6/1: Back to Juneau – the end of Week 2
One last shot from the deck outside our cabin. We’d been un-cruising most of the night as we made our way to Juneau, where we reached the dock at 7am or so. Time to put our bags out, have one last breakfast, and say farewell to new friends before disembarking at 8:30am.
Last week, we knew we’d be getting back on the Wilderness Discoverer, but we were sad this week. We’d had such a good time, and even though we had another week to go, we weren’t sure what to expect.
It’s funny how you can get so comfortable in just two short weeks.
They say it always rains in Ketchikan, but we had sunshine there; not so in Juneau. It looks much the same arriving as it did when we were here two weeks prior:
Since we will be changing to the Wilderness Explorer, we had to pack our bags and leave them for transfer. We did leave our laundry behind, to be delivered to the Explorer. Here’s Beth, one of the expedition guides, helping to collect all the luggage.
Thoughts on Week No. 2 – Cruising the Western Coves of the Inside Passage
Scenery – B+ It’s a bit unfair to give the Alaska Scenery less than an A grade, but this is only in comparison to the stunning views of Misty Fjords and Tracy Arm which we’d experienced the previous week. It was still beautiful, and we were again fortunate to have near perfect weather and several gorgeous sunsets. The predawn hours sometimes made it look like were were in another world.
Wildlife – A- We saw much more wildlife during Week No. 2, and the otters put this over to an A for me, but we have to leave some wiggle room for the upcoming week. I even almost saw a breaching humpback. The otters were a highlight, but the whales were also majestic. The intertidal creatures were, well, kinda creepy (but Lou was quite fascinated by them) – I have watched too many Alien Movies to be comfortable around strange creatures of the deep. We did learn a lot, and it was so surprising to see such colorful creatures along the Alaskan shoreline.
Life Onboard – A Even better than the first week, as we knew the routine, the crew, and had made some new friends – we also met lots of nice people who had joined the boat for Week No. 2. Chef Jo and the kitchen crew once again provided excellent meals and special treats, even if they were sometimes interrupted by humpbacks and sea lions. We do want to give a shout out to Chief Steward, Laurie. She and her crew made our dining experience and cabin care a seamless operation. Chris, our bartender extraordinaire, went out of his way to take care of everyone. And, of course, Captain Danny added to the experience by doing so much more than skippering the ship.
Off Boat Activities – A The tour of Klawock was a highlight for Lou. I enjoyed doing more of the shore walks, and the skiff tours were super. We had a more balanced week because we pushed ourselves to get off the boat more. The active hikers said their bushwhacks lived up to the name, and were on the wild side this past week. A big thanks to all of the Expedition Guides and Skiff Skippers for making the most of every activity.
So, again, at the risk of repeating myself – the second week of Un-Cruising was just about perfect. We were so lucky to be able to do this. We could have left Alaska at this point and felt we’d had a great trip. And yes, there was a part of us that wouldn’t have minded getting back home. We missed the dogs, and we also wanted to get things sorted in the new house. That said, it was not a hardship to start Week No. 3 on the Wilderness Explorer.