Day 3: glacial

July 21, 2011

I awoke in the middle of the night – though it was a hazy sort of lightness to the air – to a rolling ship and quirky stomach. I’m nauseous at the drop of a hat for so many things, but ocean swells aren’t one of them. Several glasses of wine combined one glass of whiskey, however, totally qualifies.

Note: bringing your own alcohol on board is a great idea. Just don’t drink it all (or even ¼ of it) in one night.

We woke again around 6am. It was only 6am because of the time change as we headed further west than the majority of the Pacific coastline. SigOther and I took advantage of this by attempting to burn off the booze calories in the ship’s fitness centre. Everyone else must have woken early as well with calorie laden bellies that needed reducing, but I managed to grab a treadmill and set up a 30 minute protocol without too many hiccups. With this I am happy to report that I must approach a jog to get my heart rate up to fat-burning speed. But I fear that if I were to even attempt cardio speed, I may pass out. [caveat: my exercise consists of walking and hiking outdoors or yoga classes. I don’t do gyms. I don’t do gym equipment. So, while I exercise, I don’t ever really “work out”; however, I am now disturbingly fascinated by ellipticals…]

I returned to our room in time to snag some room service before we hit a movie for the morning. We managed to get good seats for the movie we missed yesterday and made it out in time for a snack before heading out to the decks to see where we were.

Today was Tracy Arm day: glaciers.

As an added bonus, the morning started off with whales. Lots of cooperative whales, captured by lots of amazing cameras and lenses that were already staked out on the top decks for the afternoon viewings of the rugged Alaskan shoreline. We were lucky enough to have a good view from our veranda and gladly took advantage of it, with lots of photos of our own and two pre-school friends who occupied themselves in our rooms rather than all over the decks, stairways and elevators.

While we saw some gorgeous waterfalls, crazy ice formations in the water, lots of sheer rock face, a small army of seagulls, and several other intrepid ocean faring folk, we only met one (maybe two) seals, one bald eagle and one noteworthy glacier. The cruise-cam would have us believe the every small sheet of ice on the cliffs and every sizable bit of ice in the ocean was worthy of bearing the glacier name and, perhaps, technically, they all are. But, for a group of northern folk, we had our moments of being nonplussed. Stunning? Yes. Epic? Maybe not.

That’s not to say that I didn’t take hundreds of photos and stare out our balcony for hours on end with only a coffee and Baileys to keep me warm. We wore sweaters and light jackets. We waved at the unexpected Canadian Fisheries and Wildlife boat and crew. We were startled by a hummingbird zipping around without a flower in sight. Up on deck, those who had travelled from warmer climes were bundled in hats, mitts, blankets and fur-lined coats (I am not kidding). At 9pm, I am on the balcony typing this is bare feet, tights and a tank top with a light blanket. It is summer, after all.

The girls were quiet today. They played together and, despite several offerings of options to run around the ship, kept it low-key. Our friends made a late, last-minute effort to get them out, about and be touristy after the Magpie was already in her pajamas and getting ready to find her bedtime book. I went with them, in part to partake and in part to cut it short. As the ship was starting to run its late dinner service and set up for the adult-oriented evening festivities, there wasn’t much room for two five-year olds in pajamas with their stuffed animals in tow. We returned and retired to find one more whale out the window and bright sun starting to slowly making its way down into the mountains.

No more wine tonight. A little more time on deck and a view through today’s photos.

Tomorrow we see Skagway.


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