Published: September 6th 2010June 6th 2010
I love snorkeling and diving. I do it all the time when I’m working out of Southern ports. I am fascinated by the colour and life beneath the water’s surface. When we first started cruising to Alaska and I checked out the shore excursions on offer, I was surprised and excited to find out that snorkeling in Alaska was an option! I hate the cold and don’t do well with cold water, but I was willing to give it a go to be able to say I’d tried snorkeling in Alaska. It was high up on my wish list of things to do, but I couldn’t find a way to do it on my own so I had to rely on the shore ex department onboard to connect me. Guests are always first, so it just wasn’t working out for me. But then today was my day!
We were shuttled out of Ketchikan (where we’re docked today) to the company’s headquarters. There we were suited up in our gear - and were we ever suited up! We had full-body wetsuits, boots, gloves, hoods . . . by the time we put our masks on, the only part skin directly touching
the water was the area immediately around the mouth. Okay. Hopefully that would keep me warm!
Then we were driven another couple miles out to the spot where we would go into the water - the same spot where I’d stopped a few weeks back on another tour to see bald eagles. Who knew it was a snorkel spot?
We walked down to the water’s edge and then it was time to get in. I put my feet in the water, then waded up to my knees. So far I was doing okay. I took a deep breath and went right into the water. It was cold . . . but then, I was okay. The initial feeling of the water was like getting into a cool pool, but then the full body gear did the job and heated up the water around my body.
The snorkeling was very cool, unlike anything else I’ve seen. The water colour and the general feeling of it was different, darker, gloomier, more mysterious it seemed. There weren’t very many fish - I saw some, but not many. Instead of fish though, there were all sorts of critters. Our guides were
great, they’d dive down and pull up all sorts of friends for us to meet - different types of star fish, sea cucumbers. And there were jelly fish everywhere! Not the poisonous ones. Some of them were teeny tiny - they looked mystical. There wasn’t very much coral to be seen but there were really interesting water plants. One spot made me think of jungle palm leaves, except these ones were floating in the water. Very cool.
I am pleased to say that for the hour we spent in the water, I didn’t get cold! Well, at one point my lips felt a bit chilly, after all, they were bare against the water, but not bad for snorkeling in Alaska!
Actually, the worst part was back at the snorkel shop when I undid my wet suit. Then I was standing in a dripping wet bikini in a little shack without any heat. That’s when I felt like I had to be nuts! But they had hot chocolate for us which got me nice and toasty for the bus ride back to the ship.
Another great Alaskan adventure - and certainly a unique one!
There are more photos below