Our trip to Alaska has come and gone; now we are left with lots of pictures, a slide show, a DVD, souvenirs, journal entries, but most of all we have our memories. We saw a landscape that is unbelievable and visited cultures whose tribal stories trace their origin to the ocean. We were close enough to a pod of whales to smell their breath. It was an unbelievable adventure and we want to share it with everyone. The problem is how to cram all this into a blog. So I've decided to do two or more blogs that will be mostly pictures with explanations.
Our trip started in Seattle on May 1, where we stayed one night in the Roosevelt Hotel, right in the heart of Seattle. The next day we had a few hours to spend with Mark and his good friends Michelle and Rich. We visited the Chahuley glass exhibit and at the other end of the spectrum we visited the gum wall at Seattle's waterfront. That afternoon we boarded the National Geographic Sea Bird, an expedition ship that has 31 cabins for guests. We were in cabin 207 with a nice size window and a door to
the outside walkway that led to the open bow. Nothing luxurious in the cabins, but quite comfortable.
We had 5 very knowledgeable naturalists with us throughout the trip. These folks loved their job and were so excited to share their expertise with us. Cultural interpreters also came on board as we traveled to areas were the Haida, Tlingit and Kwakwaka’wakw lived. In Glacier Bay a park ranger came on board for the day to answer our questions and explain the history and geology of the area. It was really a chance to learn and experience.
We traveled along the inside passage from May 2- 16 and many days there was an opportunity to hike, kayak, or take a tour with a naturalist on a zodiac (a big rubber raft). We were always given the choice of doing 2 out of the 3. The weather was perfect with only one day of rain in an area called Misty Fjords, so that seemed just fine.
Our first ‘National Geographic ‘experience was with a pod of at least 200 white sided Pacific dolphins in the Johnstone Strait. They glided along in our wake and rode the bow and put on
This Exhibit in Seattle is fantastic. The glass seems to float in air. There is a glass ceiling cover in his work.
a show for an hour or more. The captain steered the boat so we were always right in the middle of the group.
The next NG experience was with Humpback whales near Haida Gwaii. We all watched as an enormous number of whales took part in a feeding frenzy right next to and in front of the ship. They breached, fluked and tail slapped and stirred up the water. We were able to see right down their enormous mouths as they come up to fill their pleated pouches with krill. We were so close that the air was filled with whale breath – a smell we won’t soon forget. There was a mother humpback with a baby right next to the ship. She seemed to be showing her little one how to breach…… it was amazing! Ron and I have posted a video of the momma and baby on our Facebook page. (Right now this blog only connects to u-tube videos)
So I’ll leave off with that image and continue later. There are 25 pictures and lots of explanations
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