Sunday, May 05, 2013

Last day in Alaska

Today, we thank Carrie and family for their donation!  

THANK YOU!!!!!  

We are now about $2400 away from our goal with just over a week to go!  
Hoping we can pull this off somehow....

This third day on the boat was incredible!  Overnight, we were supposed to have a short stop in Petersburg and I believe Wrangell also.  Well when we woke up, I could hear the engines in idle and I knew something was wrong.  I was wrong to assume that we were still in port.  We were waiting for the tide to rise so we could pass through a narrow passage!!!   

Ends up overnight, we had some mechanical issue so we stayed in Petersburg for 7 hours and by the time we got back out, the tides weren't lining up with our schedule.  So we sat in this spot for at least an hour as we waited for the tide to slowly rise.   

While we waited, I really enjoyed seeing some of the local traffic pass us.  I couldn't imagine what our huge boat looked like just sitting there at the entrance of this narrow passage.

Then suddenly we felt the engines fire up and I couldn't believe it!!  I thought we had hours left before the tide would be high enough but we actually crept through this tiny passage!

Notice how close we are to the markers still out of the water!

I couldn't stop taking pictures.  I was amazed that we could pass through.

Finally took a picture of the campers on board.  Anybody that has traveled on the Alaska Marine Highway knows about the campers.  There is a stigma that it's the do I put this nicely....hippy, party, crazy people???  Not sure how else to say it.  It's a mostly young crowd travelling around Alaska but not paying for a they just pitch a tent on the back of the boat.  They do have community showers but I don't imagine half of these people had seen a shower in days....if not weeks!  Interesting bunch of folks but I'll admit a very cool way to travel Alaska. 

Another view of the winding passage.

More local traffic squeezing by.

Enroute to Wrangell, I looked ahead and saw the fog for the first time.  Visibility very quickly went from excellent to near zero....and I was concerned our perfect weather was done.  Thank goodness it was just a small section that was open to the Pacific.  So the open ocean was experiencing this fog the whole time while the inside passage was beautiful.  Lucky us!

Quick stop in Wrangell.  I don't think we were in port for more than an hour so we stayed on board.  I want to say this was the first place we had cell coverage and was able to make some calls and send some pictures of our progress.

Now enroute to Ketchikan where we knew we were going to get off the boat and explore a little bit.  In the mean time, we practically had the back of the boat to ourselves so we started goofing off.

Taking a break inside...Lisa and Alyssa playing some cards.

Katy curled up with her toy.

Didn't last long...we had to play some cards too.

Our arrival into Ketchikan was incredible!!  I was thinking it was this busy because of the weather but I don't know, you get the sense that it was always this crazy!  Float planes were landing one after the other while boats were floating by.  Even an Alaska Airlines 737 took off right next to us!!  It was a happening place!!

We ended up getting off the boat for a couple of hours.  We didn't do much exploring...ended up just walking down to the grocery store and loading up on some snacks and lunch food to get us to Spokane.  

 After we got back on board, it was just about sunset.  There was an announcement that they were having a safety training at the front of the boat.  The girls were curious so we went up to the front to listen.  At some point, they needed a volunteer.  The girls were VERY shy about getting up in front of everyone and putting on the life vests.  Even after they were bribed with ice cream, they wouldn't do it.  But they did have some questions so we stuck around afterward and the girls asked some questions and landed themselves some ice cream in the process.  

We grabbed our ice cream and headed for the back of the boat to say goodbye to Alaska.  We realized as we were sitting there that this was it...when we woke up we would be in Canadian waters and then eventually find our way down to Washington.  So here are a few close-ups of the girls and their ice cream watching Alaska fade away.

No matter where we were in Alaska, it was always such a beautiful beautiful place.

Waving goodbye.

And signing "I love you".

 Thank you for the memories Alaska.  We will be back soon!

1 comment:

Honey said...

Those pictures were beautiful. You have a treasure trove of memories! The last few made me cry. I'm so glad Alaska is a part of our family and has made such a profound impact on each of us. You 4 will always be Alaska to me!