Shortly after I came out to British Columbia in early 2006 I had a case of severely high blood pressure. It wouldn't have been fair to an employer for me to work for them until I got my health situation sorted out. I was on medications to lower the blood pressure and it took until early 2007 to find the cause. I finally went to a naturopath who found that a microscopic parasite was the cause for all this.

While getting my health in order, I took up blogging to share my photography. This way I wasn't wasting time and others got to enjoy the photos, not just me and those close to me.

In May of this year I had a mini-stroke cause again by severely high blood pressure. I may end up gong to the naturopath again since the specialist and other MDs can't seem to find the cause. This has only been a problem out here. Before that in Ontario, the blood pressure was only marginally high, not severely high like in BC.

Knowledge is good because being forewarned is forearmed!

All that said, enjoy this blog and all the photos I share with you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saxonia, the ship (1954-62)

I've been scanning older photos, mostly those taken by my father in the 1950s and early 1960s, a few each day as time permits. In amongst those were some images of a cruise ship coming into Montreal harbour on June 25, 1957 after the Arosa Star which we were on had docked. It was only after scanning these photos that I was able to take a close-up look at them to find that the ship was the Cunard ship, the Saxonia. So here they are.
Here is a short history of the ship. The Saxonia was built by John Brown and Co. of Clydebank for Cunard in 1954. She was launched on February 15, 1954 and had her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal on Sepember 2, 1954. She weighed 21,637 gross tons, was 608 feet in length, carried 110 first class and 819 tourist class passengers and had contemporary interiors. The ship reverted back to Cunard's traditional interiors in 1957. Her sister ships were the Ivernia, the Carinthia and the Sylvania.
By September 1962, the Saxonia had completed 116 trans-Atlantic voyages when she was sent back to John Brown and re-appeared as the Carmania (1962-73) with Cunard's cruising green livery. To find out more about the Saxonia and its various other names (there were three) google the name. Feel free to comment. - V

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the Arosa Star, the ship that brought us to Canada

I've been scanning older photos a little at a time, as time itself permits. This photo is of the ship, the Arosa Star as it was known then in 1957 when we came over from Germany as a family. The photo is actually from a postcard issued by the Arosa Line. I'll post a few more photos of the ship later. My father took a number of images during our crossing of the Atlantic in June of that year.

The ship was originally built in 1930 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in Quincy, Mass. She was name the Borinquen, was 466 feet in length, had a width of 60 feet, tonnage of 17,114. She served as a cruise ship under various names as the ownership of the vessel changed hands. She served as the Arosa Star with the Arosa Line from 1952 until 1958. Bankruptcy forced the owner of the company to sell the ship. That fate had various reasons, such as competing shipping lines with newer ships, an increasing influence of air travel, just to name a couple.

The last owner of the ship of the ship couldn't afford the mooring fees and left it at anchor off shore (California) where it ran aground in a storm. The lower hull now makes part of the breakwater at Port Hueneme, California. The end came on April 13, 1970. Not a very noble ending for such a lovely ship! - V

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

winter scene - London, Ontario

Now that I'm getting the hang of using the new photo scanner here's a photo I took one bright winter day back in the early 1980s during an afternoon of cross country skiing. The scene is in a park just west of the Coves in London, Ontario. I ended up skiing for over six hours. The sun had set by the time I called it quits for the day. In the end I estimated that I had skied about 7 or more kilometers from one end of the park system to the other and back. I enjoyed the workout and the great night's sleep! I'll have more photos to post soon. - V