Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Santa Catalina Island

Fall Coastal Cruise 2018
Catalina Island - October 26th

Just before sunrise and I've already enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee in Lido. Stepped out on Deck 10 (one above Lido) to snap the view above. I love this time of day on cruise ships when you can be out on deck like this and it almost seems like this is your own personal super yacht. No other cruisers in view. It turned out to be a great day and how it unfolded is journaled below. 

Aboard MS Eurodam, October 26, 2018  6:23 AM
A few minutes after sunrise and before anchoring off Catalina Island.

Early Morning view of Santa Catalina Island
from MS Eurodam at anchor.
October 26th ... Clear skies and warm!

Tenders are getting ready.
For anyone not into cruising ... When ships are too large to dock at a port, small boats known as tenders ferry passengers to and from the port. The ship stays anchored in deeper waters and the tender ride usually takes just a few minutes.

I'm on the first tender to the Island.
Avalon center before the crowds arrive.

Taking the "Garden to Sky Trail" from the Wrigley Memorial.
Looking back at our ship in the harbor.

Zoomed in.
Not smoke, but haze!

Walked through Wrigley Botanical Garden

Colorful flowers all around Avalon

Don't rent a car ... rent a golf cart.
Preferred method of getting around on the Island.

Go for a submarine ride if you wish.
On this cruise I had an excellent room Steward named Wayan. Not only did he keep the room in great shape (despite my clutter) he also made a cool towel critter for me each night which was waiting for me in my room when I returned from dinner. I liked them all but the one below was my favorite ... Not sure, but possibly a Brachiosaurus. :-)

Check out more critters at
Saturday's Critters and, thanks to Eileen for hosting.

Port side tender stop.

Aboard tender enroute back to the ship.

Approaching tender docks at ship.

Platforms fold out from the ship.

One last look back at the Island.
This particular area is known as Hamilton Cove.
Want to vacation here? Hamilton Cove Vacation Rentals
Previously, in this series of posts ...
San Diego
San Francisco
San Pedro/Los Angeles

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

San Pedro/Los Angeles

Fall Coastal Cruise --
San Pedro/LA Port Stop

It is Thursday, October 25, 2018, and we are aboard Holland America's Eurodam docked at the Los Angeles Cruise Ship Terminal.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 -- We are docked at
San Pedro/Los Angeles Cruise Ship Terminal
Right across from our ship is the beautiful
Vincent Thomas Bridge

For perspective, the San Pedro Cruise Ship Terminal
(aka Los Angeles World Cruise Center)
is about 18 miles from downtown L. A.

This overview shot shows where we are docked.
Just guessing, but probably this area is the largest
shipping center on the entire West Coast.
Truly fascinating for those of us interested in big ships!

A big container ship passed right in front of us and then under
the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

Ship's name: Henry Hudson Bridge.
First time I've seen a ship named after a bridge.
Just liked capturing a bridge going under a bridge.

Yet another large container ship passing under Vincent Thomas.
This is the Horizon Pacific -- homeport New York, NY.
Operated by Pasha Hawaii

A couple of Tractor Tugs completely turned the Horizon Pacific
around before assisting her to the dock.

Looking out from the front of our ship.

This pic does give some scale to the whole scene.

Pretty nice capture with the Canon 730.

Happy boating right next to the big dogs.

Happened to notice the Lucy Franco.
Recalled seeing Franco tugs in Alaska and Seattle.
Discovered history of Harley Franco's Company

Massive new bridge under construction for the
Seaside Freeway I-710
will take traffic over shipping lanes.
Next:  Santa Catalina Island -- Avalon
Previously on this voyage -- Vancouver
San Diego
San Francisco

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Golden Gate Sunrise

Fall Coastal Cruise
October 23, 2018

Aboard MS Eurodam

It's Tuesday morning and the Captain has timed our San Francisco arrival for sunrise as we pass under the Golden Gate Bridge. It would be easy for me to go overboard about a beautiful morning. I will just leave it as one of the most memorable events of the entire 11 day cruise.

October 23rd  6:43 AM
Aboard MS Eurodam
Approaching Golden Gate Bridge

October 23rd  6:49 AM
San Francisco in view.

Golden morning in the Golden Gate City
October 23, 2018
Next:  San Pedro/Los Angeles
Previous posts in this series ...
San Diego

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

San Diego Sunday

Fall Coastal Cruise -
October 21, 2018

Sunday morning and we've arrived in San Diego. Per my usual routine I snapped the elevator carpet and, on the way to Lido for coffee, happened to snap the map in the Lobby that tracks our voyage. Looks like we will be in Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday, but then ...

Back in my stateroom a letter from the Captain is on the bed ...

Click for larger image ... which I hope you can read.

Hurricane Willa, headed for Mexico, has forced a change of itinerary ... so, our next stop is now San Francisco! While we're stopped here in San Diego about 800 passengers, who have been with us since Vancouver, will be getting off and new passengers will board, they have all signed up for the next 7 days and expect to be going to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. As you can imagine, there are some unhappy cruisers aboard. Safety first, as they say, and I, for one, am happy to be heading to San Francisco, L.A., Catalina Island, and Ensenada.

The San Diego Cruise Terminal is right in front of downtown.

A short walk of a few blocks gets me to the classic
Santa Fe Station. (You know I love trains, right?)

Later in the afternoon snapped this pic of Star of India and
happened to catch a Southwest flight about to land at
San Diego International about 1 mile away.
A great day: Ships, Trains, and Planes!

View from Aft Deck as we depart.
The other cruise ship is the Norwegian Pearl.
The Pearl was also affected by Hurricane Willa
Next: Golden Gate Sunrise
Previously, on this cruise Vancouver BC and Astoria, OR

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Astoria, Oregon

Fall Coastal Cruise -
October 18th - Port Stop Astoria, Oregon

Throwing out the lines.
Astoria, Oregon
October 18th  10:46 AM
The whole process of docking a large floating vessel is pretty fascinating. Watching the entire procedure can give you a good idea about the Captain’s experience. Astoria, Oregon, does not see many cruise ships visit and part of that may be due to the challenge of getting securely tied up here. When we get close enough the crew in the photo above throws out a lightweight line to stevedores on the dock. That line gives them a way to pull the heavy ropes to the cleats that will hold the ship in place.

We are docked in front of another fascination … the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The Astoria–Megler Bridge (for US Highway 101) is a steel cantilever through truss bridge that spans the lower Columbia River, between Astoria, Oregon, and Point Ellice near Megler, Washington. Opened 52 years ago in 1966, it is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.

The photo below (by Bob Heims, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) gives some perspective on the bridge. In the distance the Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean. There is a famous sand bar known as the Columbia Bar. Wiki says, "The bar is where the river's current dissipates into the Pacific Ocean, often as large standing waves. The waves are partially caused by the deposition of sediment as the river slows, as well as mixing with ocean waves. The waves, wind, and current are hazardous for vessels of all sizes." As we approached the Bar --- both on arrival and departure --- our Captain made official announcements to be prepared for significant motion which might be enough to cause a fall.

Overview -- Port of Astoria, Oregon
and the Astoria-Megler Bridge
(Photo by Bob Heims - Wiki - Public Domain)

Holland America's Eurodam
Docked in Astoria, Oregon, October 18, 2018

Good Golly, Miss Molly?
Yes, she is here.

Next: San Diego Sunday