Southeast Alaska Panhandle – September 2017 – “Uncruise” Part 3

As we arrived at Glacier Bay National Park we went ashore for a hike. A Long House greeted us as we passed the visitor center.

2017 09 21 8 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

The house is made out of cedar which gives it a great smell.

2017 09 21 7 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

The hike through the forest was filled with scenes of fungus growing everywhere.

2017 09 21 18 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

As we reached the river at low tide there was evidence of animals, as shown with this bear paw print. The guide indicated it must be a baby since it is so small, but they have great claws.

2017 09 21 25 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

We returned to the ship and continued past Gloomy Point, where mountain goats populate the steep terrain.

2017 09 21 65 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

The flow from a glacier ends up at the sea in a small river.

2017 09 21 84 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

We stopped by Margerie Glacier, or “Large Marge” as the crew call her.

2017 09 21 73 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

2017 09 21 88 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

2017 09 21 99 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

Nearby we dropped the anchor near Lamplugh Glacier, where the kayaks were put out for exploring.

2017 09 22 45 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

We paddled around the small icebergs to get a close look at the Glacier.

2017 09 22 4 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

Trying to avoid the larger ones, recalling that 10% of the ice is above the water, the rest is below. They also at times will ‘roll’ and you don’t want to be close to one this size if that happens.

2017 09 22 16 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

Around the corner from the ship was an impressive waterfall with glacier melt water.

2017 09 22 25 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

We returned to our home for the week thoroughly in awe of the opportunity to kayak in such an amazing setting, while wishing we could spend more time and go on the other adventures such as hiking up the ridge next to the glacier, or along the shoreline in front.

2017 09 22 33 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

While checking out the beautiful scenery one of the large cruise ships went by. Amazingly despite they fact there are 2000 people on the ship, and they are passing the glaicer behind us, I counted about 40 people out on the decks or their balconies checking out the scene.

2017 09 22 64 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

The day ended with a polar bear plunge for the daring.

2017 09 22 70 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

The crew of the WAV were amazing. It was obvious that they are passionate about the sea, glaciers, wildlife and the opportunity to share it with the passengers. The great thing about the Uncruise people is the crew gets opportunities too, and many of them participate in the polar bear plunge.

2017 09 22 88 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

The bartender Heidi was celebrating her birthday by going into the cold water.

2017 09 22 100 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

One of the Stewards Jessi had a goal of doing the polar bear plunge each of the 18 weeks she was working, and since she had missed a couple early, was doubling up on the last 2 weeks (we were the second to last trip of the season), so Jessi went in twice!

2017 09 22 107 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

As we began our return to Juneau we passed more Sea Lions, these guys are caught on a small rock island at high tide

2017 09 22 160 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

Plenty of birds.

2017 09 22 162 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

Early Saturday morning we returned to the harbor, where Captain Gavin carefully parallel parked the ship at the dock.

2017 09 23 2 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

Our week had ended, but the memories will last forever. Most of our fellow travelers were from Australia and New Zealand, with some Americans mixed in. They were fun, friendly people who shared a passion for not just seeing the scenes roll by their ship windows, but get into the kayaks and paddle around, go into the forest and get muddy, or just sit around in the evenings sharing stories or learning about America.

As I noted on the first posting very few times do things turn out better than their advertising but the Uncruise folks came through. Even the weather was better than expected with very little rain (although I don’t think they get credit for that!).

Thanks to Captain Gavin and the entire crew of the Wilderness Adventurer.

2017 09 23 4 Alaskan Cruise.JPG

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s