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I could live on a cruise!

July 15, 2009

Day 6 Sitka, Tuesday 07.13.09
We were up and out early today.  We left the boat at 7:30 so that we could have breakfast in town.  We walked down the main street in Sitka and found a neat little cafe.  It seated maybe 20 people.  We met some interesting local folks too.  I had the most wonderful Irish cream French toast with maple syrup and a marvelous blend of coffee.

After breakfast, we set off once more past the Alaskan Frontiersman’s Home, the oldest Russian Orthodox church on the North American continent (still in use) and the usual port full of shopping.  While we bought a few souveniers, mostly we just looked around.  Just about ever  vehicle parked along the street had a dog sitting in the front seat…I found that funny.  We were welcomed to the Lutheran church of Sitka and given a tour.  When the nice lady found out I could play, I was invited to play their original organ built in 1845.  It was my first time to play a pipe organ and, oh, the sound.  This experience will go down as one of my favorite ever.

We visited the Russian America Company.  This was a shopping experience unlike any other.  Babushka dolls were everywhere.  Some had 50 pieces.  They also sold chess sets and Faberge eggs.  All manner of hand painted items were sold there.  My favorites were Father Frost.   The one I liked best was seated on a polar bear and cost about $795.00.  Needless to say, I didn’t like it that much!!!

About 11 am, we headed back to the port to grab a quick beef kabob grilled in the open air.    They also offered fresh clam chowder and crab cakes.  It all smelled wonderful.   It was also fun to sit outside with the other tourists and watch all the port happenings.

At 1, we boarded the St. Tatiana, for a 3 hour tour…yeah, yeah complete with Maryann, Gilligan, and several professors.  We saw all manner of wildlife, birds, and otters, but the best sigtings were the humpback whales.  My pictures are awesome and I can’t wait to share.  Because we were on the water, the reflection was really bright…this is because Sitka actually had sunshine today…a very rare occurence, indeed.  I had sunscreen, a hat, a jacket, and a scarf but the wind blew so I received a rather bad burn in a Vee right at my throat….pretty bad and very red.

After the tour, we were taken directly to our ship and were boarded through the crew gangway.  That was different.  We arrived just in time to prepare for dinner, after which, we went to the casino for about 4 1/2 hours.  I pulled out 40 bucks and stuck it in a penny slot machine.  I won nearly $400.00.  Then we went to the piano lounge for a little music.  At 1:15am, it was still light.  How amazing is that?

Tomorrow is a day at sea, touring different sounds and glaciers.  I can’t wait.

Day 7, Prince William Sound and College Fjord.  07.14.09\

We slept in today til 8:30.  We’ve been up early most every day so a little extra shut-eye was nice.  My husband, being the morning person he is, was chipper as usual and he went up to the Lido for breakfast and brought me a muffin, coffee, and yogurt back to the room.   By the time he returned, I was at least feeling a bit more human.

Did a bit of laundry and hung it on a makeshift clothesline on our balcony.  It was really windy and cold out there and pretty overcast.  I did worry a little about my underwear taking flight so I anchored it down.  They only have 4 tiny washers and dryers on board for passenger use and there were terribly long lines to use those.  As usual, I just washed it all out in the sink.  There was only the two of us to wash up for…the ones I felt sorry for were the families on board.  Several of them had 6 and 8 kids.  Last day laundry would never do for them.

The scenery today leaves one speechless in awe and amazement.  More than ever, I wish I could get pictures posted.  What a world. Compressed ice without oxygen is blue.  Ice fields turn into glaciers and glaciers into rivers and waterfalls which often bring icebergs out to float in the Gulf of Alaska and in the Pacific Ocean.  This part of our tour took us into waters laden with glacier silt, where the ice and silt made the water look thick and gray, while on top of the water small ice bergs floated, some of which were filled with “dirty” ice, caused by volcanic ash from active volcanoes in the area. 

All day long, between packing, we took lots of pictures.  It finally came down to a pattern of activity.  Pack.  Check the laundry.  See the scenery.  Run for the camera.  Get really cold.  Run for shelter.  Start over.  Sea otters were sighted several times playing alongside the ship.  In the ice floes near College Fjord, we also saw seals.  The ship’s naturalist also told us she had seen bears on shore below the glaciers but I missed those.  The captain pulled us into the middle of College Fjord and then turned the ship around in a circle twice so that we could all stand in one set place and take pictures of all the glaciers in the Fjord.  There were several and all were named for universities.

Instead of returning to our table in the dining room tonight, we decided to check out the buffet on the Lido.  We could skip dressing up in that way and that would help our packing efforts.  After dinner, we went back to the casino and played the progressive slots again.  You win some.  You lose some.  Just like Forest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.

At 11:20 pm, with the sun still shining, we arrived in Whittier, where we will disembark in the morning.  This late night sunset just blows my mind.  The farther north we go, the later the sun sets each day.  It may never go down tonight.  It is still light outside now at 1:15 am.  I have to go to bed!!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Pat B permalink
    July 17, 2009 8:01 pm

    Hey world traveler! Tell Rodney we have purchased enough chocolate at Hershey and Wilbur Chocolate to satisfy even him! A picnic tomorrow and we head back tomorrow probably around 4-5 pm. As usual, Mr Texan wants to drive straight through. But Ashley drove a lot coming up so it might not be so bad. See you soon?

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