2014 in review by WordPress , interesting ūüėĄ

The WordPress.com stats prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Our Story of Lucy ( Labrador Dog)


The story of one of my grand dogs who lives with us in her recent leg operation

As my daughter says, she is a bundle of love to all of us

Note: To encourage or bribe a Labrador dog to eat its meals with medicine pills who is heavily medicated, just hide small pieces of cheese in its bowl. It works ūüôā


Lucy started limping in April 2014.  At first it was more noticeable after she had visited someone with hardwood floors in their home, but it started to happen more consistently.  Finally, after Xrays, two vet visits and a trip to the surgeon, she was assessed as having an Anterior Cruciate Ligament rupture in the right stifle and partial tear in her left stifle.  The recommendation being a Tibia plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery.

I didn’t go into this surgery lightly.  The thought of putting my dog through this terrified me. But once I was given all of the options and found out what methods, over time, had worked and what hadn’t, I decided that the TPLO surgery would be Lucy’s best bet at getting back to her normal life of hikes up mountains and along waterfronts.  She was getting depressed not being able to go on adventures because it…

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Waiting for a Liver ( About life)

And what it’s like when you\’re waiting for a new lease of it.¬†¬†¬†¬† via¬† http://maxinimax.wordpress.com/¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†a lovely blog and her hopes and dreams for a Liver Transplant

About.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†November 7th, 2014¬† UPDATE — >¬†¬†¬† Quote: “Thank you, I actually got my transplant 5 weeks ago ūüôā and I‚Äôm doing well at the moment.¬†”¬†¬†

This is marvellous news…. for this young lady….¬† so happy… ¬†

Pls consider being an ‘Organ Donor’¬†¬†¬†¬† http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/¬†¬† or where you live¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Someone might save your life one day,,,,¬†¬† as happened here .¬† WOW



Ogden Point: End of Alaska Season 2014 – ms Zaandam

The last ship for the Alaska 2014 season docked at Ogden Point , Victoria , Vancouver Island Canada on October 6th 2014. It arrived from Vancouver BC at 07:00 pst and left for San Diego at 13:00  pst.

I arrived at the dock area around 11:00 pst and it was fully fogged in,  though by 11:45 pst it had finally lifted. Many passengers walking around, coming back by bus or taxi and crew looking for WiFi access near the shops.

I had finished taking some pictures , some inserted here and was relaxing on a bench watching passengers pass though security and final excursion buses arriving. Driver pulls out a step stool for  folks to come off the bus onto the pavement and they all start to walk to the terminal to board the ship but two folks decide to walk in the other direction , away from the ship. !

I watched and thought , who¬†in Victoria would take a shuttle bus back to a ship ?¬† My concern was it was now going on 12:00 pst ( Noon) and the ship was leaving at 13:00 pst. (yes, I am known to ensure one does not miss a ship’s departure, prefer being on board 1- 2 hours prior)

It was two woman , one perhaps in her 70’s / 80’s walking slowly and the other , a daughter or young friend in her 40’s. ¬†I ran after them¬†and asked if they were off the ship, they said yes and had been told they had time to visit our Ogden¬†Point Breakwater wall.¬† I said well you do realize that it will take you about ten minutes to get there (plus the stairs). It will take you from here about five¬†– ten minutes to get¬†on the ship going through¬†local security,¬†Most ships do begin the process to bring in the gangplank ¬† 30 minutes prior to departure. They¬† looked at me in wonder ¬†and then left¬†to board the ship, walking slowly, I sat there watching and finally saw them emerge on the quay after security at 12:20 pst , walking slowly. The good news was there was a long queue at the gangplank, waiting to board.¬† ūüôā

Love to find the intelligent person who gave them that advice…… crazy

I am enclosing an article that explains the benefits to the local city for cruising and tourism  and of course we want folks to come back for a longer visit to our shores.

We had 462,201 passengers approximate plus crew  from 205 scheduled port visits this year

A few ships could not dock due to weather but that was rare, and we brought in 33.4 million dollars per a report in March 2014 from previous seasons ( seems to be the normal average of $60 – $100 a passenger , per my unofficial calculations).


Here are some of the pictures I took (cc Robbar — Robert Holloway)

ms Zaandam (fog gone)
ms Zaandam (fog gone)
 ms Zaandam , tenders in Fog
ms Zaandam , tenders in Fog
 ms Zaandam  (fog)
ms Zaandam (fog)
New water shuttle
New water shuttle
New Marine water shuttle
New Marine water shuttle
ms Zaandam ( fog lifting )
ms Zaandam ( fog lifting )
ms Zaandam ( barely visible in Fog)
ms Zaandam ( barely visible in Fog)
Breakwater Wall in the Fog Ogden Point
Breakwater Wall in the Fog Ogden Point
Cable Ship "Wave Venture"
Cable Ship “Wave Venture”

Ships, Shoes and Maggiemou.

My book is on its way but I fully agree with Richards comments about the book and Maggie cruise experience. Repost on my blog for cruisers / Rob. ūüėĄ

Solent Richard's Cruise Blog

By way of  a little promotion I am taking the unusual step of plugging a really fun book on cruising that has recently been published by one of this blog’s avid followers and a personal friend, Maggie Thorpe.

Maggie Mou Book aspect shot

Maggie Thorpe, better known on many cruise forums as MaggieMou,  is a veteran of many world cruises and particularly  many with Cunard. Indeed the book follows Maggie’s adventures across the globe on the 2014 Queen Elizabeth World Cruise.

Maggie, as does Solent Richard, suffers from  a clothes and shoes addiction and this  book takes the reader initially through the logistics of packing/unpacking, storing and caring for 100 or more evening outfits, 12 different pashminas, 40 pairs of shoes and 30 hand bags.

Maggie certainly enters into the spirit of everything and isn’t afraid to have those pictures taken, from Vietnam to Japan and from on board to the Roaring 20’s…

MaggieMou in Japan


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Europa 2 – Raising the Bar

Want to experience a 5 star small cruise ship line with service beyond compare then read this blog.
An amazing ship and service.

Solent Richard's Cruise Blog

‚ÄĚ The best cruise ship that you‚Äôve never heard of‚ÄĚ.

Around mid July this year I received an email notification from a well respected American cruise blogger that I follow. The text was along the lines ‚Ķ.‚ÄĚ the best cruise ship that you‚Äôve never heard of‚Äú.

That cruise ship was Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2  and at least one industry guidebook has awarded Europa 2  its highest-ranking ever for a small ship:  5 stars plus from the Berlitz Complete Guide To Cruising & Cruise Ships, highest space ratio of all cruise ships, industry’s youngest luxury ship, most dining venues for a ship of its size.

Now that has to be a challenge and, yearning to try a few different cruises before the year was out, I booked…

…and we were to discover even more attributes as  you’ll hear about in this review of  our voyage last week.

The reservation was…

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Ogden Point: End of Alaska Season 2014 (almost)

Been awhile since my last post as we were in Barbados with family so missed a few months of cruise ships porting to Ogden Point , Victoria Canada.

Only one week  left and the ms Zaandam on October 6 , 2014 will be the last ship in for the 2014 season , all will be quiet.

The ship will arrive from Hawaii on October 4, go to Vancouver , back here and off to San Diego.

РTomorrow on September 29, 2014 the Star Princess will arrive from Ketchikan , Alaska and then on to San Francisco.

– On September 21, 2014 I went down to Ogden Point to see the Silversea ‘Silver Shadow’ ¬†and the Celebrity ‘Solstice¬†

Have added some pictures.

Silversea  - Ogden Point   Sept 2014
Silversea – Ogden Point Sept 2014
Ogden Point Sept 2014
Ogden Point Sept 2014
Leaving Ogden Point , into channel
Leaving Ogden Point , into channel
Ogden Point ,
Ogden Point ,

We  had a good season with lots of passengers and no loud noise from the community of pollution , noise, horse poop , cars going through quiet streets.

The Victoria Harbour Authority has done a lot of work in listening to concerns, offering ways to provide options to go into town that lessen traffic and yet retain a vital business for the community.

Early 2015, ¬†the North America Act for bunker fuel usage by cruise ships comes into effect,¬† as in ”¬†more stringent 0.1 percent sulfur rule effective in 2015¬†‘ .

Some estimates suggest a cost increase per week per passenger as in Alaska by $100+ , which in the broad scheme of things is less then tax you pay by Air for fuel usage and in this case , much cleaner , so less impact to environment, peoples whose health can be effected and other reasons.


Alaska Cruises weather comments (Fog)

Right now I am sitting here in my living room thinking about the weather while Ms Lucy (Labrador dog)

Ms Lucy, dreaming of being on a cruise :)
Ms Lucy, dreaming of being on a cruise ūüôā

relaxes enjoying the comfort of the carpet and at times the bed.
You see it is starting to get darker and cooler now

yet our summer is in full bloom f9f2d-p5130108

while during the day it is warmer !
As our Alaska cruise passengers arrive , one  hopes they have a sweater or hoody as weather  can surprise one and we are not in the part that gets more rain or could
The Alaska weather is beautiful yet it can have bouts of Fog ūüė≥

Did I say Fog !      On some cruise blogs and Facebook I have recently read about passengers who have complained about the sound of the fog horn.
In fact it seems to be a regular complaint by a few on multiple cruises. Some have requested a refund or credit of $100 or more though  the best is to request the Captain to turn it off,  especially at night , so they can sleep. Entitlement comes to mind of these people and thankfully they are not the vast majority of cruisers.
One evening this year , it was reported that cruising in waters between Victoria and Seattle it was sounded almost every few minutes as the fog was thick and of course our waters are the gateway for the Pacific
I wonder if they really understand they are on a ship with a few thousand other passengers and it is for their

Safety !

Certainly I would prefer knowing other ships know I am near and I know they are present also..
Maritime law prevails period.

Alaska cruising is a wonderful experience but you are in a climate of seas and mountains. Cruise 2001 - August - Cruise to Alaska Victoria BC Ogden Point Cafe and Crew WiFi Access
It blows my mind away to read how some people want to dictate against ones own safety

A few years ago I discovered I had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) which means that today being cooler or going up and down many steps like a cruise ship,  can make my knees ache
Thankfully it can pass and I watch myself , though Ms Lucy right now is sleeping and snoring beside my leg as I type on my mobile.
I will close with the ‘Fog’ observation and add some more revelations in my next post
Cheers. / Rob

Ogden Point (Victoria BC Canada) 2014 -1

Attached are some pictures I have taken from my Facebook site
of our local Ogden Point Cruise port where we have about 250 cruise ships docking during the Alaska season which runs from mid April to early October each year.
I am not a WordPress expert yet but I have moved to my own site and plan to make a slideshow of this over the winter
I find I use my iPhone 5 for the pictures displayed here but I also use my Canon for more pictures which I intend to edit and work on.
The iPhone allows me to find the pictures moved to ICloud which magically downloads to my Home Computer on the Photo Software Picasa 3 , allowing me to crop , edit and upload to Facebook. Now and then I will flip it from iPhone right to Facebook but more edit features on ones home computer.

For now I will let you enjoy and add more later
Cheers / Rob

All photos are Photo Credited as ‘RobBar’

Luv to all

Horse Carriage Tour
HeliJet to Vancouver
Customs / Immigration main area / Shops / WiFi / Currency exchange
Carnival Miracle
Ogden Terminal signs
Pickup area for Cars / Buses / Taxis / Water Boat to Victoria / Walk path to Victoria , Dive Shop , Restaurant


Princess – Star
Oceania Regatta / Carnival Miracle
Boat Tour to Victoria waiting area / Carnival Miracle
Seaspan Tug mooring area
Pilot Boat
Carnival Miracle
Oceania Regatta / Carnival Miracle
seawall1 Ogden Point
Sea Wall Murals by Esquimalt and Songhees South Salish Nations
Welcome to Victoria Mural at Customs / Immigration area

National Transplant Week (Organ Donations) UK

This week is National Transplant Week in the United Kingdom  and the goal is to encourage family, friends, work mates and neighbours to signup and be an Organ Donor.

Your gift can be used to help someone in many ways and give a person a new life.

Here is a link to a blog from a young person In the UK that explains her passion and gift her grandfather received.   http://absolutelylucy.com/2014/07/08/national-transplant-week-and-why-im-an-organ-donor/

Here is the link for British Columbia,  Canada
Please register and save a life , give hope to a waiting patient and their family ūüôā