We made it back into the US today, with a stop in at the customs office in Friday Harbor. This was a good week, we made it back up to Alert Bay (yes I took pictures!), Princess Louisse Inlet with a really narrow entrance at a place called Malibu Rapids. It was quite a sight to see the boat go through there, seeing how it was only twice as wide as the boat, and very rocky on either side. I have some great pictures of that as well. While we were in the inlet I took my test to be able to drive a zodiac and passed! This is one of the two certifications I needed to become an engineer, so one more to go. Shouldn’t be a problem, the other is a basic course on fuel and oil transfers, along with all about what to do if there is a spill.
We also made it back to Victoria one more time. I actually got to spend a good 4 hours cruising the streets, this time. It really isn’t all that bad of a place, but I think I’ll stick to the US. I did find people that had the “strange brew” accent, but I had to go deep into the depths of the city. TOO FUNNY! So funny.
Next stop is Seattle to drop off some guests, load up on stores and prep the boat for the trip down the coast to Portland. All’s looking good for that…..Then we are off to the Columbia River.
My schedule keeps changing at work. It looks like I’m still slated to begin on the 7th of October, but now it seems that I’ll be staying on the Sea Lion a while longer. It really doesn’t matter to me, I just want to work, but it’s kind of funny how often things change. That’s boat life in a nutshell! Anticipation is really the main problem at this point, but that will be over with in good time.
In the last week I have seen so many good things. I got back to the little town called Alert Bay on the north end of Vancouver Island, a tiny village with only a few things going on. On the other had, I also spent an entire day exploring the city of Vancouver, which has a population of 2.2 million people. In typical Canada fashion, the city is clean and interesting, with the port being the main attraction. I really had no idea how big this city was, and how many goods move through it. The city is a “Sister City” to Seattle, but the port is WAY bigger, I believe this is because they are a net exporter of oil at this time. I’m not sure that I would be in a big hurry to come back to this city, just because I’m not a city boy, but it is definitely€ a better place to travel through than most US cities I’ve been through. In typical me fashion, I made it through this whole week with only a handful of pictures, and not one of Vancouver. We will be heading back to Alert Bay and I promise that I will get a couple of of it for you all to see.
So, I’ve been up here a week now and I’ve not heard one person with the “Strange Brew” Canadian accent. I’m a little saddened by this. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right place.
This week we really don’t have a whole lot of guests on the boat, 19, so I’ve kind of been given a good opportunity to do a little training for the new position. I’m getting a good view of the whole thing, and it’s not seeming so foreign any more. This has definitely been a blessing for me. I’m pretty ready to switch over now, but I’m still enjoying cooking. I won’t miss it THAT much.
Yesterday we spent the day in Victoria, BC. Even though Canada borders the US, it is such a different place. It’s insanely obvious that you are in a different country when you are there. I’m not quite sure as to why that is at this point, but I’ll be here for a couple of weeks and I’ll be sure to let you know what conclusions I come to.
Victoria was a pretty touristy place, very clean, with a million gift shops and some interesting architecture. It was nice to walk around and see some different types of buildings that I would assume to be very British in nature. People are nice and like I said before, it was very clean.
The countryside around BC is quite similar to south east Alaska, I enjoy it quite a bit. Cedar and Madrone trees every where, with big mountains underneath them. The weather down here is quite a bit more forgiving, compared to Alaska, so that’s a positive.
I have about two weeks more until I switch over from sous Chef to assistant Engineer, so I’ve been trying to take time to see what the person in my position on this boat is doing as I get time. The boat I’m on now (the NG Sea Lion) is similar, but not exactly the same as the one I will be working on (the NG Sea Bird), but I’m greatful to get any knowledge that I can, when I can. I’m really looking forward to the move, did I say that already?
We stop in Alert Bay tomorrow, a town on the northern end of Vancouver Island. I’m looking forward to checking it out, though I have been there one time before, on the trip from Mexico up to Alaska earlier in the year.
I am now the Assistant Engineer of the M/V National Geographic Sea Lion! I’m pretty happy about the whole thing. I used cooking to get my foot in the door, now a whole great career is under way. Good things come to those who wait.
I also got to do a little more wheeling this weekend. The trip was a loop up Quaker Hill Road and then back down Alpha Road. There’s some great history in the area, as well as some great views.