Wednesday, Thursday, andFriday June 22-24 2011on board the MS Zuiderdam
Well, here we sit, with our feet propped up, on the 10th floor of the ship, looking out the window “whale watching.”
This morning I was awakened by Susan at6:30. Boy, did I want to keep sleeping but, as Susan said, this was an important day and we must not miss any of it. And, boy, was she right! We hurried up the elevator and stairs and spent most of the morning and early afternoon on the bow of the ship as we cruisedGlacier Bay. I got some awesome video of Margerie Glacier “calving” which is when parts of the glacier break and fall into the water. This glacier is a mile wide though it didn’t look that big from where we were standing. Later, in the afternoon, while exiting the Bay, we saw some whales and a seal. The deck was pretty cold so we were bundled up. The hot chocolate, hot tea, and coffee were flowing. I will be editing pictures ofGlacier Bayand try to post them tomorrow.
Yesterday, we began the day early as we took the bus/coach to Fraser, got on the narrow gauge railroad and headed to Scagway. Wow! That was a cool ride! Got some great video and pictures. As soon as I arrived, I couldn’t even check in on the ship as I had my Musher’s Dog Cart experience. This was truly the best dog adventure yet! First we got in a van and traveled 35 minutes out in the wilderness, mostly on a dirt road. Then we got in a vehicle that took us up a mountain 1100 more feet at almost a 30 degree angle. THAT was worth the experience for sure! Then, six of us got in a dog cart pulled by 16 sled dogs. Now these weren’t the type of sled dogs I had been seeing on the trip. They were smaller and shorter haired dogs. The musher told us that they were all his dogs and some were bred with Greyhounds and that they were “sprint dogs.” Well, then the adventure really began. Now remember that my first experience in a dog cart was fun but not a very long trip. THIS one was a blast and was several miles long. One of the reasons it was so fun is the mistakes the dogs made. Within the first 20 feet, the lead dogs headed into the woods, trying to get back to their water dishes. I laughed so hard it hurt! The dogs got tangled up and had to be untangled and led back to the trail. THEN, while the lead dogs were being untangled, a one year old boy mounted his spayed female partner and was yelled at by the musher. (this happened on several occasions as the lead dogs were having a problem with their “gees” and “haws” (left and right turns) and the one year old boy decided to amuse himself while the others were getting placed back in their traces.) Trust me, I got video of the whole thing, including the one year old’s indiscretions. Way too funny! Towards the end of the ride, the dogs got into sync and started to run at top speed of about 17 mph. You could tell they loved what they were doing. After the ride, we got to meet all 16 dogs. And, when we got down the mountain, I enjoyed interacting with Homer, the 12 year old retired sled dog who was in seventh heaven when I scratched him under the neck and around the ears. (and, of course, I was getting my doggie fix) We also got to hold puppies from two litters. I love holding puppies but don’t miss the raising of them. One of the guys talked to us about the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest dogsled races. Several differences in the races are that the Iditarod is 1100 miles with 22 stopping points along the way. The Yukon Quest is 1000 miles with only 8 stops along the way. Although it was hectic getting from the train to the excursion bus and I wasn’t able to get on the ship with the others, it was a wonderful experience and I am so glad I went.
When I got back from the excursion, I walked downtown and toured the shops. Would you believe that Scagway has the only Sarah Palin store in theUSA? Everything in the store is Sarah Palin stuff. Her father used to be a teacher in Scagway so she is very well known and loved there. Naturally, I picked up some great souvenirs.
I finally got on the ship at about 6PM. Susan hadn’t gotten back from her Eagle Preserve trip so I ate in the buffet on the 9th floor. Great food, of course.
Susan went to Haines to watch the birdies and took a two hour ride on theChilcotRiver. She saw eagles, moose, and a couple of bear cubs before they ran off into the brush. It was a beautiful, relaxing ride. Truly pristine wilderness. The ride to and from Haines in the Scagway Fjord took 45 minutes each way on a ferry. The boat they took out there was a jet boat. It was a wonderful excursion but she came back pretty tired.
Tonight, we went to a magic show and it was great. It was a husband and wife team that usually play inLas Vegas. They will be teaching a magic class on Friday that we plan to attend. After the show, I played the nickel slot machine in the casino and won $20.
Tomorrow is another jam packed day though I WILL sleep in a bit if possible. I think I’ll take the computer class on Windows 7 that they are offering. Most of you all know that I hate Windows 7 so I’m hoping they will make me like it. We’re also heading intoKetchikanto do some sightseeing and to find the post office where we need to mail another flat rat box of stuff so we both don’t get charged and arm and a leg at the airport.
Well, today is the last day on board the ship. We are touring theInside Passageand not seeing much land. The waves are rolling and I feel it as I walk around-a little tilt from side to side occasionally.
Last night, some of you might have heard that there was a 7.5 earthquake in theAleutian Islands. Shortly afterwards, our captain came on the public address system and told us about it and that theUSAwas predicting a Tsunami for this area and had a Tsunami warning for ships in our area. It was interesting that the Canadian government had no warning in effect. The captain said that if there was a Tsunami, we would feel it aboutmidnight. He said that they would be taking all appropriate precautions, including draining the two pools on the ship. I wasn’t really bothered by it as we were going to be pretty far away from land atmidnightso it shouldn’t be a problem. As I was walking back to our cabin, a group of people fromMaltawere having a rough time with the news and were quite afraid. I stopped to talk to them about it and, hopefully, helped them understand that because we were far away from land, we shouldn’t have much of a problem. About an hour later, the captain came back on the PA system and said that the warning had been lifted. I guess what concerned me the most was that people back home might hear about the earthquake and possible Tsunami and get a little freaked out. All in all, it was pretty interesting and, thankfully, uneventful.
Saturday, June 25th, 2011Vancouver,British Columbia airport
Well, I wasn’t able to log on to the computer on the ship though I was charged an arm and a leg for trying. Oh, well, that’s life.
Today, we docked inVancouverand took a bus tour around town. Very rainy. No problems going through customs. Looking forward to getting home this evening. It was a fun trip but as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home….”
I plan to work with more of our pictures and put together a slide show and post it on YouTube and/or my Facebook page. I’ll let you know when it’s done.
Lori and Susan