Alaska Cruise Vacation: Seals, Orcas, and One Crazy Polar Bear

It was just a day at sea today (no stopping in any ports yet), but I still managed to find a couple of interesting things to share:

  • We were told that bald eagles were as common as pigeons up here, and I believe it. They're EVERYWHERE! Like this one, sitting on a water marker, watching us all go by.
  • We've managed to spot a couple of Humpback whales and what I think are some Orcas (not at the same time of course). They're either Orcas or regular dolphins (or porpoises), but Orca sounds the coolest, so that's what I'm going with. Unfortunately, those not-so-little buggers are crazy hard to catch on camera, so no pictures. :-( (My camera does this little auto-focusing delay thing from the time you push the button to the time the shutter clicks, and that is apparently the exact time needed for a whale to pop his head out of water, do a little dance with his tail, and duck back under. I do have, however, roughly 40 million pictures of the water where the whale used to be). I'll keep working on that, but at least now we know they're out there.

How Tony looks for whales

How I look for whales (note the book and the comfy lounge chair).

  • When the whales aren't around, the seals come out to play. We've also spotted otters (cute!) and sea lions (which look like giant pale sausages sitting on rocks).

  • Food update: Beef and vegetable soup, crab meat and grilled chicken salad (soooo good!), brownie ala mode for lunch. Dinner was sirloin steak, crab lump and artichoke pastry, more french onion soup, and another crab lump and artichoke pastry thing for dessert since I liked it so much. We're assigned a specific table at dinner, but at lunch you can just sit wherever, so we had lunch with an 84 year old man who saw Tony's hockey shirt and told us about going to watch hockey games in Vancouver in the 1930's. No helmets, no pads, no face guards or anything. And no TV. Back then they listened to the game on the radio. Crazy.
  • Speaking of crazy: The ship was doing a polar bear swim in one of its open deck pools, and about two minutes before it was supposed to start, Tony decided that he wanted to do it too. So he did. The air was frigid, we're surrounded by glaciers, they dumped a couple of buckets of ice in the pool to make it even colder, and that crazy freak just jumped right on in and swam the length of the pool like it was nothing. (And decided to do it the one time I didn't have my camera with me). He actually said it wasn't that bad, but I'm still cold just thinking about it. The cruise line gave him a certificate that officially states Tony "swam in Glacier Bay National Park and is now a member of the International Society of the Polar Bear". He never ceases to amaze me.
  • And now, a random shot of me standing in front of my favorite things- more mountains.