Sunday, May 09, 2010

Salt Water View

This whole little town watches the Strait: there it is, at the bottom of every cross street. When it's blue and windy out, whitecaps 'way out there visible from anywhere. When it's thick and gray, Canada disappears. Big ships, little boats. At night, the lights of Victoria. The ferry, chugging out, coming home again. It's not the outer coast, but it is by golly salt water, and highly entertaining.

With luck, one has the 'dual view', able to look south to the Olympic Mountains and north to the harbor, the Strait, another country across the water. Now that the leaves are back on the trees, my own patchy water view between roofs, powerlines and conifers is even more interrupted. But water view it is. A cruise ship made a rare visit to our harbor on Friday. Had I been home, I'd have watched Zuiderdam come cruising by, caught a picture of it as seen from my front room; but I was at work, up at the college, where we are high up on the hill and have an improbable expanse of windows. Tweeted it:

We are much distracted, watching from our windows as _Zuiderdam_ comes into port. Will be here a few hours. Bigger than all of downtown. (1)Fri May 07 via web

(2) Binoculars #atthecollege ; truly, it's bigger than all downtown and it's coming around the end of the Hook NOWFri May 07 via web

Zuiderdam seen from the Peninsula College Library (Click for larger image.)

And it is so small-town a town. The ship had to tie up at the terminal where they work on the big ships, out there between the plywood mill and the dock where workmen were banging and clanging away on a repair to the tanker Overseas Long Beach. 2000 people off the ship wandered towards downtown wondering "Is this all there is?", while the official tourist-honchos and their volunteers made every effort to catch the tourists' attention, and the locals swarmed the dock to take pictures of this ship which was Bigger Than All of Downtown. We all but paddled out in our canoes hoping they'd throw trinkets and coins at us.

Zuiderdam at Terminal 1 (Click for larger image.)

Here comes the Showboat!
Here comes the Showboat!
Puff puff puff puff puff puff puffing along.


samcandide said...

Wow! It's ginormous!

waltc said...

Did you know that, during riverboat cruises on the Upper Mississippi, going through locks & dams, people did come down from nearby towns and passengers did toss various trinkets (not coins, AFAIK). It was strange and wonderful. (I use past tense because the Queens--the Mississippi Queen, American Queen and Delta Queen--aren't cruising at this point, and the DQ never will cruise again. Yes, I was there; yes, I participated.)

mb said...

:-) What sort of trinkets? I'm imagining mardi gras beads...

waltc said...

Unfortunately, nothing that grand. Mostly matchbooks, other things with the Delta Queen logo (eventually staff made some of these available). I think mostly one of the Queens coming through a lock was an excuse/reason for a local celebration in little river towns.

SallyA said...

And look at your flowers! and your sunshine! What a day!