Total Pageviews

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

SIX HOURS TO SEATTLE: Victoria

Day 48 of the Lower Puna Eruption and the USGS reports this version is unusual:
  • lava output
    • 145 million cubic meters over 47 days
    • 1955:  81 CM over 88 days
    • 1960:  122 CM over 37 days
  • most of the above from fissure #8, but #'s 15 and 6 were also releasing lava
  • explosive eruption at Halemaumau Crater every 20-24 hours
  • Mayor Kim is still in bed after his 6th heart attack
*******************

I spent the day on a trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island, which is three times the size of the Big Island of Hawaii.  And all the other Hawaiian islands can fit on top of the Big Island. However, Vancouver is only the 43rd largest island on Earth.

Hate it, but had to wake up at 5AM to walk 10 minutes to the new Victoria Clipper V:


I thought, wow, wouldn't it be great to get a seat at the front.  First you need to pay $20 for upgrade into Comfort Class.  But when I showed up, a couple of hundred people were already ahead of me.  They announced that the handicapped and families with babies could board first.  So, with my cane and a pronounced limp, I steered my way to the front and boarded.  Apparently, this early group doesn't sail in Comfort Class, so I was the only person up there, and got a prime front row seat.  I was the only one in that section for several minutes.  

I ordered a salmon and mimosa for breakfast:


The meal was just right, this ferry tools along at 35 MPH, the ocean was calm with great views of the passing islands and it took 2 hours and 45 minutes to Victoria.  I took these government building photos more for the clouds, but the first two shows the Provincial (like a state, and Victoria is the capital of Vancouver province) Legislature building, while the second is the U.S. equivalent of a county building:


The Fairmont Empress is the iconic hotel, named for Queen Victoria:


Captain James Cook (above) was the first European explorer to arrive, seeking the Northwest Passage.  George Vancouver served as a midshipman on The Resolution under Captain Cook.  The island should have been called Cook, not Vancouver, however, in an unexpected roundabout way, he named it after himself.  Thus, there is the city of Vancouver across the Georgia Strait from Vancouver Island, plus that over Vancouver city in southern Washington.  

Went through China Town:


Above is the famous Fan Tan Alley, with a notorious history and site of films.  Next stop:


Some interesting insects:


Ants carrying leaf segments.  Then, of course, the butterflies.  There were various large blue ones, but they never seemed to stop for a shot.



Next, Butchart Gardens:



Had a giant hazel nut / truffles ice cream cone.

The cruise back to Seattle was easier this time.  Showed up far back in line, but pre-boarded with my cane, got my same seat and had a meal of Caesar salad, almonds and Copperworks whiskey (made in Seattle).  I bought a duty free bottle for less than what it costs in Seattle.


The final photo is from Butchart, but I'm showing it here because one of my visits tomorrow will be to Chihuli Garden and Glass, located next to the Seattle Space Needle.

-

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

SIX HOURS TO SEATTLE: Seattle is Hot

Day 47 of the Lower Puna Eruption, and Mayor Harry Kim suffered yet another heart attack.  He might be the first attributable casualty from this volcanic activity.  The usual 5+ earthquake at the summit, and activity expands to more fissures.

*********

Yes, Seattle is hot.  Up to 91 F today, but more, it is the fastest growing city this decade in the USA.  Key areas like the Waterfront and Space Needle ($100 million) are being upgraded.  The freeway along the Waterfront is being eliminated, but a new tunnel (Bertha, $4 billion?) will replace it.  Unfortunately, the freeway will be torn down before the tunnel is opened, so AVOID SEATTLE AT ALL COSTS IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY THIS YEAR.  

Yesterday I had lunch at Maximilien in Pike Place Market.  Absolutely wonderful, with escargots, foie gras and blue cheese salad, with a Washington Bordeaux and Kronenbourg, a French beer:


This was somewhat confusing, because Maximilian was a Bavarian King and I thought Kronenbourg was German.  I then walked through Pike Place Market, with more peonies, colors and such:


I didn't know there were purple asparagus and yellow raspberries:


Next on to my Seattle tour, beginning with the Fremont Troll:


You can see Mount Rainier to the right.

I then caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  Cost?  $4.15 for the ride to there and free on the return, taking around two hours with the wait in line.  Greatest bargain in Seattle.


Talked to two ladies and a high techie living on that island.  Possible characters for the book.  On my walk back to the Marriott I passed by the Seattle Great Wheel, so I took a ride:


Mount Rainier looms in the photo just above.  Tomorrow, I go to Victoria Island, followed by the Space Needle and UDub the next day.


At this point I came to a realization that Seattle might not be the ideal mega-tsunami victim.  Just like San Francisco, the city is blocked from a direct hit.  Maybe I'll need to return to Five Hours to Los Angeles, my original target.  I'm going to now take a closer look at other major coastal cities, including in Japan.  The Panama Canal and Chile might be worthy of perusal, except that there are no direct flights from Hawaii to those two locations.  However, these three sites save Hilo, and Kohala Volcano once experienced a serious collapse, so did Mauna Loa and the Southwest Rift/Hilina Slump of Kilauea are the more prominently mentioned sources of a possible mega-landslide anyway.

Then again, watch this clip of such an event sending a mega-tsunami from the Big Island to Oahu.  Thirty Minutes to Oahu?  I've caught that flight a hundred times.

-