Friday, May 30, 2008

Anacortes, Orcas, Friday, Sidney to Victoria

It was an early day today - up at 5:00 am and of to the Ferry landing in Anacortes, Washington and a cruise to Sidney British Columbia and drive to Victoria. We took the Chelan and the info on her is below.

M/V Chelan
Vessel Drawing: Issaquah 130 Class
Class: Issaquah 130 Class
Type: Auto/Passenger Ferry
Length: 328'
Engines: 2
Beam: 78' 8''
Horsepower: 5,000
Draft: 15' 6''
Speed in Knots: 16
Max Passengers: 1076 Propulsion: Diesel
Max Vehicles: 124
Max Commercial Vehicles: 30
Year Built/Re-built: 1981

Meaning of Chelan: From the Chelan language: Tsill-ane, meaning "deep water." The tribe lived along Lake Chelan, which is very deep. A city, county and river also bear the name.

So here we are queuing up and ready to load. The advantage in our Musemobile is being self contained with all facilities so being an hour early was easier for us than it was for the four people in the tiny white car.

I did get out to take some pictures like this cool tree.

I also got a picture of Tim the terror sniffing agent and Tony his handler. They were a really good pair and performing a job that made me feel very safe.

Well I did feel a little less safe when this tanker truck boarded next to me.

After parking 2.3 inches from the wall Sharyn and I got out to visit the passenger deck but first got this shot of the auto side of the ferry.

Oh! by the way I wasn't the only photographer on the ferry.

While outside I did get a shot of the bridge.

This was the outdoor seating and one of the crew safety boats. Notice the wire cage around the safety boat and stairs? That's all crew only access.

There was less austere seating inside.

Then I got into the cool ropes like this red one ...

... and this blue one both used for tying up when in port.

I also liked these rope nettings at the fore and aft of the ferry.

Our first stop was the town of Orcas and again I wasn't the only photographer aboard.

They had a crew of two welcoming in the Chelan and those disembarking. Like these bikers who were off for a long bike ride around the island

Faster than you can say antidisestablishmentarianism, we were off again...

...just as "The Stealth" was pulling into port

Meanwhile Sharyn was reading a novel she brought along. A little later she came to realize it wasn't a Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code) book but a Dale Brown book.

I felt a little less safe looking at the wall and seeing the picture of the "Rescue at Sea" poster on the wall or maybe it was a reassuring feeling to know they had 50 person rafts in case of emergency. and I then also knew why the safety boats were for crew only.

The next San Juan Island was Friday. It looked like a nice sea side village like many I saw in Maine when we lived on the east coast.

Then the people walked of followed by the cars and then ...

...the big trucks (a long row) showing me how supplies reach the islands.

The scenery was great despite not seeing any Orcas.

When we went back to the Musemobile the large vehicle side of the ferry was almost empty and we were first in line.

We finally arrived in Sidney and after the passengers disembarked we were the first vehicle off. We zipped through customs passport and all but were disappointed we didn't get a stamp in the passports. After a brief stop at the visitor's center for directions we headed to Victoria and the Fort Victoria RV Resort. It was a very nice day despite the overcast.

Scrabble Score - Scrabble Queen 331 ~ The Contender 313

Quote of the Day - "We already get more energy from Canada than from any other foreign country." ~ Paul Cellucci (born April 24, 1948) is an American politician and diplomat, former Governor of Massachusetts, and former Ambassador to Canada.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


"The Tulalip Reservation was reserved for the use and benefit of Indian tribes and bands signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliott of January 22, 1855. Its boundaries were established by the 1855 Treaty and by Executive Order of President U.S. Grant dated December 23, 1873. It was created to provide a permanent home for the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Suiattle, Samish and Stillaguamish Tribes and allied bands living in the region."
This is their new Casino.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped and there are two great ponds in front.

This one depicts a pod of "Killer Whales" with one jumping ...

...and three swimming (only two shown here)

To add a life-like touch there is a fountain beneath the jumping whale spouting water.

From the front you can see how real this looks.

The swimming whales were made unique with one having a straight fin and the other a droopy fin just as they are seen in the wild.

What a cool thing to see in person.

They even had Siberian Iris blooms just like the ones in our front yard.

I talked a little with the landscaping staff while they were planting new flowers and they told me to come back in a week to see the final results of the planting.

"An early 20th-century photograph of a Tulalip spear fisherman became the model for the bronze statue standing in front of the casino."

Yes there were Salmon he was spearing.

There were even more flowers and I can't wait to get back for more shots of those being planted.

Their web site say the Orca is life-sized ...

...but the spear fisherman isn't, he's probably 9 feet tall.

More flowers...

... even trees with flowers from bud .... bloom.

There is already some new growth popping out on some of the plants. It's another great casino in the great new Native American tradition depicting history and nature rather than glitz and neon.

On the way home I'll get a shot of the 35 foot tall waterfall behind the statue of the spear fisherman.

Scrabble Score Scrabble Queen ??? - The Contender ??? - We have to get up early so the blog was done before the game.

Quote of the Day -
Tulalip Tribes Values
  1. We respect the community of our elders past and present, and pay attention to their good words.
  2. We uphold and follow the teachings that come from our ancestors.
  3. It is valued work to uphold and serve our people.
  4. We work hard and always try to do our best.
  5. We show respect to every individual.
  6. We strengthen our people so that they may walk a good walk.
  7. We strengthen our people so that they may walk a good walk.
~ From the Tulalip Tribe web site

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Obama HQ

We may be smart or dumb but we picked the person we would like to see in the White House. We decided on Barack Obama after a long look at the debates.

I especially liked the response he gave to the question about his greatest weakness. He said that he has trouble keeping track of paperwork and needed help to keep track of everything. That response was so human and honest and was the first that helped me make up my mind. Well at Obama HQ in Eugene, Oregon his position papers were neat and lined up for visitors like myself to see.

They were all keyed up at HQ where Sharyn and I went to make some volunteer calls. Most of the volunteers were out canvassing the neighborhoods and there were less people there than the day after the election sixteen days and a victory later.

It was a typical election headquarters with posters and signs all over.

This was my favorite poster a volunteer had created for the campaign.

They even has an R2D2 Robot.

And more signs for volunteers.

I liked this bumper sticker that was a clever take-off on the "Got Milk?" campaign.
Got Milk? is an American advertising campaign encouraging the purchase of cow's milk, which was created by the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board in 1993 and later licensed for use by milk processors and dairy farmers. It has been running since October 1993. The campaign is credited with putting life back into milk sales nationwide after a 20-year slump.

There was a meeting of the staff going on in the back room and I didn't want to be too intrusive with the camera but you can see a part of "The Big Map" they were standing around.

They had nourishment on a table and a toaster oven and fridge but everyone seemed very busy except me walking around and taking pictures while Sharyn made some calls to people who expressed interest in the Obama Campaign.

Hope is definitely the theme of the campaign and "Yes, we can" is the motto...

... and change is the mission.

As always appeals to volunteers are all around.

We later saw Barack Obama (from a distance over a crowd) speak at the University of Oregon. He was impressive and had a great message of bringing people together.

PS Isaac my youngest son was accepted at University of Oregon and actually made it on stage (in his news photographer role and got some wonderful pictures at the speech/rally.

Scrabble Score - Scrabble Queer 346 - the contender 303 (geeze)

Quote of the Day -
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. " ~ Barack Obama


©Paul Viel