Category: Friends


Walker Cove in Misty Fjords National Monument

Friday, 15 July 2016

We woke up – always a good thing – in Walker Cove, a beautiful and serene body of water where the reflections were mesmerizing, especially when the water was totally calm.

My photos for this day have gone missing, but fortunately Lou saved the day by capturing the morning activities. Kathy has supplied some shots from the afternoon, and I’ve got Catherine & Beth scouring their archives.

Perhaps an 8:30am start was too early for these two sleepy heads, but they soon recovered and were off for a long kayak paddle.

It is impossible to capture a photo of all four of the Holmes family looking ahead and smiling:

Click for larger version
Click for larger version

Click HERE for more Misty Fjords

Paddle Boards and More

The afternoon was all about hanging out in the cove and paddleboarding and kayaking. We saw a bear, and two crazy girls who couldn’t get enough of splashing around.

There go Olivia and Tory … wayyyyyy far away. Watch out girls, there are bears out there.

We enjoyed a nice dinner, and had a seat where we could look out the window … and sure enough, the bear came back to check things out.

Another Alaska day done. The girls spent the evening with new friends they’d made this week. The rest of us may have attended a presentation by an expedition guide, or we (most likely) went to bed early!

Click HERE for our final full day.

A Day in Traitor’s Cove

Thursday 14 July 2016

We were getting closer to Ketchikan, but still had two full days left. I imagine there were some folks out doing longer hikes and kayak paddles, but we did a skiff tour, then mostly hung out near the boat watching the girls have fun on (and in) the water.

Traitor’s Cove is one of the places where people fly in to see bears. While we weren’t in the prime bear viewing area, we did see a couple of bears – or maybe the same bear twice.

The people in the kayaks were not quite as close to the bear as it looks in the photos, but I remember thinking they were crowding the bear. It did not, however, seem stressed or bothered by humans floating in bright colored tubes.

As an aside, Lou and I paid about $750 each for a one day fly in trip to see bears in 2013. We saw no bears. We would have been ecstatic to see even one bear on the edge of the creek. It has been somewhat commonplace on this trip.

Folks from one of the early Skiff Tours zipping back to the boat:

Our group was called for our Skiff Tour and we set off. It was … interesting. We saw beautiful scenery, of course. Lots of eagles, and some very creepy seal skulls 💀

Kinda creepy, huh. Zombie seal skulls coming after us …

More beautiful scenery:

Back to the boat well before lunch, so time to play with kayaks and paddle boards. It certainly was a very pretty area, and we were enjoying some overcast skies, after having all that sunshine the past two weeks!

Click HERE to read about fun with paddle boards.

Wrangell, Elevation +/- 10 Feet

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After lunch, we motored towards Wrangell, our destination for the afternoon. A small city, it has become popular as a destination for smaller ships. It offers a chance to get a glimpse of life in small town Alaska, as well as opportunities to learn more about Tlingit history and culture.

Most of us followed our guides to Chief Shakes Tribal House, where we heard stories and musical presentations about life in the past. Lou chose to wander around town, and he saved the day. He took lots of photos, so we have something to share, since there were no photos allowed in the Tribal House..

The Chief Shakes Tribal House was restored and rededicated in 2013. It holds an important place in Tlingit History, and many of the totems were carved by master carvers and their apprentices.
This was taken at an earlier Restoration in 1940
Our group waits to go into the Tribal House

As I mentioned already, Lou skipped the Chief and wandered through town, taking photos of stuff he liked. He did the same during our 2013 visit, and always comes up with interesting photos. It’s a good thing, because I didn’t take any photos until we got back to the ship.

I’m sure there was a reason Lou took this photo, maybe he can share with us.

My favorite from Lou’s collection:

We set our course for Misty Fjords, and tried not to think about our time on the Wilderness Discoverer coming to an end in just a couple of days.

Click HERE to read about our next day’s adventure.

A Morning Hike

Wednesday 13 July 2016

We woke up near the Mill Creek area of the Tongass Forest, and set out for a hike through the woods, past a fish ladder, and ending at a picturesque lake, possibly Virginia Lake. I find no evidence of Beth in the morning photos, so she may have chosen to enjoy a quiet morning on the ship.

We found a pretty trail through the woods, with a few surpises along the way. This is considered a rain forest, and it is lush and green. The two folks we met on our hike were new friends from Australia.

Olivia did a bit of exploration …

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Once back onboard, we had lunch. I actually have a photo – it was Taco Day. This is Tory’s lunch … two tacos, two rolls. An interesting combo. Looks like the kids are getting some wisdom from Sean … our Zen Expedition Guide.

Click HERE to read about our visit to Wrangell.

More Evidence of Aliens in Alaska

Tuesday 12 July 2016

We all enjoyed a quiet morning, but things got dicy in the afternoon. Some of the group headed out for a strenuous hike, and the smart ones signed up for the skiff tour. The skiff tour started out on the dull side:

Ho hum, we have been seeing mountains and clouds for two weeks. Still, it was nice to see the sunshine so bright.

We could barely see one of the hiking groups after they had landed.

Things are starting to get interesting. This is obviously a glacier. The notes on our trip map say Baird Glacier (thanks Kathy), but it looks different from the approach we made to Baird Glacier on our last trip. Maybe we are on another part of it. I’m not doing a good job of showing we are actually in a skiff, and are carefully winding our way through very shallow water. When we make the next turn, we can see some caves in the ice.

I don’t know what those streaks are. I’m thinking there might be some type of alien radioactivity affecting the camera sensor. It did it on the second photo as well. I suppose it is possible it is the camera capturing drips from inside the cave, but that isn’t as much fun as alien interference. Our guides had to pose for a photo at the cave entrance.

This photo clearly shows the entrance to the cave. I’m guessing this is where the aliens stored their exploration vehicles when they didn’t want to take them back to the mother ship.

We can see the hikers again – that is Tory in the center in the pink jacket. We think perhaps we have better views of the alien caves from the skiff.

There is a lesson here. Sometimes the days that start slowly, and the adventures that seem “meh” at the beginning lead to uncharted territory, and to the best surprises of the trip. The photos may not do justice to the sights we saw, and the fun we had working our way towards the ice caves. Does anyone remember the name of this area? I’m sure I wrote the name of the glacier down in my notes, but that would have been, cough cough, a while ago.

Click HERE to read about our next adventure.