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Published: September 16th 2016
Cruising in Alaska
I'm starting to get the message. Its rare to get a sunny warm day in Alaska. Its rarer still to get a sunny cloud free day in Glacier Bay Alaska. As the Park Ranger said today, when the barometer goes up it means rain. When the barometer goes down it means rain. When it stays steady, it means rain will continue.
Its 7pm on day 2 of my time on board the Island Princess cruise ship and we are just about ready to drop off the Park Rangers who came aboard at 9.15 this morning and who have given us lectures and narrations on and off all day as we have traveled approximately 100 kms inland on the waters of this bay and viewed some amazing mountains and glaciers. Overnight, after a glassy sea for all of day one, the ship began to feel like a ship as it started to roll with a heavier ocean. And it was raining, cold and everything covered in very thick low cloud cover reducing visibility to almost nothing. But as we approached the furthest inland reaches and the glaciers we had come to see, the mist lifted a little.
I will let the photos speak for themselves. Yes, glaciers are an amazing sight but for the life of me I could not detect the differentiating features that our rangers were keen to point out. Seen one, seen them all, especially when it is cold and wet outside. Not to say that I didn't love them. I did. Its amazing, raw nature. Spectacular, creation still taking place as each glacier is either receding or still growing. Probably more of the former unfortunately due to climate change and global warming which means that not as much snow is falling in the right places to keep the glaciers healthy and alive. But you can see how they have, and continue to carve out the landscape, and the way in which vegetation gradually begins to move in and populate the very sterile and infertile newly revealed ground that the receding glacier leaves behind.
Its almost impossible to do justice to the grandeur and spectacle of mother nature in this raw and primitive landscape. But I tried. And I hope you enjoy the photos here that will speak for themselves.
Cruising is ... well, different. This is my first but not for
the majority of my fellow travelers so I am becoming to understand. Seems if you get addicted to cruising, that is the only way you travel ... well if you have the budget for it. When I first came on board it was totally overawing ... the glitz, sparkle, 5+star surrounds were hard to ignore. My "stateroom" is a very very comfortable hotel room .... and quite spacious. I have a window, though the view is somewhat obscured by the lifeboats hanging outside. But it is possible to see what is going by.
And the food ... there is constantly food available. Amazing spreads that it is very hard to leave alone. Its easy to see why people put on so much weight when they go cruising. After day 1 when I came on board very hungry and had a late lunch at about 3pm, and then ate dinner again at 5.30pm I promised myself to go easy from thereon. Yesterday I skipped lunch. Today I did not as that was the best place to sit and view the glaciers, in the warmth and comfort of the dinning area right up at the bow of the ship. And well,
I was there wasn't I????
Many apparently go cruising for the entertainment too, and there is plenty of that from dawn to midnight. Whatever takes your fancy ... movies, live shows of music and comedians, poker, library, and so it goes on and on. And of course the shopping!!!! Its all quite mind boggling. I knew it would be, but as I've been known to say before, nothing is ever quite what you imagined it would be when traveling.
After two fully scenic cruising days, tomorrow we dock at Skagway and go ashore. I am going on a photographic tour in the morning .... and the rest of the time will amuse myself exploring the town which promises to be very different to anything I've yet experienced.
So I will sign off for now, and pick up the story after going ashore tomorrow. Wonder if it will still be raining and cloudy. No northern lights opportunities likely with this cloud cover. Bugger.
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