Monday, September 20, 2010

Sea Lions, Eagles, Martinis - Oh My!

Rather than do a day by day of my cruise (since I am now boring myself), I'll just do the highlights.

Darlene went ziplining and since I am afraid of heights, I booked a whale watching tour with Harve and Marve. It was a 3-hour tour (shades of Gilligan's Island here). The pilot of my boat was Captain Shawn and there was just 5 passengers. I rode shot-gun (since I have experience with piloting my rowboat in my pond). We saw at least 8 whales that day - so many, in fact, that I did not know where to point my camera. I do not have any good photos of my whale watching (I have some great video that I will upload later). Shawn said that this was one of the BEST days he'd ever had for whale watching. In addition to the whale watching, we were privileged to take in the sea lions (they only hang around this rock for about a month for breeding).  Sea lions are not shy, and they readily came towards the boat and waved their flippers - but, man-oh-man do they STINK!

After whale watching I explored the Mendenhall Glacier.  This is a tongue glacier. Breathtaking!

View from Sky Tram - Top of Juneau.  I had a few hours to kill before heading back to the ship so took the Sky Tram.  A couple of shots of Juneau and my ship The Coral Princess.


Third and last port of call on our cruise.  We decided to take in the Chilkat Eagle Preserve River Rafting Float.   This was the highlight of our cruise in terms of excursions.  It started off with a ferry ride down the fjord to Haines, so we were able to see where the ship cruised into port (in the middle of the night).  Then a white knuckle bus ride to the embarkment point of the rafts.  Our guide on the bus was Karl (with a K). Karl - well, just imagine some guy jacked up on speed who knows ALL the history of the surrounding area but also wants to tell you ALL ABOUT HIMSELF (because he was an only child).  We did not take Karl's (with a K) raft - we decided to take Paul's raft. - I almost didn't see any eagles.  Anyway - this float down the braided river was wonderful.  If we saw 1 eagle we saw 30.  And we also saw a brown bear with her two cubs strolling along a beach flat.    After disembarking, we were provided with one of the best shore lunches of the entire cruise - gourmet sandwiches.  I remark on this because all of the excursions we participated all they offered was a stupid cookie and a cup of hot beverage - however, this excursion was a real lunch.  Big sandwiches, fruit, chips and homemade cookies and all sorts of beverages.   The ferry ride back was exciting too because we crossed the wake of a cruise ship leaving port...WOW - that was quite the WAVE!

Oh I almost forgot - the martinis...CHEERS!

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