Friday, August 21, 2009

How To Read This Blog:


The last post is the top post. So you are actually reading about my trip to Alaska from the end to the beginning. I started posting photos only after I returned home. Posts from the ship are narrative only and begin with the post at the left that is entitled Final Day at Sea. It's quite away down the list.

As you scroll downward on this opening page, you will get to the bottom eventually and see a little notation on the right hand side that says "Older Posts." You can click that to get to the next oldest post. And keeping doing it to see all the photos as you get through each page. Or you can jump around and click on stuff at the left as you wish.

Thanks for joining me!

My next adventure is right around the corner and I'll post it all right here.

P.S. To enlarge a photo, CLICK on it. If I do say so myself, some of 'em are worth enlarging. Be sure you see Glacier Bay and College Fjord and the whales and...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vancouver at 6:00 am:

Ungodly hour! This is the last shot on my camera. Shortly after this, we disembarked the ship to catch a bus for Seattle. (DON'T FORGET WE'RE GOING FROM THE END TO THE BEGINNING HERE. That's just the way blogs work--so don't blame me.)

Last Night Aboard Ship:

Had to spend part of it out on deck.

Tried to catch one last sunset...Actually, we didn't see a lot of sunsets on this trip. This is a land of low-lying clouds kissing the mountaintops.

Fading fast...

Day's end.

We drowned our sorrow that the trip was ending and celebrated our great fortune in having been able to experience and enjoy it with the best margaritas on the ship, made in the Club Fusion lounge. (Kay, my sister, didn't drink 'em both--one is mine.)

Exploring Misty Fjords:

The name Misty Fjord proved a misnomer. After all the mist we had on this trip, the one place we expected it to be misty, it wasn't.

Edgington Rock.

Another view of this cool landmark.

Thick spruce forest covers the land. Some aspen, too. Wolves, bears, eagles, deer and elk live here.

The Fjord keeps opening to new vistas.

Kay enjoying the view.

No end of mountain majesty.

Float plane coming in for a landing.

This little raft in the middle of the wilderness is for picking up float plane passengers doing a flight/boat combo trip.

Float plane departing after picking up boat passengers.

Reddish stained petroglyphs from pre-contact period. Appeared to be bear claws. One looked like the sun.

Back to the colorful harbor at Ketchikan.

Cruising into Ketchikan:

Will it be sunny today--or overcast?

Signs of civilization appear.

Island buoy and marker.

Almost there!

This is the all-important Alaskan ferry. With no roads between so many towns, the waterways are the highways.

Float planes--the work horses of Alaska--were constantly taking off and landing.

Seaside architecture. They must have a great view!

Ship secured.

And yes, I think it will be sunny today!

North Pass Whale Watching:

Frolicking whales. This is what we came to see!

Shallow dive.

Well, all right then--leave if you must.

Can you find the three whales?

Not sure what's happening here but there's at least two whales involved--one diving, one chasing.

Possible Mom and calf pair.


Perfect dive. The pattern on the fluke (tail) is what identifies the whale. This one, we were told, was known as "Spot" for the black spot on its tail.

We didn't get a name for this one!

This is called pec slapping. Pecs or pectoral fins on these guys are about fifteen feet tall.

Whale surfaces close to the boat.

Gull flies past whale after I asked them nicely to pose for me.

Bald eagle fishing.

Two blowing whales. Blows make them easy to spot.

Gulls follow a blowing whale. This is how they breathe. (The whales, not the gulls.)

Lone gull crosses our bow. If you look closely, you can see a whale behind it.

Roundout of a humpback whale. Very distinctive for this species.

Auke Harbor: Point of entry and departure for North Pass.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hiking in Alaskan Tongass Rainforest:

It's looking a little spooky in here! The moss grows on ALL sides of the trees.

What do you do if you see a bear again?

Read the sign, dummy! (To read this, click on photo to enlarge.)

Where there's berries, there must be...birds? (Or bears.)

Daisies in Alaska. Do daisies grow everywhere?

Who knew they had ferns this far north?

Alaskan mushrooms.

Sockeye salmon spawning, after which they will die.

Back to the bus for the next adventure.