Notes of a traveller

Alan Dodds – photographer (among other things)

Notes of a traveller

Vancouver and the United States of America

Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 at 8:43 am

It is a fine day in Auckland, New Zealand, and the farmer is up early. He has a hole to dig today. He jumps into his excavator and goes down to the lower paddock where he begins to dig. All goes well for a while until he hits something that proves difficult to move. Redoubling his efforts he finally manages to move the obstacle which suddenly spews forth a very smelly liquid. Which is not surprising when you consider that he has cut through the jet fuel supply to Auckland airport to cause a week of chaos in the skies of New Zealand!

This was the moment we choose to fly from Brisbane to Vancouver via Auckland. The flight has not been cancelled as many of the NZ domestic flights are, but instead of a direct flight to Vancouver, a stop is made in Noumea to take on fuel and for several hours we sit on the tarmac in the dark of night, thus adding considerably to the journey time. From the time we enter Brisbane Airport to the time we exit Vancouver airport is a nice round 24 hours.

We are to spend several days in Vancouver with good friends Campbell and Wendy, and they entertain us royally before dropping us off at Canada Place in the Port of Vancouver. We are there to catch the MS Zaandam at the start of a journey down the west coast of the Americas.


The Zaandam moored in the Port of Vancouver, Canada

The Zaandam moored in the Port of Vancouver
Under the bridge to North Vancouver, Canada

Under the bridge to North Vancouver
Into the sunset leaving Vancouver Canada passing throught the waiting ships

Into the sunset leaving Vancouver Canada passing through the waiting ships

We are on our way, and opening our stateroom which will be our home for the next month or so, we find our cases have arrived. One of the pleasures of such journeys is to be able to unpack everything, put the empty case under the bed, and not touch it again until we leave the ship.

Our Ocean View stateroom on the lowest passenger deck on the MS Zaandam,

Our retreat for the next month or so.
Dressed for the Gala Night aboard the MS Zaandam

After a couple of days at sea, it’s fun to dress up and pretend that we are grown ups!

From Vancouver to Santa Barbara

After a couple of days at sea, our first stop is the city of Santa Barbara in California. This is a tender port and the tenders are unshipped and dance around waiting for their turn to ferry us to shore.

MS Noordam Tenders

The tenders dance their duet waiting to take us ashore.

From the moment we step off the tender, Santa Barbara appears to be the archetype Southern Californian city, with it’s wide, palm lined streets and immaculate spanish style buildings.

alng the beach in Santa Barbara

Alongside the beach there are both walk and cycle tracks and a red Jeep.
A red Mustang cruises the streets of Santa Barbara

State Street and a red Mustang
MOXI, The museum of Exploration and Inovation, in Santa Barbara, California

MOXI, The museum of Exploration and Inovation – Cute building!
Santa Barbara rail station

Santa Barbara rail station. Interesting to notice that there are no barriers on the crossings here.
Beautiful tiled seat in Santa Barbara, california

Jacqui takes advantage of a beautiful tiled seat in the main street.
Lantana hedge in Santa Barbara, California

A tragic sight for those who live on the land in Queensland … Lantana in a flower bed!

And so we wander slowly around the town on a sunny morning, giving a cheery smile to Ronnie on the way past.

The Regan Centre in Santa Barbara, California

Ronnie gives us a smile ….

They seem to take Halloween a lot more seriously here. A month to go before the celebrations when we are told the whole town gets dressed up and lets loose.

The world of Magic, Halloweene, Santa Barbara, California

Can’t imagine this store in Australia!
The world of Magic, Halloweene, Santa Barbara, California

Let me out of here … it’s been so long!
The world of Magic, Halloweene, Santa Barbara, California

This one’s for Max 🙂
Spanish style building, Santa Barbara, California

Everywhere you look red tile roofs over white walls and here, a really old vine.
State street, Santa Barbara, California

Oh so pretty State Street, Santa Barbara, California.
Yatchts sail off Santa Barbara, California

As we sail away the sail boats come out to play in the afternoon sun.

San Diego

Our next port of call is San Diego, and we have no expectations for this visit. San Diego is a huge city and a main port for the US Pacific Fleet. We get off the ship and walk into the city, and after wandering around rather aimlessly for a while, stop for a coffee and then end up in a Shopping Centre, of all places.

Early morning light shines through the buildings of San Diego, California

We arrive in San Diego and it has the looks of a big city … Mmmmm
The MS Zaandam moored in  San Diego, California

San Diego is a chance for the Zaandam to refuel and the fuel barge sidles up to the ship.
The Star of India in San Diego, California

The Star of India … an iron hulled three masted bark built in the Isle of Man.
The railway station San Diego, California

The railway runs in the canyons between the high rise condominiums.
The light rail in  San Diego, California

Red is a popular colour here … and the crossing sign has a white man … very strange.
Shopping Centre  San Diego, California

The shopping Centre has a good trick. It lures you to it’s upper levels and then makes it very difficult to find your way down.
Shopping Centre  San Diego, California

Maybe they just want you to have a good view of the eagle.
Aircraft carrier San Diego, California

As we leave we get a view of a couple of aircraft carriers inside their cage.
Coast Guard patrol San Diego, California

We are accompanied by a Coast Guard vessel complete with forward gunner.
Helicopters, navel base San Diego, California

And they have lots of helicopters to choose from when they fancy a trip somewhere.
Rear deck of the Zaandam leaving San Diego, California

Those passengers who joined the ship in San Diego get into some serious partying as we leave port.

And so we leave the safety of the English speaking democracies and head south to heaven knows what strange civilisations.

Enjoy 🙂

12 responses to “Vancouver and the United States of America”

  1. Sue says:

    Wonderful photos and commentary thank you Alan of places we may never get the chance to visit. How great to be able to share your travels with family and friends to appreciate also. Sue

  2. Tony / Beryl D says:

    Greetings from the ‘oldies’ in Britain, very envious seeing all those super places and glorious sun!
    Glad to see that your on the trail again making sure that you’re getting in as much travelling as you can while still young!!!! makes us very glad we did what we did when we did, very different now, careful where you tread, hows the breathing, watch the steps and so on and so on! seriously though, many thanks for keeping us in the loop. It’s wonderful traveling with you through your photos.Can’t wait for Brazil, photos please to get the ‘old heart racing please Alan!!!
    Love from brother Tony and Berylxxxxx

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Love the photo of you both dressed in your finery engaged in shipboard life! We hope your meals matched your refined elegance!!

    Great fun to be had adventuring on the high seas. We have been observing the various cruise ships making their way into Valletta’s Grand Harbour and thinking of you both. Go well. Buon viaggio!! Elizabeth and David

  4. Pam Rumble says:

    Lovely to have time to document these snippets in your lives. Your children and grandchildren will cherish these stories. I got my dad’s slides out recently and showed my children my early life on an old projector. They loved it! What I loved was seeing pictures of my parents happy! Best of all were the fashions in the 1950’s, the old cars (they had a Ford Fairlane), Art Deco furniture, food, parties, ball gowns, it truly was a great look! The world changes a lot in 50 years and definitely worth documenting. Thanks for transporting me to that side of the world and sharing your holiday. Best wishes Pam and Paul in Denmark WA

  5. Christina says:

    Enjoy it all…and really looking forward to the next instalment! Especially liked dressed as ‘grown ups’ both looking terrific!
    Meanwhile…we will be heading north to the Pilbara!
    Cheers and love to you both…C&RXX!

  6. Brian East says:

    Once again your keen eye and photographic expertise shine through. Looking forward to the next part of your adventure.

  7. Mary Searle says:

    Really great photos Alan which reminded Iona & I of our trip to Canada and en route,Santa Barbara, which we did when she was 11,with Rob and Tom,hiring a camper van in Canada to visit the beautiful lakes and forests there.
    Also so lovely to see that really great photo of you and Jackie,where you both look really well (and I guess a lot better back-wise?)
    Iona and I are on a mini break,camping in the really great tent she bought recently for her birthday,(so not the mini one that Pippa slept in),in the South Downs at a YHA at Truleigh Hill.It is on the side of a hill looking down onto Shoreham and the shining sea in the distance; breathtaking views all round.
    We chose the area for the walks and views and it is close to where I teach on the Thursday evening.(one of my day classes got swapped from day to evening and students are a v.interesting multinational mix; 3 Brits, 1 South Korean,2 Pakistani Muslims who moved here as children,1 African who is training to be a Beauty Therapist and 1 Iranian Muslim who has just had a new baby and brings lovely biccies to have at break!)
    They all have good spoken English,so we have very interesting discussions,
    but their writing and reading skills need great improvement,so a good challenge.

  8. Jonathan and Pam says:

    Looks fantastic Alan and Jacqui
    We too loved Vancouver. Santa Barbara and San Diego look familiar and very California. Thought perhaps ‘English speaking democracies’ and ‘safety’ are ideals to aspire for….. such sad and troubling ongoing news out of US.
    We think the photos are right up there again – looking forward to Central America and the Andes in the distance.
    Love and best – Jonathan and Pam (Blue Mts today and Hawaii tomorrow)

  9. Michael Bobrowicz says:

    nice stuff you two!

  10. regina synnot says:

    Good morning to the traveling part of the family.
    Thanks for the great update.I do like the look of Canada and it is still on my bucket list.
    I bet from now on it gets really interesting, none of the English sameness but new cultures ,food,country sides.I bet you will have a ball. Would so love to see Patagonia myself, so I shall wait for your report.
    All well at this end,had great rain and it’s greening up again. Big hugs, Regina

  11. Bill says:

    sad I missed the Reagan Centre when I was over there – probably had lots of B grade movies that he starred in – pretty much the style of his presidency – the bloke now is pretty much a more extreme version of the same guy transferred from movies to social media – see:
    love you both – Bill & Kath

  12. Jac-Aileen says:

    Oh Alan, one is always left ‘wanting more’! Superb images, as always (!) -too many comments in response but love those sailing boats in pattern, Jacqui’s tiled chair, the grown ups 😄, n carrier! Hahaha ‘the Mall’! Yes, they do plan to keep u there! 😡👎😂 Cannot wait for the next log – just tried to ph 7 yest….😉 Hav a wonderful adventure. Can’t ustand how my tix got lost😳 😘😘👍🏻❤️

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