What is it about our work that makes us enjoy our vacations more? It’s the anticipation, the healthy work/life balance, and the much needed break from our daily jobs.
Bit and I flew to Juneau on July 28, where we rented a car and did a grand tour of this state capitol town of 30,000 residents.
On July 30, we boarded the 87-foot, 8-passenger (plus 4 crew: captain John, first mate Ted, mate Suzie, chef AJ), Discovery for our 7-night cruise to Ketchikan. (Visit www.alaskacharters.com to book your trip!). We packed too much cold weather gear, and only saw two days of rain after 10 days of sunshine (and record heat waves and forest fires). Water catchment tanks were running dry, in contrast to summer 2008 with only 8 days of sunshine! (talk about good timing for an outdoor vacation)
On our journey, we motored on the inland passage between thousands of islands, caught fish, set traps and brought in Dunguness crabs (I was our boats designated crabber, so I tossed the crab pots at night and pulled them up in the morning). We gloried in glaciers, kayaked next to ice bergs, visited bears (brown and black). Our bear adventure took place at Anan Creek, where only 60 visitors a day are invited to watch these furry bears eat spawning salmon. We were fortunate to visit with several pods of humpback whales for two days! These pods of whales were so amazing, doing bubble cooperative feeding for herring and lunging out of the sea in unison (the seagulls were our spotters, they knew a good meal of herring would come up when the whales did!).
We sauntered past sea lions (several hundred! so cute and lively). We watched eagles soar, these magnificent birds were plentiful in the passage, and in the cities. We stopped at only one town, Wrangell, a drinking community with 16 bars, 8 liquor stores, and only 12,000 residents. In this tiny town, we were cordially “arrested” (translate = given a lift to the museum by a lonely Florida patrolman). Charges = being Floridian!
On August 5, we docked at Ellis Law Offices dock in Ketchican. At midnight, the giant 174-foot Itasca dwarfed our modest yacht (looking at my porthole, I saw a pair of ankles tying a line that was bigger around than my leg!) Our final three days were spent driving all 20 miles of roads in Ketchican, hiking rain forests, discovering the Hole in Wall bar, Knudson Cove, Settlers Cove, and rainforests on the beach, complete with waterfalls.
We had a grand adventure in a gloriously abundant state.
Inside Passage: Frederick Sound http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=59428&id=1207785278&l=6b83d4d752
Inside Passage: Tracy Arm http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=59427&id=1207785278&l=f51eeadd68
Juneau: first stop http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=59433&id=1207785278&l=5383d2a684