Month: October 2019

Alaska is filled with Small Alien Things

Monday 11 July 2016

Today was a shore walk. I love shore walks. We walk on the shore, of course, but the best part is looking for special things in the water and at the water’s edge. I am not very good at finding stuff, but I let others find it and I take a picture.

We needed two skiffs to get ashore, and we had an easy wet landing. Once on shore, we walked along and looked for stuff. I always like to get photos of our ship when we are either leaving or returning. I guess that makes me the ship’s photographer …

Now we start exploring and finding all kinds of very strange stuff. I’m sure it’s not strange if you know Alaskan Flora & Fauna, but I do find it strange and wonderful, and yes, as if aliens left stuff behind on one of their visits.

When going through my photos, I could not imagine why I had taken over 60 photos of this mish mash. Then I remembered – I was trying to catch the squirting of the mussels…

I thought I was mesmerized by the shore line creatures. Kathy may have taken it a little too far – she started wearing them.

Gosh Almighty, that is a ton of photos for one post. I seriously had forgotten how incredible some of our shore walks were, and it is delight to rediscover the wonders of our 2016 F&F trip.

Click HERE to go back to the boat with us, and see what the next adventure brings.

Guest Blog by Chrisie

As many of you know, Lou and I completed the sale of the Florida House in August. While happy to have only one house for Lou to manage 🙂 , it was also bittersweet as we have many great memories from our time at 50 Cayman Place. But life is about building new memories.

That leads us to this Guest Blog by Chrisie. I asked if she would contribute a story on their new house, and she kindly agreed. We are hoping she, Yan, and Louie will build many happy family memories in the new house. Here is Chrisie’s Guest Blog:

Here is our house.  It’s a big lot.  I love the big yard and how green everything is.

We moved last month..Yan and I knew that we wanted a house a little outside of town and one that may need a little work.  That’s exactly what we got. We love our home.  We LOVE our home. We are still figuring out where everything needs to go, but a little at a time and it’s coming together. It’s on a lot that’s over an acre and the school is great.

Yan has installed plumbing in the kitchen. We got a friend to put in cabinets and a counter for only labor cost. Our master bath will be done later this week. Yay! As you can see, there is a new toilet, shower and vanity. We will have to paint but that will come in time. We still have a lot of work to do but Louie loves his room and I love looking out the window at the yard.

It’s beautiful. We are so blessed. We are so grateful for the help we have received, and we give thanks every day.

Here is the window from my chair.  Yan is cutting the grass.  Little did we know how long it would take to cut this grass.  Just the front yard took 2 hours. Thank you, Grandma, for the lawn mower!!!
Yan installed the plumbing and the microwave outlet in the kitchen.  He is very handy to have around.  HGTV, here we come.  Fixer upper; Indonesian style.
Here is our kitchen now.  The counters were peeled back and had holes.  We were so thankful when my friend offered some scrap granite.
It is beautiful.  Once we get the shelves up in the cabinets, we will start unpacking the kitchen stuff.
We have a bathroom…almost.
It is coming along. I tried to get a picture of Mr. Nelson (he is the contractor who has been working on it) but he said no. :).
So here is a picture of me with our new sink. Isn’t it pretty?
A picture of our room. Thank you Uncle Lou and Aunt Sharon for giving us the furniture for our new house.
Louie loves his new bedroom! Thank you to Aunt Stephanie for his new bedding.
Here is our living room, right after we moved in
Louie getting ready for school

Fixer-uppers are a lot of work, but are so worth it!!!

Captain’s Choice

The UnCruise itinerary is always subject to change, maybe due to wildlife sightings, weather or ice conditions, or just because the Captain wants to go somewhere different. Captain Dano decided he was going to try to go up Tracy Arm to the Sawyer Glaciers. Not many boats had made it up there this year (meaning 2016, not 2019).

There was a ton of ice floating in our way, but he persevered and got very close before turning around. We could see parts of the glacier, but didn’t make it to the face. It was still exciting, because the shapes and colors of the ice were enough to keep us entertained for a couple of hours. I remember enjoying most of the afternoon cruise from the bridge. Passengers were almost always welcome to visit the bridge.

We must have stepped inside for dinner, and when we came back out on deck, we saw this bear. It was close to 8pm. Then a while later, we saw a lone whale. It was getting too dark to chase wildlife, but it had been a great day.

Click HERE to read about our exciting Shore Walk.

Dawes Glacier Continued

Everyone had the opportunity to get a skiff ride close to the glacier front. This is definitely a highlight of any glacier visit.

That’s enough of Dawes Glacier, even though we have many more photos. We had lunch and headed out of Endicott Arm. But Captain Dano had a surprise for us. Stay tuned.

Click HERE to see the surprise

Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier

Here we are again. Back to Alaska. It’s only been three short years. Make that 3 years and 3 months since these photos were taken. Welcome back to our 2016 Friends & Family Uncruise. This is our first full cruising day in Week 2. If you haven’t already, you can review Week 1 HERE.

To refresh your memory, here is the Map of our trip. We have already completed the Sitka to Juneau portion, and are now enroute from Juneau to Ketchikan.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Our itinerary shows we are headed through Endicott Arm, to Dawes Glacier. This is another beautiful area. Many cruise ships use this as their back-up if they cannot get into Tracy Arm. The fjord is wider and less subject to ice build up. For that reason, some consider it “second best.” This is our second time to Dawes Glacier, and we love it just as much as the Sawyer Glaciers at Tracy Arm. Different, but still appealing.

We were surprised (or at least I was surprised) to see so much ice in the channel. since we were already into July. But this did not deter Captain Dano, as he forged ahead in the tradition of the best ice breaker expedition ships.

There was very little ice in the water as we made the last turn towards the face of Dawes Glacier. The crew began getting the Skiffs ready, and we all had a chance to get up close to the glacier. Lou captured photos of the skiff as it headed towards the blue ice.

It is just a beautiful sight. I’ve tried not to exaggerate the colors we are seeing – oranges, blues, and some bright green. We aren’t done yet … more photos of the glacier coming up in the next post.

Click HERE for more Dawes Glacier Goodness.

Embarkation Week 2 – Plus Bonus Pics

We will start the reporting on Week Two of the 2016 F&F Uncruise Adventure with a look back to the end of Week One. I found some more photos of our group at Mendenhall Glacier when we were stopped in Juneau on 09 July 2016. So here we go, just for fun. Some of these are updated versions of the ones posted originally. Click to enlarge.

Week 2 officially started at 5pm when we boarded the Wilderness Discoverer. Everyone had the same rooms as before.  Our clean laundry was also delivered to our staterooms. Not sure why I have no photos of the reboarding process, but it was much like the first day- stand in line, get your picture taken, get escorted to your room … I also realized I haven’t posted any photos of our rooms. I forget not everyone has read our lengthy report on our 2013 voyage. The Wilderness Discoverer was not luxurious, but it was fairly comfortable. The rooms were small, but had their own bathrooms with shower. And truthfully, you don’t spend much time in the room. The room in the middle had a double and a twin, with a door to the outside deck. (Note – the room on the end was quite comfortable and was the choice for the elderly contingent).

As we motored out of Juneau, we saw a sister ship – the Wilderness Adventurer.  Their Captain shared an Orca sighting, so we were able to see Orcas on our first night out for Week No. 2.  They were rather lazy, just playing in the water, but it was still great to see them.

Click HERE to get started on our first full day of Week 2.