Offshore Grandeur

Nirvana: a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic place.

9 stitched images for this massive panoramic mountain range.  Anything less would have been an injustice!  Anything more would have been…   nirvana!

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Water Damaged

Testing new waters (heh, heh)!!  Adding a different “face” to one my recent photographs – here’s a panoramic of 5 images stitched together.

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Pine Island Lighthouse, and oh yeah… a spray of life!

In the right forefront is the flat slab of the helicopter pad which marks where the original lighthouse stood until it was washed away by a rogue wave during a winter storm in 1967. This is working lighthouse staffed and operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Both the Strait of Georgia and Vancouver Island would be shortly behind us as the ship headed into the open waters of Queen Charlotte Sound.  It was in this location, we read, that sea life abounds in these waters; so very eager now, but at this point, we saw nothing in “abundance”.  Although a bit later, in the distance, a humpback whale blew a fountain of water from its spout and dove back down – lousy photo, I know; wasn’t quick enough… this time…!!  Adrenalin and senses at warp speed now!

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Portholes, Decks, Glitz, Retro and a Champagne Pyramid

Figured it was about time to take a tour of this behemoth….

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The Pilot Boat

NO, not a pilot boat to “lead” the ship, but truly bringing the captains’s replacement on board while both boats kept steaming ahead!!  This tricky maneuver was completed in less than 5 minutes!!

All perfectly logical, right?  Certainly not during the moments the boat seemed to have came out of nowhere and was suddenly upon us!  What the heck…??  That, and several other thoughts went through our own and a few of our “back yard” neighbors’ minds:  Someone under arrest?  A dreaded food virus?  A way wrong turn to Somalia??

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My First Thought Was …

“The fog’s just lifting. Throw off your bow line; throw off your stern. You head out to South channel, past Rocky Neck, Ten Pound Island. Past Niles Pond where I skated as a kid. Blow your air-horn and throw a wave to the lighthouse keeper’s kid on Thatcher Island. Then the birds show up: black backs, herring gulls, big dumb ducks. The sun hits ya – head North. Open up to 12 – steamin’ now. The guys are busy; you’re in charge. Ya know what? You’re a goddamn swordboat captain. Is there any thing better in the world?” – Captain Billy Tyne, Andrea Gail

And you know what?  It truly just doesn’t get any better than this!  Ah… but it DID!!  In spades!!  (Only day 3 out of 17…)

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Opening Curtain

Nature (and/or God) couldn’t have created a more spectacular and dramatic opening scene to this gray morning!!  Get a load of that horizon!!  Looking west toward Vancouver Island.

Calm skies and extremely flat waters, but no sign of whales or other life while strolling on deck.  Of course, it’s highly likely that I had “just missed them”!!  Darn!!  Just another mighty tug & barge.

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Tug and Barge

Heading north throught the Strait of Georgia, a major shipping thoroughfare.  Thick early morning fog and clouds are typical, but it won’t deter these vessels one bit!

The strait is 150 miles long with a maximum depth of just under 1500 feet and runs between Vancouver Island (west/port side) and mainland British Columbia and its many offshore islands (starboard, pictured here).

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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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