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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A day at sea and Juneau

We travelled by sea all day on Sunday. The swells were pretty bad and I got a little nauseous, but after some Dramamine and a nap I was good to go. They had some activities on board to keep you entertained.

For example: the fruit and vegetable carving demonstration (there were more but I don't want to bore you)

And the martini mixing demonstration. I tried to get chosen to shake the martinis while dancing, but they never looked my way. Don't they look like they are having fun?

We arrived in Juneau on Monday morning. This was our first look at the town. Yes, it was raining and it didn't stop the entire time we were there -- it also never got above 43 degrees. Brrrrr....

My tough guy with the town behind him.

We only had an hour and a half before our excursion started so we ran into town and had a quick look around. Here is the main street.

And the most famouns saloon in town -- The Red Dog Saloon. It isn't the original building... but it was PACKED.

Our first excursion of the trip was whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier. We went to the whales first. I was beyond excited! I love any kind of wild life, but one of my dreams has always been to see a whale in real life. My expectations were high!

Here I am all bundled up. I have on tights, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a fleece shirt, a coat, gloves, ball cap, and a Survivor buff. I still froze my ass off.

We found out that once you see the whales you cannot get more than 100 feet from them and you can only stay 30 minutes. These were the first two we saw. They are humpback whales. They would come up, spout, and then mosey back down in the water. We found out that they got their names from when they are about to show their tails, their backs form a huge "hump."

Here they are -- one is "spouting"

My first fluke! I was so excited about this picture. But then it got even better.

We had been watching another pod of 3 whales and had to leave. Just as the captain started the boat a bunch of folks went "OHHHHH!!" Believe it or not a whale was breaching (jumping out of the water) right in front of us!

Check out this picture!!! It is my absolute favorite of our ENTIRE vacation. It is the whole reason I went to Alaska. I am in love with this whale.

Isn't he amazing? Hello, Mr. Whale! I'm waving back at you! That is his front flipper. He was waving, slapping the water, and rolling around in the water. Amazing.

He jumped for about 20 minutes. It was the most amazing, surreal, thrilling, awe inspiring time of my life. I will never, ever forget it.

He finally got tired, showed us his tail, and disappeared. I was freezing, but I could have stayed out there forever.

We cruised to another part of the bay and saw this beauty. It is a bald eagle. They were everywhere.

And then moved on to another island and came across these fellas. Carl and I named the sea lion on the left "Dozer", after our pug. He was so big and fat! He just wanted to lay there and let everyone else take care of him; just like my boy!

Behind the bouy is an island with a lighthouse. This island has 2.5 bears for every square mile of land. This is just the tip of the island... it was pretty big. We didn't see any bear, but it was amazing to think of how many there could be. Also... it was an island!! How did they get there?

After leaving the whales (boo), we were taken to Mendenhall Glacier. What a sight! What looks like a waterfall in these pictures is actually ice. ICE!

This is the observatory building in front of the glacier. Check out the size of that mountain behind it! We don't have anything in Georgia like that. Nothing at all.

Finally got back to our room to warm up and get ready for dinner. Our anniversary was on May 15 (Thursday) and we had requested the anniversary package to be delivered on that date. Imagine our surprise when it was in our room on MONDAY when we got back from our excursion. I was a little disappointed, but it didn't stop me from enjoying my chocolate covered strawberries! No way!

That was all the excitement I could handle for one day. Whales, eagles, sea lions, rain, cold... it was crazy fun. The ship left port and we headed for Skagway.
We'll talk about that tomorrow.


Valerie said...


I am so happy you got to see all those whales, especially that last one.

I'm am seriously jellin' that you took this trip.

What a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary.

Happy Belated Anniversary, btw!

Jen said...

cool pics!!

I took that exact pic
with the seals
on the bouy when I
went there!!!

Canadian flake said...

omgggggggg wowwwwzers...these shots are amazing. I can't imagine seeing whales like that in their natural habitat.

Looking forward to seeing more pics of your adventures. thanks for sharing.