“Will this be the ship that carries me away?” It’s a question my grandfather asked himself as a boy in Ireland. An uncle had sailed away to America. He earned enough to afford to return home, cabin passage, on fine … Continue reading Cruise Blogs.
This is the hardest post to write. I mentioned COVID fogged brain in my last post. I missed the final dinner, although they brought a delicious Beef Wellington to my stateroom. I also missed the final slide show and farewell … Continue reading The COVID Coda
After leaving Kake we headed home toward Sitka. We turned from Fredrick Sound into Chatham Strait and then into Peril Strait. Peril Strait was not named for any navigational hazard but because it is where many people died of paralytic … Continue reading A Coda With Whales.
Raven Radio’s first remote transmitter was in Kake, and it had been several years since I had visited the town. We listened to a talk by Native carver Michael Jackson and stories by 88-year-old elder Marvin Kadake, a proud Korean … Continue reading Tall Tales and a Taller Totem
In Petersburg the sun came out just before we sailed out of the harbor and that gives me the excuse for another post, showing the final few minutes in Petersburg and the sunny sail out. As we sailed into Fredrick … Continue reading Petersburg to Thomas Bay.
After an evening anchored up in Scow Bay we pulled into Petersburg. Petersburg was settled by Norwegian Fishermen and is located not far from the active tidewater LeConte Glacier that provided ice to pack fish for shipment south. We all … Continue reading Alaska’s Little Norway
In the afternoon we toured Wrangell, drove by Chief Shakes house and made stops at the museum and Petroglyph Beach. The petroglyphs along the beach are a mystery. No one knows why they are there, who put them there or … Continue reading Aye, There’s the Rub, and Running the Ditch
AnAn Wildlife observatory is on the mainland behind Wrangell Island near the Bradfield Canal. It is a 62 NM roundtrip from Wrangell. We took a tour on a local airboat from where we docked. While the main attraction is watching … Continue reading AnAn Wildlife Observatory, Bears!
After refueling with gas and Drambuie (at my request) we left Auke Bay under overcast skies, which brings out the blues of the ice and water and the greens of the misty clouds that seem almost alive as they snake … Continue reading An Unfinished Yosemite, Tracy Arm.
We encountered some rough weather sailing down the bay and Captain Eric was not sure we would be able to make a close pass by South Marble Island, which is a sea lion rookery and home to sea birds, including … Continue reading Sea Lions, Puffins and Bears, Why Not? South Marble Island in Glacier Bay.
We anchored behind Composite Island and tarried (some folks taking advantage of the tarrying by going out in kayaks) until Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam sailed past. Captain Eric didn’t want us to even see the big ship. While Nieuw Amsterdam … Continue reading Johns Hopkins Glacier, Glacier Bay
The healing pole sits upland from the Bartlett Cove Dock. It is a 20-foot yellow cedar pole depicting the conflicts between the park service and Huna tribe over their return to Glacier Bay. It combines traditional and modern forms and … Continue reading Ice Refugees, Bartlett Cove
The plan was to visit the fishing village of Pelican, but weather had a different idea. To reach Pelican you need to cross Cross Sound. (On some of the older English maps it is called Croff Sound, but Captain Cook … Continue reading No Pelican, Whales!
When we lived in Juneau, I managed KTOO radio. KTOO was on the same street as, and a block from, the State Capital. Across from the Capital was the Dimond Courthouse. It had a modern sculpture in its courtyard, light … Continue reading Looking for Nimbus (in Juneau)
Our cruise left on Sunday, so we flew over to Juneau on Saturday night. The plane was late as clouds and fog rolled into and out of Southeast’s mountains, bays and passes. Before GPS and Fog Busters I used to … Continue reading Alaska’s Brigadoon, Juneau
I’ve wanted to take one of these cruises for a decade. The timing never worked out. For the first several years we were overseas. Then other travel, and then the COVID epidemic intervened. Allen has been part of our lives … Continue reading 2021 Alaska Dream Cruise.
A year ago, Suzi and I stood on a long line to check in for the MS Amsterdam 2020 Grand World Voyage — in a closeness that would horrify us today. The line was kind of a reunion. Many of … Continue reading One Year Ago
March 31, 2020, Sitka, Alaska We hadn’t planned to go around the world in 80 days but that’s what happened. We left Fort Lauderdale on January 4 and arrived in Sitka on March 24, 80 days later. The first 77 … Continue reading Around the World in 80 Days — A Coda
March 28, 2020, Sitka, Alaska Evacuations seldom go smoothly, they’re chaotic, and messy, changing by the hour. I know, I’ve been through several, either as the evacuee or the guy on the other end of the phone trying to organize … Continue reading Penultimate Thoughts
… Your Glasses Too. March 26, 2020, Sitka Alaska. Usually I’m a good sleeper, a short sleeper but a good one. I fall into a deep sleep and 6 and a half hours later my mind is racing with things … Continue reading Take Off Your Mask for the Border Guard…
March 23, 2020, Perth, Australia On Saturday I was pretty upset with the Australian officials, changing their minds on us, first we can get off the ship and wait in hotels for flights, then we can only get off if … Continue reading In Defense of the Aussies
March 23, 2020, Perth. Australia Yesterday Suzi and I were sitting in a café where each table was separated by a couple of meters watching the hop-on/hop-off bus drive by with exactly three people on the top open deck. I … Continue reading A Final Port Call
March 22, 2020, Fremantle, Australia “For the first time in our marriage, when my wife offered me one of her tranquilizers last night, I took it,” said a lap swimming buddy yesterday afternoon as we were working our frustrations in … Continue reading A Chaotic Ending*
March 21, 2020, Fremantle, Australia We were lolling along at 12 knots toward Fremantle when all of a sudden Amsterdam picked up speed and started racing along at 22 knots. Captain Mercer came on the horn saying that we were … Continue reading Waiting
March 18, 2020, Off the West Coast of Australia Last night we crossed another time zone, the last one we will cross on this ship. We’re gone as far “west” as the ship will go. We’re lucky that we took … Continue reading Practicing Gratitude