Last of the trip to Alaska

May 18

The Margerie Glacier. . And raining…

We are here for the day and will learn about all of it…65miles from where the first ice field started.

Grand Pacific glacier to the right looks like a huge rock. Glacier moves 7 feet a day, calves unpredictably. This is mountain goat territory. Our ranger, Kevin, is making the most of a very overcast and rainy day pointing out goats, white dots among the rocks and some eagles as well.

With our new quarters we have become recluse, enjoying peace and quiet in our room.

Sitting at meals with Sia, I am reminded of what I used to do, chatter with the passengers sitting with us. The noise in the dining room, between engine and people overwhelms my blasted hearing aids, but I love looking around at the people, mouths moving everywhere and the young staff on the run around the tables.

may 18 alaska

May 18

Wednesday. Saginaw bay.

Rainy and freezing so we snuggled in our fancy suite and

read our way through the miserable stuff. Annie, the tour

guide has been frustrated with the weather. She was with

us on the ten days of unusual sun the previous week.

may 18 2

 

May 19

Wednesday…

Red Bluff Bay

We woke up to bright sun in the window. Sia stuck my

name on a skiff tour so I finally agreed and at 10:45

wrapped in jacket, hat and, life jacket I joined the trip. We

had a lot of birders who pointed cameras here there and

everywhere at moving spots. The long lenses came out

and the birds or seals were identified. Since I can’t hold

binoculars and can’t identify the birds… I looked at the

interesting design on the rocks and mountain tops, seeing

dogs and faces.

Lunch and then up goes the anchor and off we go again.

may 18 3

May 20

Thomas bay

A nice day for the six who are willing and insane to take

an all day hike into the wilderness. Shorter hikes and

kayaking and skiff tours are also available.

It is fun to have meals with Sia and Gary. Sia is the people

person I used to be but also pays attention and

remembers places she has been like dad. I find I have

become a people watcher since communication is hard

in a room full of people chatting and the sound of the

ship engine roaring….hearing aids have their faults.

Another day on board with a book… Can’t complain with

our fancy suite.

Watched Sia and Gary try stand up boards and when they

returned Sia asked if she could dive in. Annie said “no” but

if she would hand her the camera, she could fall off the board

on purpose and be photographed. So she did!

….while Annie, the head person held her camera and

photographed it.

may 24 alaska

May 21

One more day on route back to Juneau. Sia knocks on the

door of our luxurious suite to tell us the whales and dolphins

are greeting us. We move lazily and dress and join the parade to

brunch. Twenty one days of luxury, three

meals a day (though too spicy) and no TV news of the

presidential candidates.

Maybe we will skip the TV when we get home but we will

have to shop and cook and clean with the ever changing

view of our lake. Boo hoo… Life is tough.??

 

We are south of Tracy arm, Dawes glacier, heading down

Another seemingly endless waterway to spend the last day

Playing with the skiffs kayaks and stands up boards. We will

Probably have the polar plunge by the end of the day.

 

Sia went in four Times!

 

Cruising along

Endicott arm

 

So it is over. Yip yip…. home again. Think I’ll go back to my window

sill and watch the birds.

Let me know when you plan to go somewhere again….Russ

 

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May 16 – Alaska trip

May 16
On route from Juneau to Glacier Bay
We met with Sia and Gary by phone call and they came and chatted with us as I leaned over the ship rail and they  were on the dock. Once we had breakfast we joined them. They had rented a car so we were driven to the Mendenhall glacier. A short elevator ride to the viewing place and a short film. It was quiet. I gather six cruise ships had been there the day before and five were due the next day.
mendenhall glacier
Of course a trip to the quilt shop… Yarn and book
stores closed.
When we returned to the ship, we found we were upgraded to the  fanciest room on the ship…. Two rooms, a hot tub, a small fridge and space galore. We hardly know how to enjoy it all.
Since it was a new trip for all but us we had life boat drill again and the usual introductions and to bed. With this spare room, I just might read my book here and be unsociable.
It is strange to look around at the people who are all new, and see some who might be… but aren’t from the old group. New names, new faces… and Sia and Gary. It is nice to have them with us for the trip.
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May 14

endicott armEndicott Arm….. Dawes Glacier
Seeing small ice burgs
The icing on the cake one lady said. We are not anchored
because it is too deep so we are circling back and forth
facing a glacier, small bits of ice are moving past us.
The young couple embraced and the people in the lounge
watching smiled. The steward, Karen, went to the bar
and returned with a tray and two small glasses. Wine I
presume, and someone held the door as she took the
wine to the couple. Another embrace and applause from
those watching.  I had not seen him on his knee… But
Rick and Jennie and now officially engaged, ring and all.
I sat on the deck with my hearing aids removed watching
as the ship moved in an arc across the opening of the
small bay. High rocks and tree growth on the left, a stream
of water pouring down between the rocks and trees on
the right . A snow topped mountain straight ahead. Back
and forth slowly. Three paddle boarders in the distance.
A single kayaker heading to the bay opening .. And silence
and the breeze and the sun making it a perfect day.
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May 10

Traitors cove
Misty morning but no rain.
We are anchored in misty cove. Trees on every
hillside.some are taking a hike into the wilderness…hiking
boots, rain gear,and a lot of stamina. Sounds like more
than mom wants.
Others are off in skiffs for a tour around the area. Since I
can’t see any nearby, they must be really off to the
wilderness. We are sitting in the lounge
listening to the chatter, the engine keeping us lit and
warm, and the swish of an espresso machine… reading
book number five. Kathy loaned me a book she had with
her knowing that I was reading so fast I will be finished
well before the trip ends. I am glad, as at the rate I am
reading, I did not bring enough books.
And so the day progresses. We are not seeing a lot of
Alaska but what we are seeing is the same: trees, rocks, water,
and the 77 people on board carrying on
conversations….some of which mom can hear… But too
much to decipher. Oh to be like me….. Yip yip…hearing
everything. And more…
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Uncruise May 7-8

mom1Saturday May 7

morning…..

Bear sighting at nine.

…. A tiny dot on a beach. I will hope

once of those long camera takers will share their pictures,

Chatter with the guide mom….and the fellow quilter……

Picture of some little boat with a tarp over the open

trying to stay dry….. Pretty nasty rain.

Brunch

Activities 11:30

Photo of a Volcano plug… Unusual so we are told

 

Sunday May 8

We are at Fox lodge Ketchikan for the day…and the only wifi place for a while.

We are having a good time. Most food too spicy but turkey sandwiches available on request.
Weather just fine if you don’t mind rain… However sunny here today

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Uncruise May 6-7

Friday May 6

We have arrived in Alaskan water.

Another morning in the lounge. Coffee juice, pills and

watching what they are calling the early risers. We put our

watches back an hour and thus have gained more awake

time, time that is filled with watching the people race to

the doors to see the baby whale gallivanting with its

mama. Cameras with foot long scopes appear and the

whales, or the possible bear, or the eagle are

photographed in many scenes. mom4Yesterday it was a waterfall and the ship slowed down, not that it goes fast, and eased up to the waterfall for pictures. People listen to the very knowledgeable guides about the life of whales, the various pods, the transition from the southern waters to Alaska.

We have heard much of this before since this is our third Uncruise trip to the north. But it is good to be reminded, and this time particularly enjoyable because one of the couples we have met are the parents of Teresa, an exceptional young woman who is one of our guides. They sit and listen with proud smiles on their faces and for good reason. I have chatted with some of the youngsters gals, young, pretty, knowledgeable. Some are new to the cruise and as excited as the passengers to see the north.

mom3As I am writing, a whale appears, everyone runs to the window. It is surfacing frequently and the people cheer. Now the guide has arrived with a microphone and the rest of the ship, is told of the whale, as the ship slows down and heads toward the attraction.

I am reminded of a trip long ago, might have been a ferry to Alaska. When the whale surfaced the passengers headed to the side to watch. We laughed and said to ourselves, if we “yell whale to port”, we could then get front row places to stand on the starboard side where the whale really is.

 

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Uncruise trip May 4-5

Oatmeal for breakfast and most went back to sleep or

took a walk around Friday Harbor. One look at

the amount of walking to find the yarn store to see yarn

we don’t need, and mom and dad nestled down for the

wait til we are back at sea again.

 

Afternoon

Salad with blue cheese dressing

Dessert.. Warm fruit, crumbled. Rust and vanilla ice cream

A second one enjoyed as we were told of our stop at

Sucia Island and potential hikes or skiff rides. Dad slept.

Mom read. Yip yip…maybe I could sneak into the kitchen

for something.

Seymour Narrows

Took pictures

Sleep eat watch the scenery and then do it all over

again.however the scenery is quite spectacular.

We learned about a huge rock that was blown up so that

you could travel through Seymour Narrows.

We heard about the people who were afraid of the

whales and set up guns to kill then when they came close

to shore until they did shoot one and found another whale

coming to its rescue. They discovered the whale ate fish,

not humans. The so-called killer whales would not harm

them. They took the injured whale ashore and built a huge

aquarium.

Or that was the information we heard today.

Meanwhile mom visited with one of the

Uncruise workers and learned that she had taught science at a high school

for three years, had been to every state and Switzerland and

joined this two weeks ago… at age 26. Amazing

the things that some of the things the young can and will

do given opportunity.

I remember my mother telling me I could do anything and

go anywhere if I wanted. I just had to make it happen.

Here I am doing things I never dreamed of.

 

Sucia Island

A stop at Sucia let the people get off the ship and enjoy

what this ship boasts about. There were numerous kayaks

out and about and several skiff tours. Us…. We just

watched it all happening, enjoyed cries and chatter.

Chatted with fellow IPAD person and managed to mess up

something . Fortunately he knew how to fix it.

Tech guru available to help!

So we are back to writing. Lunch listed as a very spicy

meal, as are all the meals… So mom and dad got turkey

sandwiches. Funny isn’t it. The trip was so mom could have

three meals a day she didn’t have to cook.

Cruising along with occasional interruption by the staff

who want to make sure we are not bored. The usual plan

is to stop and anchor and provide skiff and kayak jaunts,

but the plan is to get to Ketchikan as fast as possible so

we can take on more passengers and resume the trip,

A knot tying session must have been disappointing when

only three people signed up.

We were told a bit about whales. They have their,own

pods and the pods have their own language and cannot

communicate between pods. After dinner we learned

about a stray orca that ended up down in Puget Sound and

really belonged to a pod from the north. There were many

debates about what to do with the poor thing and finally a kid

suggested taking it back home so they did, creating a place

where it would be cared for in the event it was still a stray.

Apparently its family found her, surrounded the pen and

eventually she was released to join her pod.

 

 

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