Viking Octantis

Tour Boats Locking Thru

We are at the cabin now. When we arrived yesterday afternoon, the temperature was an unusually warm 79 ºF, but this morning when I got up it was a more normal 41 ºF. It got a little warmer during the day, but now it is down to 43 ºF and headed even lower tonight, what with a frost warning. It is quite dry up here. Not quite California dry, but the fire danger here is extremely high. Few bugs though. Thank goodness. First rule at the cabin: Do not burn the cabin down. This morning, we had a fire in the kitchen stove, drank coffee and played on the Internet. Around noon, we headed into town, to the Alberta House to see the fiber arts show there. This show was our main reason for coming up here so early this year, more about that later. After that we walked down to the locks to look at the boats and then had lunch across the street at the Lockview, where we first spotted the Octantis in the live video feed from atop the Tower of History. We finished lunch in time to head back to the locks and watch this tour boat lock thru. At the locks it was sunny, warm, and still. Most of the passengers were seated on the fore deck to watch the locking process, note the gathering throng of peasants, and bask in their envy. Cabins on the Octantis start at $12K. We were almost back to the car when the Octantis blew its whistle. Anne marked the time. Our next stop was Meijer’s, where we got gas and food. Some people doubted that we could beat the boat back to the cabin, but it was not even close. We easy won that race home. Returning to the cabin, we were greeted by an SAIC surveyor. He was making “dig wrong” markings for Jamadots. I told him that he was two years too late and that our phone line had already been backhoed. He only laughed. We made it down to the beach, but still no Octantis. The wind was blowing and there were whitecaps everywhere. Eventually, the Octantis rounded Cedar Point and had the pilot boat steaming out to meet it and take off their man. About this time, things began to get interesting. We saw the pilot jump from the Octantis to the pilot boat, but he just stayed in the bow of his boat and the pilot boat was not going anywhere. The Octantis had all but stopped and began to launch another boat out of its stern, this was SOB 2, for Special Operations Boat II. According to Viking, these are military grade launches that hold 20-30 people. First it and then the pilot boat began bouncing across the waves towards Brimley. The pilot boat was headed back to dock, but I still have no idea what the SOB was doing or where exactly it went. We watched them as long as we could until they disappeared in the surf. Marine Traffic was less than helpful, deciding to quit updating their movements. Were they headed to the casino for some slots? Or the Cozy Inn for fish? Maybe Pickles? Who knows? At about the time the Octantis had eventually recovered its launch, having stopped in the channel for about an hour, five freighter appeared filling both channels. The show was over but it was still a mystery.

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