Saturday Ketchikan and to the Wilderness Discoverer.
Talk on Clinquet history before we left. Sons and daughters when two years old, given to uncle or auntie to raise. Wow! And much more.
We were shown to our cabin, where our luggage was waiting, “And on the right hand side, is your toilet/shower combo.” A phrase to raise the curiosity level in any seasoned traveller; and welcome back to the see through toilet paper.
We were welcomed on board and our picture taken before we boarded. After a look round our cabin (🤣) dinner was served and we moved docks or “ducks” as we misheard to fill up with fuel and then many of the crew introduced themselves, including the Captain who described that he had an open bridge policy.
Sunday, and we realised that we had been truly cut off, wi-fi wise, after having sent a plea for help to Simon Smith in England on Saturday, as Mary’s camera suddenly decided to lock the zoom. He very kindly sent us a link to try to solve the problem, unfortunately of course, we could no longer read it; but he had said it didn’t sound like good news.
An expert photographer Ted, on the boat couldn’t help and indeed he wished we had internet contact. There were only 48 of us passengers and 28 crew, an amazing ratio. We started with breakfast at 07-30 and then two orientation talks on how to get on and off skiff’s safely and in and out of kayaks. After lunch we headed out on our first skiff adventure and the scenery as expected took our breath away; with our guide Sarah describing the plants, the wildlife and the birds. The weather was just drizzle but we got quite wet just before the tour finished round the inlet when the rain got much heavier. After dinner talk was on Geology by Ted. Volcanoes, earthquakes, the Teutonic plate.
Monday and happy 47th anniversary! Cards were opened from daughters and folk various and we were off after breakfast (yep, still 07-30) on another much drier skiff tour. As always the promise was of bears and bald Eagles but at least this time we did see a mink scuttling along the bank. Lunch and Mary hit the hot tub; many of the other passengers having gone on an all day up hill walk. (😱) As she said, a slightly surreal experience on your anniversary, in a hot tub on the back of a ship in Alaska.
Just before dinner Brown Bear, spotted on the Port bow. During dinner Orcas spotted, three females, one male and one baby. In the room; strawberries coated in chocolate. Bottle of Cava. Little girl, “This is the happiest day of my life.” We didn’t do too badly either. 😉 Dolphin in front of boat on bow camera? It was a Dall’s porpoise.
After dinner an enthusiast and enthralling talk by Kelly on bird recognition.
Tuesday off to Clinquet’s dance but dude didn’t make it. So walk round Wrangell in the rain. Real frontier isolated town; a little unkempt and in need of TLC. Skiff out, skiff back. Lunch. Skiff out to shore, to big hut and dancing of native Indians, skiff back. Very one key, type tunes. Same dance every time but Clinquet language making a come back and their history. Big meeting hut built by themselves; two sheiks, (really?) Open that Cava, dude. Mary bought some weather proof pants. Trading Post; skins various. Fox, Bear, and Badger (🥴) oh yes and Beaver three ways. 😱Great educational and entertaining after dinner talk on the Gold Rush by Sarah.
Wednesday; Ideal Cove morning skiff ride. Le Conte bay afternoon for shore walk. The skiff ride was good with lots of sightings of Bald eagles, so much so one person wanted to rename the us, and we saw them on Eagle Island.kelly very enthusiastic and Sabrina the helmsperson (?) excellent and experienced. Hot chocolate with a shot of schnapps; churlish not to! Lunch. Ship sailed to Le Conte Bay, where the shore walk was really a skiff ride through amazing iceberg’s. Fantastic colours. Shore walk quite short due to tide problems. Hot Chinese tea. Skiff back through nature artist scene. After dinner talk by Rob on Whales. His father mega research that intrigued Jacques Cousteau. Fascinating stuff. Alaska feed to Hawaii to mate (never been recorded), to Alaska to feed back to Hawaii to give birth (11months pregnant.) Baby gains 10 to 12lbs per day, back to Alaska for mum to feed. Bedtime 21-30.
Thursday. Mary on walk, Malcolm on Skiff a.m. Afternoon both on shoreline walk. Into the loo for an early morning visit. As always, steadying myself on the shower handle as I stood up from the low elevated toilet. You are ahead of me here, aren’t you? A slight twist to the right resulted in the shower coming on. Some very wet hair and slightly soggy pyjamas were the out come. Skiff saw grey whale and two bald eagles on a rock; Mary saw skull eaten by wolves (fresh wolves poo) and bear poo. Sun shine briefly and clear skies to see miles! Beach walk in the sunshine for both of us, pretty tough terrain. Black Oyster catchers, pretty amazing shells. Bruce, (lovely guy from New Jersey) “If I was a geologist I would really be appreciating this.” Me, “Meaning you are not?” Bruce, “You catch on pretty quick.” Evening after dinner fun quiz conducted by Kelly.
Friday bright sunshine and ice passing the boat. Skiff tours delayed couldn’t get where we wanted to, too much ice. Plan B. Skiff set off about 9-30 trip round, waterfalls a plenty. More blue ice bergs. Picked one up and put in skiff. Back for lunch. Cruise in the sunshine to glacier number one. Just stunning. Many seals on floating ice. Slide show after dinner, brilliant atmosphere. Two glaciers. “That is a bona fide glacier,” Bruce. Bruce invited us to Boston!
Saturday we dock in Juneau; a fond farewell to the crew. And we do some laundry after getting off the boat and then a real struggle to find a camera shop to fix Mary’s camera. Again aided by the lovely Simon Smith back in the U.K. But to no avail the shop ‘open Saturday 12-00 till 17-00, is closed. No where to get a battery or a camera. 😡 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡
Flight to Anchorage tomorrow but dinner calls and an early night! Time to dance in our room!
Thanks for reading some pictures left over……….M & M ✈️✈️🇺🇸🇺🇸