Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sailing!

So we left Ketchikan and it got dark and sunset was pretty.  Then, the next morning, sunrise was blue.
Shades of gray blue as far as the eye could see.
The ship moving through the ocean made me think of God holding me in His hands.
I spent a lot of time Saturday looking out the back of the ship.  We saw some whales or dolphins, something that blew.  But catching a picture was tricky.
The ocean was much calmer than it had been on the day we left.
I think that may be a critter on the right.
Our tracks through the ocean eventually disappeared.
I was trying to catch the blow from some animal on the top left.
This fishing boat seemed to have some whales following it.
We kept seeing blow off the bow.
But, catching a picture seemed impossible.
Blue and blue.
And a little rain and darker blue.

But, I got the blow, see?


Boat tracks.
Sea foam.
And the day wore on and we were headed toward Victoria, BC.
And we left the rain behind.
We reached Victoria late in the day.  We spent most of the day sailing.
We spent just 6 hours in Victoria, arriving at 6 pm, so almost dark.
And we left at midnight to sail to Seattle and the trip was over.
I found that I didn't have much interest in Victoria, but I got off the ship and walked around the harbor.
Our boat looked massive, but it wasn't the only one there.
Flowers at the harbor park.
And a fern because this is a rain forest.
Tug boats at the harbor.
Indian paintbrush was blooming.
Looking out across the harbor as the sun went down.
Glaciers on those mountains.
They were painting our ship while we were docked.
See the ships in the harbor?  There was a tour of a garden after dark, but seriously?
The sun was down and darkness was almost there.
This would probably have been a beautiful view in the daytime.
And these guys were painting the ship.  I didn't take any more pictures.  Typically I am tired at the end of the trip and the pictures drop off.  I got back on the ship, packed, put my luggage out to be picked up for the flight. Slept a little as we sailed to Seattle.  We arrived very early in the morning and waited in lines to get off the ship.  The bus took us to the airport where we waited and waited for Alaska Airlines to fly us home.

I am sorry it took me so long to tell this story.  Life has gotten busy.  I will be happy not to load so many pictures.  Because, life, life is happening and I am tired of reliving this trip.  I loved it.  I loved sailing.  But, life!!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Friday, Ketchikan

On Friday we docked at Ketchikan, Alaska.  We docked early and had to be back on the ship before 1pm so I woke up early and got off the ship.
Looking back at my mobile hotel it looked enormous.  I had an interior cabin.  I think it would be great to cruise with one of those picture windows like the deck on the bottom.
Lots of ships were docked at Ketchikan that Friday.
We had to walk to our first shore activity.  I passed this statue on the way.  I think it represents the different pioneers who settled Alaska.
Even early in the morning, the port was busy.
Ketchikan was not as quaint was Skagway.  It was an old logging town.
There were lots of shops.
But, my shore activity involved a logging show and a Native American village.  First up logging.
Basically, it was a tourist show featuring strapping young men on two "teams" of loggers competing.  It seemed fairly rigged.  It was mildly entertaining, but I wouldn't have booked it except that it was part of the package to see the Native American village.
So, the loggers climbed on things and chopped things.
I think this was a chain saw sculpture.  It was a rabbit that became a chair for a little kid.
I think Canada won that day.

As we drove on the bus out to Saxman village, I noticed this totem in a yard.  We heard later that anyone can order a totem.  The poles cost at least $1000 a foot.
Our first stop was the Tlingit community center.  Those were symbols of the various family groups.
I think this was a maternal culture.  We learned that the Tlingit were more genetically similar to the Polynesians than the rest of the native groups.
Then we walked through a little wood.
It is a rain forest there, so there were ferns, but it has been a dry year.
Then we went to a dance ceremony  It was really loud with lots of drums.  Liked that mothers danced with their babies and even young children joined the dance.
They wore symbols of their clans on the back of their robes.
We left the lodge and went to see the totems.
This one was Seward, the man who negotiated buying Alaska.  He came up there and didn't return gifts for the ones he was given at the celebrations they gave for him, so this totem pokes fun at him.
They say that they just go to the hardware store and buy paint for the totems.  They can't seal them because moisture from inside would cause them to rot from the inside out.
They reproduce the old ones and make new ones just the same every few years.
They sell them to hotels and individuals for thousands of dollars.
Another view of Seward.
This explains that the Saxman village is named for Samuel Saxman, a school teacher who was lst in Dec. 1886 while scouting for a new location for the people of Tongass and Cape Fox Villages.  This is the world's largest collection of totems.  Many were relocated from other villages and restored under the Federal Works Project directed by the US Forest Service in 1939.
We went into a workshop where a famous totem artist was working on a new totem.
And then it was over.  We got back a few minutes early for the boat.
I shopped very briefly and then got aboard.  They weren't kidding about departure.  They would leave without you and charge you a thousand dollars for missing the boat.
This is looking back at Ketchikan.
And we were underway fairly quickly. Leaving Alaska behind.

The sun went down making a beautiful sunset.
These look almost the same, but notice the islands in the distance.
We were headed back toward Victoria and Seattle.

My steward didn't do an animal for me that evening.  I think the frog the night before was the last one. Even though we had one more stop, the cruise was winding down.