Tag Archives: boat

Edmonds Ferries In The Sun

A change of plans caused by reduced ferry services at Mukilteo meant we found ourselves at Edmonds having a stroll along the shore.  It was a lovely sunny Saturday if a little cool and breezy.  The ferries to Kingston from Edmonds were running a full service and you know I can’t resist getting the odd ferry photo.

Coast Guard Vessel

A Canadian Coast Guard boat was up on the shipyard being worked on while we were in Victoria.  A ship out of the water has a very different feel given how much it sits above you and the view of the area below the waterline.  It changes the scale of the vessel to my eye.  I’m not sure what work was being undertaken and wonder whether it is already back in service or not.

BC Ferries And A Competitor

On our trip to Victoria, we took the BC Ferries crossing to Vancouver Island.  On our return journey, we got to the terminal at Swartz Bay quite early and the sun was shining so I wandered down to the water edge near the ferries to see what was going on.  There were more BC Ferries vessels in place along with a competitor ferry, Seaspan, that appears to be focused on freight traffic only.

That ferry left before we loaded but it ended up following us through the passage towards the Strait of Georgia.  We made a couple of turns through the passage which meant it appeared and disappeared from view for me but I managed to catch it a couple of times.  The passage is also the place where the ferries pass in opposite directions since it is mid journey.  A chance to get some more ferry shots.  After a pause, it seems I am back on the ferry photography trail!

Backlight For A Seastack

During the evenings at Cannon Beach, we could see lots of lights out on the water.  Fishing boats were out at work and their lights were very bright.  I am not sure whether they only fish at night or not.  During the day, it would be hard to spot them without the lights giving you a clue since they were generally quite far out.  However, one boat was closer in than the others.  It was right behind on of the sea stacks near Haystack Rock.  With a lot of mist in the air, the light from the boat was diffused and provided a backlight to the rock.  It wasn’t lone before the boat came out from behind the rock and the effect was lost.

Pacific Fleet Home At Esquimalt

Across the water from Fort Rodd Hill is the Canadian naval base of Esquimalt.  This is the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet for the navy.  From where we were, you could see some of the ships in the harbor.  There were a few small patrol boats that were in use but the larger ships were tied up.

Ships Look Better From A Distance Part 2

A while back, I produced a post about the way in which ships look a lot rougher when up close compared to from a distance.  In that case, it was a Washington State Ferries vessel I was considering.  In the shipyard in Victoria that was across from where we were staying, there was a catamaran ferry undergoing work.  The bow of the ship was very close to the fence and you could see exactly the same thing.  The steelwork welds were easy to see at that range and remind you that these ships are heavy engineering.

QE2 But Probably Not As You Remember Her

I have scanned a lot of old negatives that the family has accumulated over the years including some my mum sent me last year.  Some of those were of the cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth 2 or just QE2 to most people.  We used to see QE2 a lot.  She would sail in and out of Southampton so would pass our place often.  After she returned from the Falklands, she went in for a major refit.  She had to replace a lot of what was taken out when she was used as a troopship as well as remove the helipads that had been welded on her after decks.

One change they made when refitting her was a new paint scheme.  Gone was the black hull and in came a gray color and a red funnel.  It was a strange look and out of keeping with the traditions of Cunard.  I don’t know how long it lasted exactly but a few years later, she was back in the more familiar colors and they remained until she was retired.  One morning she came up the Solent in the fog.  The combination of fog and a gray paint scheme was quite ghostly.  These shots were taken from our window.

Now This Is A Tug!

Sunny Saturday afternoon and we were coming back from Discovery Park.  Our route took us passed Commodore Park which gives immediate access to the Chittenden Locks at Ballard.  With it being such a nice afternoon, we decided it was worth a brief stroll across to see what was going on.  There were a number of smaller boats coming through the little lock which we watched for a while.  Then, coming up from Puget Sound, we saw a large commercial vessel approaching.

It was a tug returning from time out on the open ocean.  There are plenty of tugs in the area – many of which are not too big – but this one was a decent size.  No doubt there are larger ones for open ocean recovery of vessels but this was still impressive.  The crew was busy preparing for port.  Hosing the salt off the superstructure, greasing up exposed metalwork and gathering all of the trash.  They had to wait for a short while because the lock crews were still working the smaller lock.  Then they were summoned in.  A little burst of power from a tug this size can really get the water churning.  Since they needed the larger lock, the other waiting boats were brought in too.

Once the water level was raised, the lock gates were opened and the water flowed through to finally balance things out.  The current whipping past the tug made it look like it was moving at some speed even though it was standing still.  Once cleared to depart, they pulled off gently.  Since a lot of small craft were behind them in the lock, they couldn’t just give it the beans or their wash would have bounced everyone around.  Instead, a delicate application of power and they were on their way.  Below is a little video of them to go with the stills.

Historic Hull In A Bad Way

As I was driving around the waterfront in Everett, I came to an open sided shed with a decaying ship hull under the cover.  It was a ship called Equator.  It was a hull that had been rescued after being used as part of the breakwater at Everett.  Even after being saved, it sat outside for a long time gradually weakening.  Eventually, funding was found to put a structure over the hull.  However, it was already in a pretty bad way and the stern collapsed.  It’s not clear what is going to happen to it at this point.

The structure is open on the sides which would be good for getting photos but the fencing is a bit of a problem.  A bit of reaching up and using Live View to try and get some shots was required.  Getting far enough back to get the hull in frame was problematic.  At the stern end, there is a small wall for storage of some sand and it was possible to stand on top of the wall to get a few more angles.  Not an easy one to shoot though.

Cruise Ship Comparison

The cruise ships are back in Seattle.  A year of cruise travel didn’t happen while COVID was raging and no vaccinations were available.  Now they seem to have found a protocol to make cruises viable.  (Not something I would be trying but each to their own.)  When we were down in the city for a weekend, we got to the hotel shortly before one of the cruise ships sailed.  It belonged to the Norwegian cruise line and was a huge thing.  It was not an elegant looking ship but it clearly had plenty of capacity.

It sailed off on its trip – presumably towards Alaska – and a little while later the other end of the cruise ship spectrum showed up.  The National Geographic Venture is not a traditional cruise ship.  They have small vessels that are able to make more specialized trips into restricted spaces that the large cruise ships could never get to.  We have looked at their cruises to Alaska as something that we might want to do at some point.  The season is over for them now so it was not clear what the boat was up to but it couldn’t have looked more different than the Norwegian ship.