My bags are packed. The bills are paid. The garden is seeded, goodbyes said, and a dozen e-books are loaded onto my reader. I’m ready to depart on the trip of a lifetime. There’s only one question remaining – when does the boat leave?
The main purpose of a container ship is to carry cargo, not passengers, so the departure and arrival schedule is vexingly ill-defined. I was originally scheduled to sail on the Hanjin Amsterdam on Friday February 27, but was rescheduled onto the Hanjin Copenhagen last-minute, departing Sunday February 22. Unfortunately the Copenhagen was delayed by labour action at Portland Harbor, delaying it several days. It’s now drifting in international waters just to the west of Vancouver Island, awaiting approval to enter Vancouver Harbour.
On Thursday night, that approval was finally granted. According to Ivan, my contact at the harbor, The Copenhagen will start loading its cargo at 09:00 on Saturday, February 28. He simply told me to get myself to “the harbor”, where I can board “any time”. Where at the harbor? I don’t know either! When asked, Ivan cheekily sent me a satellite image of the entire 250-acre harbor complex along with a succinct note saying “maybe this will help?”
I won’t have internet access until I arrive in Busan, Korea in several weeks. (When exactly will I arrive? Nobody knows.) You can track the location of the Hanjin Copenhagen on the map below. In the mean time, I’ll be busy documenting what it’s like to be a passenger on a cargo ship.