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Published: July 10th 2016
Today we are cruising to Anchorage from Icy Strait Point. We have been lucky in the weather so far. The sea is like glass and that made whale watching easy. On the way from Ketchikan, pods of dolphins stopped by to say hello. There were dozens of them, some swimming up close to the vessel.
Our day cruising Tracy Arm had to be scrapped since the ice pack was too dense. Instead we went to Endicott Arm and the Dawes Glacier. The arm narrowed as we approached the glacier. It was a wonder that the Captain held the ship steady and pivoted, using his thrusters, so that we turned 360 degrees. Everyone on board had a good look. We went back to the room and I wrapped myself in blankets and watched the scene from our verandah. Played a little poker and lost a little but the table was fun.
We left the ship at 9:00am in Juneau and walked about the town. Lots and lots of souvenir ships and, of course, jewelry. As we headed back to the ship spotted a KNIFE lying on the ground. I mentioned it to an officer and later
it was gone. To me it was a serious knife; to them a ho hum incident.
The whale watch company we signed on with and paid for is out of business. So, we were assured that we would get a refund and then offered a watch later in the afternoon at 2 1/2 times the cost but included a trip out to Mendenhall Glacier. Not the most cost effective way to see whales but didn't want Joe to miss the experience.
Since we had time to kill we went over to the Red Dog Saloon for lunch. I know. It's a tourist haven but it is a good one. We sat at the bar and looked at all the artifacts including a gun once owned by Wyatt Earp. The chicken tenders were good and the beer passable. A woman sitting next to me ordered a Duck Fart Shooter. Good for her, not for me.
Now it was time for a trip to the glacier. The last time I was here my knee was in sad shape and I had to stay around the visitors center. Now I walked the two miles
out to Nugget Falls, pain free. I am so lucky. It was a beautiful walk. A group of young girls were frolicking in the icy glacier water. They seemed to be enjoying it as we passed them both going in and coming back. The falls were well worth the walk and the view of the glacier was lovely.
From Mendenhall a bus took us to the whale watch boat. Again, we had a small group, this time eight of us. The boat was enclosed with open viewing decks aft and stern, It looked brand new. The captain's chair was on springs so that he was protected from the bounce, though, truth be told, the water was glassy calm. Well, we saw whales, and whales, and whales with a calf, and whales and Steller Sea Lions too. The boat is prohibited from approaching closer that 100 yards but the whales can, and often do, approach the boat. Every encounter is on the whales term.
It was a good time and the Captain and naturalist were entertaining and knowledgable. All in all it was a lemons to lemonade day....at a price.
and won so I'm ahead so far.
The following day, yesterday we visited Icy Strait Point. The main attraction here is the zip line and no, I did not do it. I was fun however to watch the expressions of the folks who did. They had a combination of exhilaration and fear on their faces. We walked the beach, visited the cannery museum and walked in the woods. Actually saw wild life, a small but very loud squirrel. Chatted with a fellow who was walking his dog and he pointed out some interesting facts about the forest.
The forest was clear cut in 1912. The trees are now 100' tall. They have a peculiar growth habit. A new tree grows at the base of a tree stump. It's roots wrap wound the stump and the stump continues to decay. Eventually, the stump is gone and the base of the tree has an opening where the stump used to be.
And that is life so far. Tomorrow, Anchorage and King Crab at the Bridge House.
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