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More 5/25: Embarkation Day – Week 2

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After finishing up the flightseeing tour, we were dropped off at the Cape Fox Lodge.  There, we visited with some of the people from Week 1 who were preparing to go home.  We didn’t need to check in, but were able to use the meeting room to catch up on internet activities (like bill paying).  We took the cute funicular down from the Cape Fox Lodge into the Creek Street Area:

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Creek Street is a very “cute” part of Ketchikan.  It is lined with souvenir shops, but there are also galleries, restaurants and a few drinking establishments.  It reminded us of Frontierland at Disneyworld.   Fortunately, today was not a crowded day since there was only one large ship in town.  We enjoyed meandering around, although we didn’t buy anything other than a sweatshirt.

Ketchikan Creek - flowing through the Creek Street area - this was once a red light district, and you can tour Dolly's House if you want to see what a brothel looked like

Ketchikan Creek – flowing through the Creek Street area – this was once a red light district, and you can tour Dolly’s House if you want to see what a brothel looked like

 

We found the perfect shirt for Lou!  Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it in his size.  I may have to track it down over the internet one of these days.

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Lou insisted on a photo of the Alaskan Railroad model locomotive.  I look like an Alien Cyborg in the reflection:

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It was time for lunch and we had vouchers for the restaurant at Cape Fox Lodge – these were given to all passengers who were continuing on the next leg of the journey, and we each had $25 to spend for lunch!  Sounds like a lot, but it wasn’t difficult to spend that in the nicer restaurants.

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25MayPM-14We chose the lightly battered halibut and a cheeseburger for lunch – I love halibut and ordered it every chance I could.  We were also craving something spicy, so an order of buffalo wings with a zesty sauce fit the bill.  This lunch would satisfy our need for fried foods for a week.  One good thing about the Wilderness Discoverer –  there was very little fried food served.  That made it okay to have cookies for lunch.

 
 

After a leisurely lunch, we did some more visiting and surfing on the web, then went back for another stroll through town and took a few photos. There is also time to do a walking or bus tour.  Here are some of the snapshots from the day:

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We didn’t explore the more commercial part of town; the large cruise ships have brought an influx of jewelry shops and such that don’t appeal to us.  Make sure you check the shop you’re buying from if you want authentic Alaskan souvenirs.

We wandered back towards the dock at 3:30pm.  Boarding wasn’t until 5pm, but rumor was returnees might be allowed back onboard early.  We hung out for half an hour or so, and once enough of us were there, we stormed the gangplank and took over the ship.  OK, we were invited to come aboard.

Even the benches and trash cans are cute - this is in the waiting area at the port

Even the benches and trash cans are cute – this is in the waiting area at the port

 

The Island Princess was making announcements, trying to round up all its passengers for their departure

The Island Princess was making announcements, trying to round up all its passengers for their departure

 

The Wilderness Discoverer, dwarfed by the Island Princess

The Wilderness Discoverer, dwarfed by the Island Princess

 

There was some hanky panky taking place on the aft deck!

There was some hanky panky taking place on the aft deck!

 

Turns out - it was just some errant boots from the pile kept on board for guests

Turns out – it was just some errant boots from the pile kept onboard for guests

 

We watched the new arrivals  go through the boarding process

We watched the new arrivals go through the boarding process

 

Chris greeted everyone with the first of his many special cocktails

Chris greeted everyone with the first of his many specialty cocktails

 

Everyone gathered on Deck 3 as we cruised away from Ketchikan, and we prepared for the Emergency Muster Drill

Everyone gathered on Deck 3 as we cruised away from Ketchikan, and we prepared for the Emergency Muster Drill

 

Now, here are two mischief makers :)  This is one of the couples continuing on from the first week.

Now, here are two mischief makers *smile*.  This is one of the couples continuing on from the first week.  I thought there were 20-some people continuing into Week 2, but my notes say 14 …

 

Leaving Ketchikan

Leaving Ketchikan

 

We passed by Guardian Lighthouse as we were eating dinner.

We passed by Guardian Lighthouse as we were eating dinner.  Dinner choices included teriyaki salmon or game hen and wild rice.  Topping off the meal was a delicious chocolate decadence cake with raspberry sauce.

 

9PM, and its smooth and calm outside.  Just a hint of color in the sky.

9pm, and it’s smooth and calm outside with just a hint of color in the sky.

After a nightcap, catching up with friends from the first week, and meeting new passengers, we went to bed eager to see what the week would bring.  One of us was hoping for more wildlife, still obsessed with seeing more whales.

5/25: Misty Fjords Flightseeing with Island Wings

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I found out about the Island Wings flight seeing tour on the Cruise Critics forum, where it gets rave reviews.  We were fortunate to book a spot for our arrival morning in Ketchikan – and we couldn’t have had a more perfect day.  There were some clouds, but no rain.  Michelle, the owner and pilot, said this was perfect flying weather.  We certainly agree, after our fantastic experience.

Upon arrival at the small Island Wings dock, we checked in and left our backpacks in the office.  Our adventure was about to begin …

These gorgeous creatures were feasting on barnacles at the Island Wings pier

These gorgeous creatures were feasting on barnacles at the Island Wings pier

Another creature from the deep; Anyone remember the X-Files episode, "Ice," where Mulder & Scully investigated the mysterious deaths of Alaskan researchers who discovered parasitic organisms in the ice?

Another creature from the deep; Anyone remember the X-Files episode, “Ice,” where Mulder & Scully investigated the mysterious deaths of Alaskan researchers who discovered parasitic organisms in the ice?

Lady Esther, a beautifully maintained DeHavilland Beaver

Lady Esther, a beautifully maintained DeHavilland Beaver

There were five of us going on the trip, plus Michelle as our pilot.  Lou was given the co-pilot’s seat for the first half of the flight and he enjoyed it.  The windows in Lady Esther were impeccably maintained, so it was fairly easy to get good photos without much effort.  Michelle does ask that you are careful and avoid knocking your lens against the windows.  For this reason, I used my small pocket camera, but it did just fine.

We lifted off over Ketchikan Harbor, and flew towards Misty Fjords.  Michelle provided interesting narration, and also gave us time just to enjoy the wonders we were seeing.  We landed on a small island, where we all got off the plane, stretched our legs, and posed for Michelle as she took our photos.

The photos don’t need any narration, but one comment about our landing out in Misty Fjords; Michelle told us an inexperienced pilot might have difficulties when the water is so still, and the reflections so perfect.  Fortunately, she is very experienced and our landing was smooth!  Also, you can see a comparison of the Wilderness Discoverer to the much larger Island Princess as we do a fly by on our departure and return.

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By the time we’d picked up our bags after arriving back at Island Wings, Michelle already had the next group lining up and getting into Lady Esther.  We waved goodbye, as there were some of our fellow passengers onboard this trip as well.

Posing for a photo - hmmmnn, doesn't look like Michelle :)

Posing for a photo – hmmmnn, doesn’t look like Michelle…

The group was already taxiing away once we made it to the top of the ramp

The group was already taxiing away once we made it to the top of the ramp

If you are ever in Ketchikan, we’d highly recommend a tour with Island Wings.  It was a highlight of our trip, and that’s saying a lot! After having such an amazing day un-cruising through Misty Fjords, seeing it from the air added to the magic.

5/25: Ketchikan & The End of Week 1

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We had a short cruise to Ketchikan on Saturday morning.  After sleeping in until 7am, the first thing I did was check the Wildlife Board on the way to the lounge. This was an informal and fun way to keep track of our wildlife sightings.

Well, son of a …………gun!  Look at that – whales spotted at 5:15am.

The first morning I wasn't up at the crack of dawn, and the whales show up.  All I could do was laugh.

One of the few mornings I wasn’t up before the crack of dawn, and the whales show up. All I could do was laugh.

Breakfast – scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit, and more – was available as we cruised into Ketchikan.  It always rains in Ketchikan, or so they say.  We had another nice day on the horizon.

The sights as we get close to Ketchikan

The sights as we get close to Ketchikan

Passing by where the big ships dock on the way to our spot

Passing by where the big ships dock on the way to our spot

Colorful houses on the hill

Colorful houses on the hill

Fishing, along with tourists, fuels the local economy

Fishing, along with tourists, fuels the local economy

We all gathered in the lounge, ready to disembark at 8:30am.  We didn’t have to pack today, because we would be in our same cabin for Week No. 2 of our Un-Cruise.  All we had to do was put our dirty laundry in a bag, and by magic, it will appear clean and nicely folded when we returned to our cabin this afternoon.

Disembarking was a sad process for those who weren't joining Week 2 on the Wilderness Discoverer.

Disembarking was a sad process for those who weren’t joining Week 2 on the Wilderness Discoverer.

There were hugs for the crew as we departed - it was certainly a successful week.

There were hugs from the crew as we departed – it was certainly a successful week.

We had the day to explore Ketchikan, since we wouldn’t be re-boarding the ship until after 4pm.  We had previously booked a Flight Seeing Tour over Misty Fjords with Island Wings, another company that comes highly recommended.  We walked a short way to the “Liquid Sunshine Gauge” in town, where a nice young man picked us up in an Island Wings van.

A look at one of the Ketchikan downtown streets (we missed the classic "Welcome to Ketchikan Banner.")

A look at one of the Ketchikan downtown streets (we missed the classic “Welcome to Ketchikan Banner.”)

Ironically, our first stop in the Island Wings van was at the Cape Fox Lodge - this is where we will be meeting up for Leg 2 of our trip. We picked up 3 more folks for our flight - they were also going to be on the ship the next week.

Ironically, our first stop in the Island Wings van was at the Cape Fox Lodge – this is where we will be meeting up for Leg 2 of our trip. We picked up 3 more folks for our flight – they were also going to be on the ship the next week.

We’ll pick up our Flightseeing Tour in the next post.  Here’s a recap of our first week on the Wilderness Discoverer:

Thoughts on Week 1, the Eastern Coves of the Inside Passage:

sceneryAlaska Scenery – A+  We were so fortunate with the weather, once we left Juneau. Both Tracy Arm and Misty Fjords provided the most amazing examples of wonderful landscapes and our planet’s natural wonders. The opportunities to anchor overnight in beautiful bays provided a chance to take in more of Alaska’s beauty.  The weather was the true star of the week.

finWildlife Sightings – C  We saw a few whales, lots of Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoise, some eagles and other birds, and some sea otters from afar. Oh, and a bear and some mountain goats … on the very distant shore. The afternoon of our first full day was our best for Wildlife – it was sparse after that. We prepared ourselves before the trip that seeing wildlife was hit or miss, especially this early in the season. This is just how it is in Alaska, and isn’t a reflection on Un-Cruise Adventures.  Our guides did everything they could to find wildlife, and our captain was always willing to stop the ship if we found something.  Not every cruise is going to match up to the photos in the brochure – but some do … keep reading to see how we fared in the next two weeks.

Fortunately, the wonders of the scenery more than made up for the lack of wildlife. And, we had 2 more weeks to go. We felt a little sorry for those who only had the one week on the boat, but most didn’t seem too disappointed – the scenery was so amazing, and the activities kept us busy.

DrinksLife Onboard – A  The Wilderness Discoverer was very comfortable. Our accommodations were good. The ship is clean and obviously well maintained.  The crew was outstanding – friendly, helpful, professional, and all willing to help with anything you needed.  The food was tasty, and plentiful – we never went hungry. We also met so many nice people, and this was an unexpected benefit of cruising on the small ship.

RockweedOff Boat Activities – B  We enjoyed the skiff tours, and found kayaking wasn’t for us. We didn’t do any hikes on Week 1, because I was overly cautious.  Some people were disappointed in the more strenuous hikes – they said they were too slow with too much stopping and talking about plants and such. Most who loved kayaking were in heaven – they said it was some of the best they’d done.  A key learning – if you aren’t happy with the way things are going, speak up.  The crew will do what they can to take care of you.  And remember – this report is about our experience.  Others will have a different perspective.

Overall, it was an A+ week that exceeded expectations, and we were looking forward to the coming weeks. But first, it was time to get on with today’s activity in Ketchikan.

5/24: Misty Fjords National Monument

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Today was our last full day of cruising and we were going to anchor in Misty Fjords. Popping out on deck before 5am, it looked like we would have another good day, even though it had been a little choppy last night.

Still no sunshine, but the water calmed down, and it looks to be another nice day

We must be close - it looks misty around the bend

We must be close – it looks misty around the bend

I had read a little about Misty Fjords National Monument, but didn’t have a good idea of what to expect. We’d been to Milford Sound in New Zealand – which is really a fjord – would it be like that? We got some history from our guides about Misty Fjords National Monument – proclaimed a National Monument and Wilderness Area by Jimmy Carter in 1978. It includes 2.3 million acres of the Tongass National Forest, and is 40 miles east of Ketchikan.

From Wikipedia:

The area is called “The Yosemite of the North” for its similar geology. Light-colored granite, about 50 to 70 million years old (Eocene Epoch to Cretaceous Period) has been sculpted by glaciers that gouged deep U-shaped troughs throughout the monument. Many of the glacial valleys are filled with sea water and are called “canals”, but they are not man-made in any way; the walls of these valleys are near-vertical and often rise 2,000 to 3,000 feet (600 to 900 m) above sea level, and drop 1,000 feet (300 m) below it.

We anchored before breakfast, and the serious kayakers left shortly after.  We were impressed with the number of people who kayaked every chance they could – sometimes out for several hours at a time on the longer guided tours.  This was the same group who always picked the most strenuous hikes.  And, age wasn’t a determining factor for who joined the Active Group – people in there 70s were right there with some of the younger folks.

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We saw lots of float planes flying through the Fjords:

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Our Skiff Tour was at 9:30am.  While it must have been great in the kayaks, I was glad to be in a skiff and able to take photographs – photos from today are some of our favorites from the trip; our only regret is we didn’t take the good cameras. The natural beauty was beyond expectations, and the combination of mist, calm water, and being right on the water made the reflections seem almost magical.

It got better and better as we cruised around - waterfalls, crazy reflections, and steep cliffs.

It got better and better as we cruised around – waterfalls, crazy reflections, and steep cliffs.

Some of our favorite photos from the morning:

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Sites at Misty Fjords

Too soon, we were coming back to the Wilderness Discoverer.  Misty Fjords National Monument is a treasure, and one you have to see to believe.  This morning matched Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers for jaw-dropping awesomeness.  And, we still had more to come.

The WIlderness DIscoverer,  waiting patiently for everyone to finish playing

The Wilderness Discoverer, looking perfectly at home in the still waters of Misty Fjords

The crew had one more surprise for us before lunch.  It was Polar Plunge Day !!!  This is another one of the crazy ideas where people can jump into the icy cold water.  There were quite a few jumpers – and some went in more than once.  No one stayed in the water long, that’s for sure.  We were told it was about 45 degrees F.  Here are some photos of some of the crew doing the Polar Plunge – there were plenty of passengers who jumped as well.  Meet Chris, the Bartender and Unofficial Ombudsman; Niles, the Hotel Manager; and Paul – our Wellness Instructor (he should know better! )

The polar plunge !!!

Lunch options today included Vegetable or Ham & Cheddar wraps, Split Pea Soup, and Penne Salad with Bay Shrimp.  We spent the afternoon awestruck over the sights of the steep walls of the fjord, many cascading waterfalls, and more.  We saw a few birds and waterfowl, but no other wildlife.  And, you know what?  It didn’t matter that we didn’t see a whale, a bear, or a mountain goat today – the scenery was just that spectacular.

Here is a sampling of our afternoon – I think we all had sore necks from gazing upwards:

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Tonight was the Captain’s Dinner, and the menu choices were tempting.  We chose the Beef Tenderloin with Dungeness Crab, and as usual, everything was great.  We also had a chance to thank the crew for their outstanding service during the week – both with applause and by adding our gratuity to the week’s tab.  Gratuities on the Wilderness Discoverer were split between all of the crew members.  This was a fair system, because everyone jumped in to do whatever needed to be done, and all of their job roles contributed to a successful Un-Cruising Week.  The recommended gratuity is 10% of your booking fee.  This may be more than on the large cruise ships, but the extra level of service on the small ship was worth it.

It had been a very full day, but almost everyone stayed up for the after dinner presentation.  The guides put together a slide show for us from photos they had taken throughout the week.  We all had some laughs as we watched the show.

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5/23: Yes Bay

23May-70I wasn’t up until 6am today, so missed the early morning photography opportunities. Lou always managed to sleep later, even occasionally skipping breakfast.  We were in Yes Bay, and were anchored next to Yes Bay Lodge, a popular place for fishermen to fly into from Ketchikan.  The plan was to be anchored all day, so we decided to step out of our comfort zone and try two activities: our favorite – the Skiff Tour, and Kayaking.

Yet another beautiful anchorage - here the crew is checking to make sure the anchor and chain are OK

Yet another beautiful anchorage – here the crew is checking to make sure the anchor and chain are OK

The morning starts with a latte or cappuccino. There is a $2.50 charge to get the special coffees - you just keep a tally until the end of the week. Brewed coffee and tea are free.

The morning starts with a latte or cappuccino. There is a $2.50 charge to get the special coffees – you just keep a tally until the end of the week. Brewed coffee and tea are free.

Finally wised up and realized taking a photo of the daily menu would be an easy way to remember what we had each day.

As I was snapping a photo through the lounge window, a float plane flew into view...

As I was snapping a photo through the lounge window, a float plane flew into view…

It was float plane central off the starboard side

It was float plane central off the starboard side

We had some time before our Skiff Tour, so I watched the first group get ready to go on their snorkeling adventure.  This activity had a small add-on charge, and there were quite a few adventurous souls.  They said they had a good time, and it was only cold when they got out of the water.

Getting ready to snorkel in the cold Alaska water is a team event

Getting ready to snorkel in the cold Alaska water is a team event

Perhaps the guys are laughing because they realize what a crazy idea this is!

Perhaps the guys are laughing because they realize this is a crazy idea!

We were up for the mid-morning Skiff Tour, and once again had Captain Dano as our guide.  He knows the area well, and was able to tell us lots of stories – that seems to be a specialty of his.  Apparently this can be a sure thing to see bears when the salmon are running later in the summer.

Here are photos from our Skiff Tour – we saw a Blue Heron and a Juvenile Bald Eagle.  As usual, we tried our darndest to find a bear, but no luck even though we looked in many possible hiding places.

Captain Dano tells us about Yes Bay, and explains why some trees lean over

Captain Dano tells us about Yes Bay, and explains why some trees lean over

Juvenile Bald Eagles maintain this coloring until they are 4-5 years old

Juvenile Bald Eagles maintain this coloring until they are 4-5 years old

Photos from the skiff tour

Here are some photos from the hikers:

Tasty fish tacos for lunch, and then it was time to try kayaking – we thought we should try it at least once during our first week. We watched the experts while awaiting our turn:

The best dressed couple on the trip - and also among the most active. These folks also did the 3 week Ultra Adventure, and they were up for all of the activities.

The best dressed couple on the trip – and also among the most active. These folks also did the 3 week Ultra Adventure, and they were up for all of the activities.

Hey - isn't the guy in the back supposed to be paddling? (Note - rumor has it, he is a very accomplished kayaker, and this is another duo who were very active)

Hey – isn’t the guy in the back supposed to be paddling? (Note – rumor has it, he is a very accomplished kayaker, and this is another duo who were very active)

Lou gets in the kayak easy enough, but finds he's too tall and his back wasn't happy. Once I was in, they just pushed us off into the water ... and, we didn't tip over.

Lou gets in the kayak easy enough, but finds he’s too tall and his back wasn’t happy. Once I was in, they just pushed us off into the water … and, we didn’t tip over.

My one and only photo from the kayak - if we don't count the next one. Of course, there's no way to prove we are actually in the kayak.

My one and only photo from the kayak – if we don’t count the next one. Of course, there’s no way to prove we are actually in the kayak.

I tried to take a photo of Lou in the back - it didn' t work out so well.

I tried to take a photo of Lou in the back – it didn’ t work out so well.

OK – we tried kayaking, we weren’t very good.  Lou still says he wants to get kayaks for home – we’ll see.  I preferred riding in the skiffs because it was better for taking photos.  But – for folks who love kayaking, it’s hard to think of a better way to do it than on an Un-Cruise Adventure trip.  We relaxed after our activities, and before we knew it, it was time to eat – again!

Salads were offered every evening - the dressings were freshly made and often were a citrus or berry-based vinaigrette - very good.

Salads were offered most evenings – the dressings were freshly made and often were a citrus or berry-based vinaigrette – very good.

We both chose the bacon wrapped scallops - delicious, although I skipped the bacon. I like mine crispy (which obviously wouldn't wrap around a scallop)

We both chose the bacon wrapped scallops – delicious, although I skipped the bacon. I like mine crispy (which obviously wouldn’t wrap around a scallop)

Our dinner companions are helping me get over a fear of people - fear of taking their photo, that is.  There was no assigned seating at mealtimes - you just picked a seat anywhere you wanted.  Most people were happy to mix it up and it was a good way to get to meet new people.

Our dinner companions are helping me get over a fear of people – fear of taking their photo, that is. There was no assigned seating at mealtimes – you just picked a seat anywhere you wanted. Most people were happy to mix it up and it was a good way to get to meet new people.

Lou relaxes on the top deck after dinner. An unexpected benefit of small ship cruising is all the nice people you meet.  The couple on the left is from Australia, and we found out we had visited "D's" brother's Winery on our last trip to South Australia. We had quite a few folks on the cruise from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and from all around the US.  There were a surprising number of "it's a small world" connections as we met people who had attended the same schools, or lived in some of the same places we did.

Lou relaxes on the top deck after dinner. An unexpected benefit of small ship cruising is all the nice people you meet. The couple on the left is from Australia, and we found out we had visited “D’s” brother’s Winery on our last trip to South Australia. We had quite a few folks on the cruise from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and from all around the US. There were a surprising number of “it’s a small world” connections as we met people who had attended the same schools, or lived in some of the same places we did.

We had another amazing light show tonight:

Youngsters (and fellow Floridians) enjoying the view. We were pleasantly surprised to find a wide range of age groups on the trip - young, medium, and old (us),  and people were from many different backgrounds.

Youngsters (and fellow Floridians) enjoying the view. We were pleasantly surprised to find a wide range of age groups on the trip – young, medium, and old (us), and people were from many different backgrounds.

The hot tub is warmed up and ready - there were two hot tubs on the ship.

The hot tub is warmed up and ready – there were two hot tubs on the ship.

Ho Hum - just another beautiful sunset in Alaska, as we take off for Misty Fjords

Ho Hum – just another beautiful sunset in Alaska, as we take off for Misty Fjords

5/22: Wrangell, A Change of Pace

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No kayaking or hiking on today’s agenda – the anchor was up and the engines were on shortly before breakfast. We were headed to the small town of Wrangell, 155 miles South of Juneau. Wrangell sits on Wrangell Island, and you need a boat or airplane to get there. It has a strong cultural history, with the Tlingit people having settled here long ago. (Note – Tlingit is pronounced like “Klink-it.”)

The time stamp on this photo says 3:48am ...

The time stamp on this photo says 3:48am … early morning was the best time to catch the water when it was eerily calm

One of the Alaska Ferry boats - the Marine Highway is the primary transportation system for people who live or visit island communities like Wrangell

One of the Alaska Ferry boats – the Marine Highway is the primary transportation system for people who live or visit island communities like Wrangell

While underway, Hannah - one of our five Expedition Guides - gave a talk about Tlingit Art and some folks tried their had at the techniques.

While underway, Hannah – one of our five Expedition Guides – gave a talk about Tlingit Art and some folks tried their hand at the techniques.

Chris, our favorite bartender, surprised us with his "Drink of the Day" special before lunch - it was available with or without alcohol

Chris, our favorite bartender, surprised us with his “Drink of the Day” special before lunch – it was available with or without alcohol

Here are some more photos from the morning as we cruised to Wrangell

And a few more photos before we reached Wrangell

The final approach into Wrangell.  Could we have had a nicer day?

The final approach into Wrangell. Could we have had a nicer day?

Since we were a small ship, we could dock at Wrangell. During the summer, there are often kids at the dock selling garnets - which only they can mine in the local pit.

Since we were a small ship, we could dock at Wrangell. During the summer, there are kids at the dock selling garnets – which only they can mine in the local pit.

We had a hamburgers for lunch onboard before setting off to explore. There was an option to take a group tour to Chief Shake’s Tribal House, or wander around on your own.  We knew we would have the opportunity to learn more about Tlingit culture next week, so we opted to stroll around on our own.  We visited the Wrangell Museum, which was very well done, and the Totem Park. We were pleasantly surprised to see so many flowers in bloom already.

A couple of our friendly fellow passengers were kind enough to pose for a photo before we all took off on our adventures

A couple of our friendly fellow passengers were kind enough to pose for a photo before we all took off on our adventures

Wrangell is home to the oldest Catholic Church in Alaska

Wrangell is home to the oldest Catholic Church in Alaska; it’s called Saint Rose of Lima.

One of several nice photos Lou took of the flowers

One of several nice photos Lou took of the flowers

Lou took photos at the museum, and during our walk around town.

We were all back onboard and ready to roll by 5pm. I think everyone had a good time in Wrangell, and we certainly enjoyed the perfect weather. We were also looking forward to dinner - Chef Jo was serving crab legs.

We were all back onboard and ready to roll by 5pm. I think everyone had a good time in Wrangell, and we certainly enjoyed the perfect weather. We were also looking forward to dinner – Chef Jo was serving crab legs.

Delicious Crab Legs with boiled potatoes and lots of butter - tasty!

Delicious Crab Legs with boiled potatoes and lots of butter – tasty!

I haven’t mentioned the evening programs held most nights after dinner – mostly because I was usually on deck taking photos, or already in bed.  Lou managed to stay up for several of the programs and enjoyed them. We were treated to talks about our route, about Alaskan Wildlife, Intertidal Creatures, and more.  There was also a library on board where you could read about many Alaska-related topics.

As we cruised towards Yes Bay for another day of water activities and hiking, we were treated to some amazing evening light.

This was taken at 8:50pm, just before sunset, and the pink clouds were just getting started

This was taken at 8:50pm, just before sunset, and the pink clouds were just getting started

More of the evening sky – there were more folks out taking photos than we’d seen earlier in the cruise