Saturday, January 11, 2020

Acadia National Park

The view here is looking South-Southeast, down the water's edge to Otter Cliff, with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Looking straight into the ocean beyond, the next "land" will be Venezuela, South America, about 2300 miles (3700 km) away. It was a glorious blue-sky day.
Acadia National Park
Photo above taken September 22, 2019  10:01 AM
On September 22, 2019, the MS Veendam arrived in Bar Harbor, Maine. This was my first opportunity to set foot in the State of Maine. After disembarking, via tender, we boarded a motorcoach for a short ride to Acadia National Park. Inside the Park, at Sand Beach, we started an appx. 2-mile walk/hike along the water's edge to Otter Cliff. The weather was perfect and so was the scenery. This was my first visit to Acadia National Park and I was impressed with the beauty. Acadia is known as the Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast. Its one of the top 10 most-visited national parks in the United States.

The discovery of Acadia was actually somewhat of a surprise. Those of you who follow the blog here know that I am into walking. Holland America had offered a tour in Bar Harbor called "A Walk on the Beach." I had signed up for that without even realizing the "beach" would be in a National Park. So this was a very pleasant discovery. As one who collects postcards it's no surprise that I purchased the postcard below as a souvenir.

In my opinion travel is one of the best educators. I did not know that Bar Harbor, Maine, is actually on an island, Mount Desert Island, with only one state highway connecting it to the mainland. The population of Bar Harbor, according to the 2010 Census, was about 5,200.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Cruiseport Boston

After almost a week visiting Boston, on Saturday, September 21, 2019, it was time to board MS Veendam for a 7-day adventure Holland America cruise line calls "New England in the Fall."

"Embarkation" is what the cruise lines call it. All the cruisers gather at the cruise terminal to board the ship. Most important things to have with you: Passport and Credit Card. 😉 In the pic above we've all been through "check-in" and waiting now for the boarding announcement.
Sept 21, 2019  11:19 AM

At the airport these boarding ramps are sometimes called "jetways" ... so,  I'll call this the "shipway." Of course, it allows you to move from the terminal over to the ship.

Boarding time ... MS Veendam, Boston, MA
September 21, 2019  11:38 AM

First thing to do after boarding ship ... Go to buffet restaurant for your first "free" lunch. Then, get out and explore your ship. On this day, I think most folks just went back to their staterooms for a nap. In the days after I snapped the picture above I would be spending a fair amount of time in one of those workstations, aka deckchairs.
September 21, 2019  12:57 PM

Monday, January 6, 2020

Winter Sky

Late Afternoon Sky - January 4, 2020  3:55 PM

Winter days ... The more north from the equator, the shorter the daylight. Seattle is 47.6° N. On January 4 sunrise was at 7:57 AM and sunset at 4:31 PM. Length of daylight was 8 hours 34 minutes. Home for me, while growing up, was in a location much further south, where the annual variation in daylight was much less than Seattle. Over all the years I've come to appreciate the variation and how it affects life.

The very best website for keeping track of the sun, as it moves through the seasons, is A couple of graphs from that website can make clear the difference the length of day makes depending on location.

Sun Graph for 2020 for Honolulu, Hawaii, which is 21.3° N ...


Sun Graph for 2020 for Seattle, Washington, which is 47.6° N ...


The bottom line on all this is ... I love the dynamics of the variation in length of day. Right now, on January 6, I am looking forward to a little more brightness. But I have no doubt that by the end of August I will be sick of the long days and ready to get back to the tranquility that darkness seems to bring.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Seven Seas Navigator

Regents Seven Seas MS Navigator
Boston, Massachusetts
September 21, 2019
After a visit to Boston for a few days, I was, on September 21, 2019, aboard Holland America's Veendam for a "New England in the Fall" cruise. (More about that trip in future posts.) As we departed the cruise terminal in Boston, the Veendam went into reverse to back all the way out of the terminal slot. I thought this was pretty cool because I was standing on an aft deck and felt as if though I could have been at the wheel. A perfect spot for photos. The first thing to really catch my attention was the MS Navigator docked at the same terminal. As we passed her I snapped the picture above. As one who has done a little bit of travel aboard ships, I will say that the Navigator appears to be just about the perfect size. Small enough to get into some of the more unusual ports, but big enough to smooth out the usual ocean surface.

Comments are back, if you wish to leave one, or perhaps ask a question.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Summer Sunset

Memorable Summer Sunset in Seattle
August 28, 2019  8:19 PM
The view is looking west from home. The distant mountains are the Olympics. The water is Puget Sound. In the middle-lower portion, Elliott Bay Marina, which provides mooring for hundreds of sailboats. The glow of sunset, as seen in this photo, is fairly common for a clear sky summer day.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Golden Bear

Training Ship Golden Bear
Visiting Seattle, Washington
August 25, 2019
Happened to see the Golden Bear here in Seattle last August. The TS Golden Bear is the training ship of the California State University Maritime Academy.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Pretty Morning Aboard MS Eurodam

Start of a new day aboard Holland America's MS Eurodam
October 21, 2019  8:08 AM
A blue-sky morning is one of my favorite times when aboard ship way out in the open ocean. The scene above is how it looked on October 21, 2019, while southbound along the West Coast enroute to San Diego. When cruising, "days at sea" are often my favorite days of the cruise. Visiting a new Port-Of-Call is fascinating, of course, but sort of the opposite of a relaxing day at sea.

Happy Birthday USA

Happy Birthday USA Happy holiday to all in America. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day. Comments will return on the next post. Credit to...