Month: August 2016

Back to Alaska – Glacier Bay National Park

(6 July 2016). Here is the first part of our day in Glacier Bay National Park.  The first few photos were taken at 4am, and show the milky aqua look you get at that time of the day.  The rest of the photos were taken around 7am … so people look pretty good for being up so early!

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People started getting up … early!  We had been cruising all night, so we could arrive in Glacier Bay National Park early in the morning to maximize our 24 hour permit.  Note – we were able to be here for 3 days in 2013, but things have changed.  It was still great.

Sisters … in front of Margerie Glacier – the most well known and popular Glacier in all of Glacier Bay National Park:

I always manage to get at least one photo of Lou in his “Captain’s Pose”

Some of the rest of the crew, enjoying hot chocolate or coffee at 7am before going out on deck:

I thought I was taking a photo of a harbor seal – not until I started looking at the photo did I realize these were otters.  Why did I not think otters would get out of the water onto an ice berg?

Lots more coming for this day — lot’s of glaciers and wildlife.

HaHa … you didn’t really think Lou jumped overboard, did you?  We can’t lose our resident photographer.  He captures all the long range shots when we get off the boat.

Click HERE to see more Glacier Bay.

Errand Day

Lou had to be away from the house for a few hours this afternoon. The dynamic duo spent the majority of the time waiting for his return:

Yes, they can sit like that for 2 to 3 hours at a time. Now that he is home and their world is okay again, it is time to rest:

Life is good for dogs.

 

Back to Alaska – July 5th – More Fun Stuff

(5 July 2016) This was one of the first cloudy mornings we saw on our trip – but nothing to complain about (click the photo to see a larger version):

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Lucky Break!  Today was Bacon Day aboard the Wilderness Discoverer.  Just a note – Lou and I did not think the food was as good on this trip as it was on our 2013 Adventure.  Even so, bacon at breakfast was a welcomed sight.

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Kathy & Beth show off the Activities Board – each morning we checked here to find out which activities we were doing, and what our times were.  Merrith, our expedition leader, did an excellent job giving everyone their preferred options.

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View of the ship as we head out for our skiff tour.  This is also the morning Catherine and Olivia did their first Snorkeling Adventure.

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These next few photos will look familiar – this is the skiff tour Beth reported on earlier.  Click a photo to see a slide show. This was my favorite skiff tour:

While we were out skiffing, Lou captured a photo of the snorkelers:

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And some folks out on a kayak adventure:

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Typical Alaska scenery, including some random wildlife:

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The snorkelers return from their underwater exploration:

We set sail after lunch and had an uneventful afternoon.  We did see some whales, but didn’t linger long.  We wanted to get to Gustavus to pick up our Ranger for the next day’s tour of Glacier Bay National Park.  We didn’t go ashore at Gustavus – a couple of crew members took the dingy to shore to pick up Ranger Patrick.

We continued cruising into the night, as our goal was to wake up in Glacier Bay National Park … which we do in our next post.

Click HERE to see if Lou falls overboard. 

Machias – It’s Blueberry Festival Time

We interrupt the tour of Alaska to bring a real time blog.  Lou and I are in Machiasport this weekend, visiting Kathy & Steve.  Kathy snagged front row seats for the Blueberry Festival Musical, and it was another big hit!

In case you are wondering, Natasha and Stitch are spending the weekend at the Canine Country Club.

The musical is held in the Congregational Church, and it always sells out:

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We arrived early to get our great seats, and also to enjoy the preliminary show presented by the orchestra.  They surely love playing to the crowd.

The title of this year’s production was “Blueberry to the Future.”  The show is a parody and was written and produced by a local high school music teacher.  Each year they choose a popular TV show, movie, or other theme to show us the importantance of Wild Maine Blueberries in the universe.

Young Doctor Hemmit Blue was a dead ringer for our dentist, Dr. Benson – and once Lou pointed it out, I could only imagine our dentist on the stage:

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A very popular and lively number was “They’re Raking Men” (those are blueberry rakes), sung to the tune of “It’s Raining Men.”

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The Tambourine Toccatas have a part in every year’s show:

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The final number featured the whole cast and the little Oompa Loompa Blueberry Fairies:

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It was a heck of a lot of fun!  Today (Saturday) we went to the Festival and checked out all the crafts.  Fortunately, it was a cool day, so we were able to walk around for a couple of hours.  We then had a huge lunch at a local favorite – Helen’s Restaurant.  Just chilling tonight with Kathy and Steve.

 

Guest Blog – Kathy & Steve Go On a Trek & a Skiff Tour

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The day started with Steve leaving on an adventure to hike a Forest Service trail on George Island to view an old WWII cannon put there in 1942 by the Navy to protect the area. Unfortunately in the process of testing the canon with the 4th test shot a gun mount sheared and the gun jumped back several inches. The gun was out of commission for the rest of the war. Catherine, Mark, Olivia and Tori also did the same tour, but with a different guide.

Luckily Steve returned from his hike adventure in time to join Sharon, Beth & me on our afternoon skiff tour around George Island piloted by Captain Dano. This was a wonderful surprise, we had no idea Dano also piloted skiff tours.

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As usual it was another sunny day in Alaska and the water was calm. We had a beautiful view of a glacier from out in the skiff.

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One of the many curious things about nature is plants/trees growing out of rocks, everywhere you looked, you found something surprising

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As we puttered around the island looking at the landscape, the sky, the water, etc. we came upon a short cut through the island. It looked narrow and barely passable, but our able captain piloted us through it with no problem. I have a feeling it wasn’t the first time he’d been through there…

(Thanks, Beth, for sharing these last two photos)

Once on the other side, we had another gorgeous glacier view.

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The water was gorgeous in some areas.

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And, oh look, the canon that Steve hiked up to see, even more visible from the water!

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There was a disturbance in the water and suddenly these little fish were everywhere.  There were also seals and some otters in the area.

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Here’s another shortcut the Captain was considering, but the wind had picked up a bit so we didn’t try it. I think we could have made it!

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It certainly was a memorable skiff ride!

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Thank you, Kathy for sharing one of your favorite Skiff Rides.  I think we will see some more photos of this ride in a future guest blog … wink, wink.  

Click Here to see what dangers lie in wait for our intrepid travelers.