Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 3- Tuesday, May 14

 The ship arrived in Ketchikan early Tuesday morning.  It was gray (again) and raining pretty hard.  We ate breakfast in the dining room and visited with a very nice mom and daughter and then headed back to get ready for the day.  We were going to exit the ship, but decided since it was still raining to wait.  So we waited for a while for a break and after about an hour, the rain let up a little bit.
 (For some reason these pics are all out of order again.  Frustrating).  This was actually as we were sailing away from Ketchikan.  Still gray.
 Sailing away.
 Gray, yet still beautiful.
 The dolphins like to play in the wake of the ship.  We saw several dophins doing just this.

 A lighthouse on the sailaway from Ketchikan.

 After we disembarked the ship, we were able to take a bus tour of the city and area.  This was great cause it meant we were out of the rain, and that the tour was narrated by a local.  We have found that this is the best way to see places; otherwise, you don't really know what you are looking at.  This rushing creek was the first place we stopped and it is usually filled with salmon.  We were just a few weeks early for the salmon.

 See the bald eagle?
 He was a majestic bird and Ketchikan (and alot of Alaska) have a big population of bald eagles.

 A walk through the rain forest.  I did not realize Alaska had a large rainforest, but it does.
 These are skunk cabbages.  When the bears wake up from hibernation, they head to these plants and eat them first.  They are a laxative.
 Saxman Indian Village

 The clan house

 After the tour we walked around the town. 

 Creek Street.  It is built on pilings over the creek and years ago was filled with bordellos.

 For you Angie!

I found out rather quickly that the coat I bought was not waterproof, so Paul bought me this new waterproof pink coat.  I was much more comfortable after that.  Ketchikan is an island and the only way in is by boat or plane.  It rains alot here and it is the salmon capital of the world.  It was a very interesting day, but I was glad to get back on the boat and out of wet clothes.  We enjoyed the rest of the day on the ship, hitting the hot tubs, eating a delicious dinner and watching a show.  Next stop: The scenic passageway of Tracey Arm and Sawyer Glacier/

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 2- Monday, May 13

 This was the view outside when we woke up Monday morning- gray.  It drizzled on and off all morning and was windy and cold.  But, again, it didn't matter to us.  The ship was full of things to do and we took full advantage of all of it.
 The view from the very back of the ship.
 Paul planning out what to do on this day.
 He also took part in a chipping contest.  Not an easy thing to do on a moving/rocking ship, but he came in second.
 For lunch, we ate in an Irish pub.  I had "bangers and mash"- sausage and mashed potatoes and it was excellent.
 Paul ordered the ploughman's lunch- and hated it!  So the waiter brought him fish and chips and it was much better.

Later that afternoon, we attended the naturalist's talk on growing up in Alaska.  This was one part of the cruise that we enjoyed immensely.  Her presentations were so interesting and informative.  I bought both of her books and finished the first one on the cruise, it was so good.
 My appetizer of duck breast.  I had never tried it, so I decided to order it.  Now I can say I've tried it and don't need to eat it again.  It wasn't bad, but not something I would get again.  No matter what you ordered, it always was so pretty.
 After dinner, the sky brightened up considerably!  It was formal night, so we dressed up and had our picture taken at several of the sites they had set up around the ship.
 My handsome husband.  He planned this entire trip after saving for 5 years.  Most of you know these have not been easy years for us financially, but he was able to put away some money here and there and had enough to pay for this wonderful trip.  Not only that, he spoiled me the entire time.  He went out of his way for me several times.  I decided to sign up for 25 more years. :)

 It was a beautiful evening.
 Almost 25 years married.  It doesn't seem possible that we are now older than our parents were when we got married.  We still feel like kids.  (Most days anyway)
 As we were walking through the ship, we heard someone yell that they were seeing whales.  Well, we joined the throngs of people headed for the deck to see if we could spot one.  There were sprays like this one, everywhere you looked.  It was so exciting.
 Here you can see a part of the tail.  We never did see the whole whale, but it was still amazing to see this.

 The "Piazza"- the center of the ship.
 Beautiful sunset.
 This ship had a massive screen outside by one of the pools.  Every night they had what they called, "Movies Under the Stars".  They played current movies outside and we sat in lounge chairs and watched.  We watched part of one movie until I got so cold I couldn't take it.  But, the ship thought of just about everything.  They had blankets to use and had popcorn and even a lady with a "milk and cookies" cart who came by every so often and handed out fresh cookies and glasses of milk.
We enjoyed this day on the ship, but we were getting excited for Tuesday and our first glimpse of Alaska.  The further north we got, the longer the days got.  We set our clocks back one hour this night;  the sun now rose at 4:30am and set at 9:30 or 10. 
North to Alaska!!