Alaska RV Camping Travelog – Day 18
Sailing, Sailing, Over the Ocean Blue
Cloudy morning and the temperature is 49. Early start to this day, as the alarm went off at 6:00! Can’t think of the last time we had to set the alarm! I fixed “real” breakfast today-bacon, eggs, and potatoes. This should be an interesting day for Mom too, getting to “pet” sit!
The shuttle is to pick us up at 7:15 across the street at the dump station. It’s right on time and it delivers us to the dock. Good thing we agreed to the shuttle, as it took us to a different place than we were told to go by the counter clerks yesterday!
The boat starts boarding at 7:30 and we select 2 seats at a table on the 2nd level. We share our table with a man named Ed from Albany NY, who is traveling with his father-in-law Bob. There is coffee and tea provided on board, and it tastes good on a chilly morning! We leave the harbor promptly at 8:00 and “Captain Tim” starts his non-stop 6 hour monolog! You can tell when people really love their jobs, and this guy is one of them! He describes everything in such detail and gives us a constant narrative of history and facts about our tour and the amazing surroundings! We wave to Mom who’s standing outside the motor home, and she sees us too!
The first stop was an outcropping of rock filled with Puffin’s! There are many types of birds flying around and we are treated to an eagle “dogfight”! Capt. Tim tells us a whale may be in the area and tells us what to look for! Of course, the whale surfaces and I’m on the wrong side of the boat! Did I mention it’s also drizzly with low clouds today??? The boat is glass enclosed so we have protection from the weather, plus we are dressed in many layers. This is an amazing way to see the animals and we would definitely recommend this tour!
We visit with Ed and he’s a very pleasant man on vacation with his father-in-law who just lost his wife 7 months ago. His situation sounds similar to ours as Mom was also widowed in November. Pay attention as this drama continues…..
Next we are treated to hundreds of Steller Sea Lions “sunning” themselves on a huge rock island! I use the term “sunning” very loosely! They don’t pay much attention to us, giving us the occasional bored yawn!
We arrive near some islands where an Alaska Fish & Game boat is monitoring whale activity, if that’s not a clue I don’t know what is! Suddenly whales of every size and species surround our vessel! Orca, Grey, Fin, etc….. They travel in “pods” which resemble a family group. Capt. Tim is referring to this as a “super pod” comprised of several “pods“ of various types traveling together. It is amazing! We are in a whale stew!!! The whales are everywhere we look and they “breach” (jump and flip and show their bellies) and just generally show off for what seems like forever! There were so many whales we had to wait for them to move so we could proceed with our trip! It was a humbling experience to be in their world.
We take lots of pictures and find a peaceful cove for lunch. Our choice was either Halibut with tartar sauce, or Chicken with b-b-q sauce, potato chips and an apple. Beer and wine are also available at an extra charge, and we are really starting to enjoy Alaskan Summer Ale! Ed, Bob and I enjoy 2nds as they must have made a mistake in the food preparation, and we‘re all ready for a nap! For desert the crew bakes chocolate chip cookies and the smell coming from the galley is wonderful!
Next feature on our trip is the Ailiak Glacier! Extreme thrills as Capt. Tim dodges the ice flows and ‘bergs to get us with in ¾ of a mile of a calving glacier! Awesome! He then turned off the engines and it’s just us and the ice. We never could have imagined the sounds as the ice cracks and pops and splashes into the water. Sounded like gunfire and explosions constantly going off. The amazing “ice creature” sloughing off it’s skin! This was the coolest thing to experience, and my favorite day of our trip to Alaska by far. Time to head back to reality, and we arrive back in port at 2pm.
Casey, Sox, and Mom are glad to see us! We go back over to Ray’s for dinner again and it’s another wonderful dining experience…..for most of us! Brian and Mom have Alaskan Cod & Chips again, but I have to be different. Salmon in Citron sauce with noodles. Not so good.
I have enough wood for us to have a fire on the beach, and amazingly the sun breaks through the clouds! It is a lovely, sunny evening! Did I mention it NEVER gets dark? It’s like perpetual dusk….never night. Very strange, but gives us more time to enjoy our fire!
Just as we stir our fire for the last time, a Ford Taurus screeches to a halt in front of the motor home! Out hops Ed and Bob from our tour today! We had pointed our rig out to them from the boat, and now here they are! They were very interesting in meeting Mom, but unfortunately she was already in bed for the night. They did reiterate it was nice meeting us and maybe they’d see us in Homer where they were going Halibut fishing…..yeah, right????
Tomorrow – Bear Bate!
Yesterday – Anchorage and Beyond