12.47pm, Friday 9th September, Clipper Cafe, Pier 69, Port of Seattle, Washington state, Pacific Northwest,USA
Afternoon folks, and it’s a beautiful day out there on the water of the Port of Seattle. Now this harbour is part of the body of water called Puget Sound, which goes all the way north to meet Admiralty Inlet, that in itself opens out and joins Puget Sound to a big football shaped section of water called the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Somewhere in there is the international border between the USA and Canada, and if you keep going due north, you’ll run straight into the island of Victoria, part of the Canadian province of British Columbia.
So why the geography lesson? Because the elegant harbourside city of Victoria BC is our destination today, and we’re travelling exactly the same waterway as our Yalumba ancestor Fred Caley Smith – the ‘Indiana Jones horticulturalist’ of the family – who did the same trip back in 1893. And it’s much the same time of year too – end of summer, beginning of fall or Autumn – it’s the first week of September and it’s still warm days. Fred travelled in October 1893, so probably well into the cooler weather. Although, we’re going on a high speed catamaran called The Victoria Clipper which should do the trip terminal to terminal in 4 hours. Fred Caley Smith caught the train from Portland, Oregon to Tacoma, Washington….and transferred to a ferry ship there. That puts him at the southern end of Puget Sound, and they steamed up to The Port of Seattle for a brief stop then on to a small bay at Admiralty Inlet called Port Townsend for another stop….then on to Victoria, the whole thing being an overnight voyage. It really gives you an insight into how folks travelled 123 years ago, and why travelling the globe was such an overwhelming idea for most people, and why stories of those journeys were so newsworthy……and built reputations and colourful adventure stories for decades. So stay tuned – our vessel is yet to arrive from Victoria, the forecast is for less than two feet of swell today……so it could be a fab run up to Canada……in the watery this time – ‘footsteps of Fred Caley Smith’.
Same day, much later – different country.
10.24pm, Friday 9th September, Douglas Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Here’s our ride up to Canada folks – The Victoria Clipper….