Saturday, May 29, 2010

Enroute to Victoria

Today's a mostly at-sea day; we arrive in Victoria around 6:00 PM and leave again at 11:30 PM. Gary's pacing the deck as I type this, but it's gray and cold out and I'm a little sore from yesterday, so I'm taking it easy in the Internet lounge.

This morning we attended a mandatory disembarkation briefing, which included the warning to leave an outfit out to wear tomorrow (suitcases will be picked up from outside doors by 1:00 a.m.). Every cruise, evidently, someone forgets this and winds up, shivering and embarrassed, wearing a cruise bathrobe or sheet in the terminal.

We plan to have an early dinner on the ship tonight and then go for a stroll in Victoria. I don't know what will be open in the evening, but it's supposed to be a pretty city, so that should be pleasant if the weather's nice enough. We requested a late (9-9:30 a.m.) disembarkation tomorrow, so we don't have to get up at dawn.

We're hoping to cruise the Mexican Riviera next spring break; I may even try to book that today. We've figured out that there are two kinds of people in the world, camping people and crusing people, and we're definitely the second.

Before we left for the cruise, we had dinner with some Seattle friends who've bought a small plot of land in the San Juan islands. They refer to it fondly as "the nettle zone;" they camp there and rip out invasive species. They hope to build some kind of low-tech shelter, but because putting in plumbing from the nearest road would be too expensive, instead they've invested in a hand pump so they can get water from a well at the bottom of the hill and use buckets to haul it up to the top, where their property is.

When we arrive in Seattle tomorrow, we'll be staying overnight with a friend who loves to backpack. She's told us rollicking stories about hiking in thunderstorms and getting covered with mud.

Our friends love these trips. Such trips would be our idea of hell. But I guess cruising would be our friends' idea of hell, too. I'm trying to overcome my gnawing sense of guilt (yes, Claire, that was guilt, not quilt!) about being overly bourgeois and insufficiently woodsy: I'm happy to hug trees, but only if there's indoor plumbing and good food nearby.

Yesterday, the ship's environmental officer gave a talk (which we didn't attend) about how Holland America's the industry leader in environmentally responsible cruising. Gary said with a sigh, "We should go to that so we can rationalize cruising to all our green friends." He also pointed out that if you divide the oil the ship uses by 2,400 people (guests and crew) and factor in the oil savings from none of those people driving cars that week, it's probably not nearly as bad as it sounds. This is, after all, mass transit! And we have only one car at home, and it gets good mileage, and we drive it very little (I have a three-mile commute to work), so all things considered, we're not such horrible people. Right?

Re photos: Stacey, I forgot to post the cat one, but I have it; I'll post it when we're back in Seattle tomorrow. mybabyjohn, here's a photo of the owl pin. I'll snap a photo of the yarn this afternoon and post it tomorrow.


  1. It looks absolutely gorgeous...thanks for the link.

  2. You know it's odd, I think I'm a weird camping/cruising hybrid.

    Who am I kidding? There are mixed drinks on cruises.

  3. um... the funny thing is i was actually camping when i was reading your cruise posts. had to drive into some town or other to find an internet connection, but i was enjoying the weird juxtaposition of your circumstances and mine.

    while i'm a big lover of beautiful scenery and trees and even mud and stuff, then main reason i camp is because i simply can't afford hotels, let alone nice ones.

    and a cruise? i'd love to turn my nose up at one, really i would, but the truth is that i'm just prone to motion sickness and am also pathologically afraid of motion sickness in other people.

    i think what i really want is excellent table service and casual dress along with clean towels, hot showers, and broadband internet access delivered to me at remote campsites.

    ...for twenty dollars a day.

    is that too much to ask for?


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