search instagram arrow-down
Seán Dwyer

Like me, please!

Recent Posts

Blogs I Follow

Archives

Categories

Meta

Blog Stats

I have stowed my gear in my cabin on the MV Columbia, the gem of the AMHS. The ship travels at 17.3 knots, holds 499 passengers, and is one of two ferries in the system with a dining room. I am curious to see this vessel I have been waiting 30 years to board, so it’s time for a tour.

I scan the Cruise Terminal from Deck 6, and I get a view unlike what I see from the Fairhaven boardwalk. Among the images I retain is the presence of Coast Guard vessels. I don’t know if they are there only when the ferry is docked, or if we have constant Coast Guard protection, but it’s a comfort in case we have trouble.

 

Another important find is the snack bar. I note that Alaska bananas are much browner than those from Central America. I like my bananas mottled, so I will probably partake of this treat at some point. My walk has made me hungry. I dish out a bowl of pepper jack broccoli soup. It’s pretty tasty and will hold me over till the dining room opens at 6pm.

20190628_162453

I discover, though, that the ferry runs on Alaska Time, which is an hour behind Pacific Time. While my phone says it’s 4:30, it’s 3:30 on board. I don’t get to eat dinner until 7pm, when I thought I would have dinner at 6. I decide to go easy on the snacks, as one of the dinner options is grilled wild Alaskan sockeye. Far better than a second bowl of soup, and reasonably priced.

Something important to know that contradicts to a degree the information on the AMHS website is that there are sheets, a blanket, and a pillow on each berth. I was led to believe that all linens had to be rented for a small fee from the purser. I guess they meant extra bedding. I didn’t need to drag my pillows along, and if I had not brought towels, I might have gotten by with a smaller suitcase.

The woman who almost sold me a ferry ticket in 1989 mentioned sleeping on deck. While I would not recommend skipping the cabin experience, I did go to have a look at the Solarium. It’s a heated, enclosed area with a number of lounge chairs. When people who have no cabin inevitably reserve one by dropping their gear on a chair, the other option is to lay out your sleeping bag on the floor (not pictured, as the guy doing this was asleep).

Those with tents can set them up outside the Solarium. Experienced ferry riders know to tape their tents to the deck, as stakes are really hard to pound through concrete.

20190628_165621

Outside, I see gadgetry that will certainly be important to my safety. There’s something that reminds me of Wall-E, which will, I assume, be lowered into the water to rescue me if I fall over the railing. Not that I plan to lean over at any point. There are also some antennae that must help keep us on course and help the crew communicate with the outside world.

I do wish they would attach some sort of cell receiver to this structure, so I could post this tour in real time. But there is no cell service and no Wi-Fi. I do feel as if I am communicating with the world as I write these words on Saturday morning, but I know you won’t see them until Monday.

The inevitable gremlin of seasickness hits some people who ride this ferry, and for their convenience, there are bag dispensaries in convenient locations. Outside my cabin is not such a location, so the bags are on the floor. It could be that someone dropped these and will return to toss them, but I don’t mind thinking that the crew foresees possible issues for passengers housed near me and are protecting me from unpleasant situations.

What would a ferry be without an example of a King Salmon? Such beautiful fish we have up here. We need to protect them to keep food on our tables and their predators fed as well. The Columbia has posters that discuss ocean acidification and its effects on the environment. Sobering information.

20190628_182740

I settle in until dinnertime. That’s tomorrow’s tale.

 

What have you written today? Talk to you soon!

9 comments on “A Three-Minute Tour

  1. tweaknee says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sean! I’ve always been curious about the journey to Alaska aboard this craft.

    1. caithiseach says:

      I thought a detailed account might entice some potential travelers. It’s a great ride!

  2. racheal sliter says:

    enjoy yourself

  3. Anne Ciochetto says:

    My uncle and his family did this trip a few years ago. It was one of his favorite memories. Hope it’s the same for you. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    1. caithiseach says:

      Really lovely trip!

  4. Thanks for the tour. My mom recently asked me if I’d ever heard of this ferry, and I said, “Oh, it’s definitely not up to your travel standards,” but it sounds like there are a few amenities. Like pillows!

    1. caithiseach says:

      I haven’t been aboard a cruise ship to know if the cabins are better on a liner. I suspect the ferry would dismay people with no sense of adventure and a boatload of entitlement. But there’s plenty to love.

  5. It’s been on my bucket list forever. We watch it leave every week, from our deck. Bon voyage!

    1. caithiseach says:

      I thought I saw you waving at me!

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Godly Chic Diaries

BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH

A Struggling Author

My Journey with You

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Bittersweet turns

Deep Down Inside...

Luna

Every now and then my head is racing with thoughts so I put pen to paper

Life of Chaz

Welcome to My Life

eacookwrites

Sit and Let Me Tell You a Tale

Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Jacquie Rogers, Author

Western & Fantasy Romance -- Magic and Whimsy Just For You

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Knocked Out No Longer

one woman out to find her world

Stories by Carrol

A mix of quirky topics that at times might seem oddly strange, or strangely odd.

GLYNIS PETERS: Author

The home of Historical Novelist Glynis Peters - Pop the kettle on and join me!

Hot Topics TV - Pop Culture News

What America's Talking About

Kenneth Eade

Amazon Sellers Attorney

laughtermedicineforthesoul

Humor - Short Stories - Poetry - My Artist Page

roughwighting

Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Uncovered Myths

A journey through societal mythology.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Barbara Jean Coast

A Social Butterfly's Aventures in Writing

arakawa fiction

Fiction from the banks of Ara river

flickerfantasies

My Latest Poems

WhenEFTalks

Spirituality. Politics. Music. Life.

Wrong Hands

Cartoons by John Atkinson. ©John Atkinson, Wrong Hands

The Manatee

Saving The Endangered Truth

Joëlle Jean-Baptiste – Author

Notes on the developments of fantastic tales, the series TI-COEUR ANGEL, and SHERLEY SHERLY.

shannon p. laws

voice | poetry

The Electron Pencil

"The blog has made Glab into a hip town crier, commenting on everything from local politics and cultural happenings to national and international events, all rendered in a colorful, intelligent, working-class vernacular that owes some of its style to Glab’s Chicago-hometown heroes Studs Terkel and Mike Royko." -- David Brent Johnson in Bloom Magazine

chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

meganelizabethmorales

MANNERS MAKETH MAN, LOST BOYS FAN & PERPETAUL CREATIVITY.

Pearls Before Swine

The Blog O' Stephan Pastis

Ruthie's Nook

Life in Bellingham, WA and beyond

Moominmama's Memoirs

Musings on Fiber, Food, Fauna, and whatever else strikes my Fancy

Marni Bates

Young Adult Author

VirtuaVet

Online All-Original Pet Health Consultations, Coaching and Philosophy

Zenkatwrites's Blog

Musings from an Artist + Writer

Making Things Work

Tales From a Cabinetmaker's Life

C.J. Prince Poet

Poetry, Art & Photography

Write Anything

Por scriptor, per scriptor

Artie Wayne On The Web

If Life is a Lottery - Let\'s All Take a Chance... But if Life is a Monkey, Let That Monkey Dance!

%d bloggers like this: