Published: July 5th 2006
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BMW v ChevroletBMW v ChevroletBMW v Chevrolet

Haines Alaska
Riding into the ferry terminal carpark at Haines, Alaska, it’s a big carpark and I ride down the No. 2 lane as I’d been told, already a lot of cars and 8 bikes there, suddenly a car driving down lane 1 turns in front of me, I veer right, evasive action mode, to try and get around but he’s turning too fast and I smash into his right front corner, wobble on a metre or two and crash out!!…..Check fingers and toes, check everything else, feels ok, stagger up, the front end of the little Chevy has been torn off and dents on the door and bonnet, fark!, what about the bike, my heart sinks…a couple of BMW riders have raced over from the queue, the brotherhood again!…one takes a couple of pix, they help me pick her up and onto the centre stand, the crash bar has taken most of the impact and is bent back almost to the head, did it’s job fantastically, indicator light busted, but no other damage, I’m feeling a few bruises on knee, hip, ribs and elbow, and another sprained thumb... but nothing too serious, tomorrow will tell!
The driver has jumped out and is
BMW v Chevrolet 2BMW v Chevrolet 2BMW v Chevrolet 2

Haines Alaska
looking shaken…I should think so…he calls the cops and a woman cop soon turns up, takes our details…. turns out this bozo is a Canadian cop, from Whitehorse, we swap details and I test the bike…all seems to be working.
Then it’s onto the ferry, really a big ship, her name is the Malaspina, not very encouraging, 350 passengers and a big car deck full of trucks, cars and the inevitable RVs….6 BMWs 2 1100 GS and 4 1150 GS, plus a couple of Harleys. We tell crash and horror stories on into the night, fantastic the quality of BMW riders.
I’m sleeping up on deck, a covered area with sun lounges and heaters a bit too high up and maybe 15 of us sleeping el cheapo...everyone else is in cabins....it's a bit chilly and I wake up stiff and sore at 3am when we stop in Petersburg, but a magic light, like twilight time, and I sit up as we negotiate the Narrows, and they are narrow, very tricky bit of navigating and magic to be just gliding thru’, and still this fabulous, fantastical everlasting daylight...
Someone spots a moose on the shore (tick) Most of the cruise is
Passing BargesPassing BargesPassing Barges

Amazing Alaskan Inner Passage Panorama
thru’ narrow passageways, you could throw a stone to either bank, squillions of little islands, what's mainland, what's an island, can't tell, but tres isolated... between big rugged snowcapped mountains, mostly no people at all out here, glaciers sluggishly winding down valleys to the sea, off the port side, a whale, humpback, blowing out, rolling over (tick), orcas (tick) in fact over the days, many whales about.
In the foreground, before the snow caps, the rolling mountains appear furry, or rather firry, as they are covered in fir trees...man there's a lot of timber out there, someone told me all Alaskan citizens are allowed some number of some dimension of lumber each year....5 cubits?...I forget, but it was a substantial amount.
We stop at Katchikan (?) and the sky is full of float planes, always 5 or 6 in the air, coming and going like a taxi service, which it is!…
All really nice people on board, many coming up and asking how I am as they had seen the crash on Saturday. Meal times eagerly awaited, bit exy but good tucker…and always friendly smiling people to talk with…and of course a nice little bar where I spend the afternoons,
Petersburg 3amPetersburg 3amPetersburg 3am

Amazing Alaskan Inner Passage Panorama
then a siesta, then a little more…
An announcement over the PA...the owner of a silver BMW 1150 has to report to the purser...I drag on the boots and go down...only to find the 3 other silver BMW owners...and the other BMW riders have turned up as well in support?..we all crack up...turns out one of the others had a gas container on the bike and they didn't like it.....back up on the sundeck a total stranger (car driver) came over to check if everything was OK...
Off the port side…another little humpback is frolicking, unbelievable, standing on its head, waving its tail about, slapping the water…too weird!
Woke at 4am Monday morning, the big horn is blasting…every 5 minutes for 5 seconds, we are in a real pea-souper, cold and clammy, yuk, and hard to sleep in 5 min bursts!! But eventually it burns off and another sunny day. By the second night I had gotten a $2 blanket from the purser and was snug as....prior, I only had (all) my clothes and a skimpy fleece sleeping bag...suitable for tropical climes only!
Funny how even on a ship like this, not really so big, I keep seeing people I
Another GlacierAnother GlacierAnother Glacier

Amazing Alaskan Inner Passage Panorama
haven’t seen before, and other times I go for a day without seeing someone I know.
Then our final night and a bit of a party, all the bikers together with a couple of others, once more that intense bonding experience at sea…like we’re all now blood brothers…and I know how quickly that will all become just a memory…altho’ I reckon there are a couple of people from this trip I will continue to keep in touch with.
8am Tuesday morning, Bellingham at last...sort of halfway between Seattle and Vancouver and we head off up the ramp and off in all directions, scattered to the winds, I head for 5 North and Vancouver, a particularly prickly dork at the Canadian frontera spoils my mood for 3 nano seconds...what's his problem??...but soon I’m back in Vancouver…just in time to catch Germany being beaten by the cheating actors team…and now the streets are awash with Italianos blowing their horns…I just hope they don’t go all the way! Go Portugal??
And I still have to backtrack to before Alaska…or is it all old news?…we’ll see…maybe I'll back post that entry tomorrow.......and thanks for all the feedback...it's always awesome to hear from you.......Go Dees
Petersburg 3.15amPetersburg 3.15amPetersburg 3.15am

Amazing Alaskan Inner Passage Panorama

Additional photos below
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Bikers Last Night on the Malaspina

Amazing Alaskan Inner Passage Panorama
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Float Plane Taxi

Amazing Alaskan Inner Passage Panorama
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Float Plane TerminalFloat Plane Terminal
Float Plane Terminal

Amazing Alaskan Inner Passage Panorama

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