportunity when it's possible to see buildings and lights simultaneously in the dusk (with binoculars) might be pretty narrow.

1 comment:

Ceeinbc said...

Sounds like quite an entertaining ferry ride!

Hard to believe we've less than two weeks 'til our trip to PM -- look forward to seeing you there -- fingers crossed our black & white friends will still be hanging around! :)

BTW, although Safari, my browser, shows your RSS feed okay, my small 'news reader' desktop widget keeps saying it can't validate the URL? Weird.