Shades of Blue

And, it’s only day 2!!

Sunny day, clear blue skies all day, 70-degree weather, mountain peaks and ranges that grow and expand to even higher majestic walls of rock, snow and glaciers, sailboats in the channels, and decompressing with a kicked back view from the lounge chair in the “back yard”.

At sea/at sail for a full day and night as we’re gliding north through the Strait of Georgia toward Alaska’s Inside Passage.  So at peace, totally in awe of the grandeur, the scope, the breadth, the vastness of it all -

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Point Atkinson Lighthouse – 2 more…

A few more views of Pt. Atkinson as the ship navigates past the lighthouse…  To get an idea of how many lighthouses are scattered around Canada, and PARTICULARLY British Columbia, check out this map!!

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Point Atkinson Lighthouse

At the mouth of Burrard Inlet and just before entering the waters of the Strait of Georgia is the Point Atkinson Lighthouse.  The original lighthouse was built in 1874 and was replaced by the current lighthouse in 1912.  There were 11 lighthouse keepers from 1874 until 1996 when the lighthouse became fully automated with a solar-powered lamp.  The last keeper, Donald Graham, wrote two books chronicling the history of British Columbia’s lighthouses and their keepers.


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A Most Visible Commodity

I immediately was drawn to what we guessed was a pile of sulfur ready for shipments to parts unknown.  Locals stated that this sulfur pile is always there.  It brings up the question of whether the sulfur people may be onto something.  A lovely color, but it’s not a glamorous business.  There is no particular magic to the business model: buy sulfur cheap in the interior somewhere, dump it in Vancouver until a ship comes in, and then sell it for a slightly higher price overseas!  A piece of cake – golden yellow devils food cake mix!

(Factoid: In March 2007, a ton of pure sulfur shipped from North Vancouver would have cost you less than $50 US.  In April 2008, it jumped to about $650 for the same volume — a 13-fold increase in just 13 months.)

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Traffic Jam in Burrard Inlet

Leaving the city behind while gliding out of Vancouver Harbor and into Burrard Inlet, I fully grasped why the Ballantyne and its neighboring ship terminals were so enormous.  As we headed West toward the Strait of Georgia and the Pacific, freighters and tankers were headed in, jockeying for position along this 5- to 7-mile stretch of inlet.

Burrard Inlet forms Vancouver’s primary port area. While some of the shoreline is residential and commercial (the North Shore and Vancouver), much is port-industrial, including railyards, terminals for container and bulk cargo ships, and oil refineries. Freighters waiting to load/unload cargoes in the inlet often anchor in English Bay, which lies south of the mouth of the inlet and is separated from it by Vancouver’s downtown peninsula and Stanley Park.  On June 18th, 2014, just over a month before we arrived (sad to say we did not stay an extra day to visit here),  Stanley Park was named “top park in the entire world” by TripAdvisor!!


Stanley Park in the foreground


panoramic of the North Shore


Not surprised to see what was around the corner at the Ballantyne terminal.


Washington’s Mt. Baker in the background.


North Vancouver (aka North Shore)

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Heave Ho, Anchors Aweigh, and all that stuff!

Places to go, things to do, people to see…  hard to believe this was only a 24-hour stay.


ropes off…


platform check (for the pilot boats)…


get ready for wind in the hair… or rather, that “windblown” look…


a long look down the ship’s handrail…


checking out the rear balcony which, by the way, became our “back yard”…


a fellow traveler with the same idea… great minds…

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Waiting Impatiently …

… for a herd of  1200 travelers to disembark, get in these cabs and get outa the way …  now it’s our turn to hit he high seas!!  S’long, Vancouver, you beautiful city!!!


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Port Metro Vancouver

This freight harbor/cargo ship terminal may not be as elegant, clean and bright as that of it’s neighboring pier at Canada Place, but it’s sure got some color!!.  A close-up crop vs. a 9-image panoramic shot of the location where all the cargo ships load/unload their freight containers at the Ballantyne Pier.

There is SO MUCH MORE to this port than meets the eye.  The Port Metro Vancouver system is Canada’s largest port, a gateway for domestic and international trade and tourism, and a major economic force in the Canadian economy.

Port Metro Vancouver launched a series of television advertisements entitled “Port Stories” in 2013 and 2014 on stories about the goods they import every day, the power they produce for cruise ships, the jobs created in BC by port activities, and the natural resources exported through the harbor.

Vancouver-8903_900 VancouverPano-8876-87_2kTake a moment to enjoy this 1 of many “port stories”.  It is truly amazing how just this one location on this planet can move our goods and services.

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Let Your Alaska Cruise Adventure Begin Here!

An idea has been seeded for a large commercial poster – either for Vancouver, Canada Place or Princess Cruises!

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Forget Ground Transportation!!

Choose another mode instead!  A floating gas station on Burrard Inlet no less!  In most of these images, that’s North Vancouver (north shore) in the background.

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no landing wheels required

no landing wheels required

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