Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ketchikan

 
 
Arriving at the port of Ketchikan Alaska at sunrise, thanks to our travel companions Wendy and Terry...man oh man they are early risers!!! Just for the record Rick and I didn’t see one sunrise on this adventure. Ha Ha
 
What we did see is depicted in the photos below...
 






 
Hmmmmm an interesting little tidbit about this place...
 



 
 
Here are some of those Salmon that came up to spawn, oh and slowly die thereafter by the way! Seems the sign didn't mention that little bit of info...
 


Hey want to go for a swim….NOT! Especially at 55F

 


You’ve probably noticed Rick and I spent the day just walking around Ketchikan.

Our friends Wendy and Terry went on a deep sea fishing excursion and shared their experience with us...
 



Sailing away

 

 
Afternoon cocktails
 

And so ends our beautiful day in Ketchikan Alaska. The proverbial cherry on top was learning that the head chef on board the Coral Princess was more than happy and willing to grill up one of the halibut caught that day by our friends. Wow what a wonderful meal to look forward to tomorrow.
 
Fast forwarding to our last evening at sea, the best halibut we've ever had in our lives.
 
Before...
 
 

After…

 
 


Once again, in the wee hours of the morning here we are coming into the port of Vancouver Canada compliments of early rising travel companions!

 

 
 
Well peeps, this is the end of the show, we are sorry but we have to go….we hope you’ve enjoyed living vicariously through us once again, and we also hope that we’ve sparked an interest in you to visit the gorgeous state of Alaska. We will definitely be going back one day with our motor home so we can experience it a lot more intimately.
 
We’ve been home for about 7 weeks now and are about to pack up the motor home to head south for the winter.
Destination southwest United States of America. We've decided to try the gypsy lifestyle. Take care friends, stay warm this winter and don’t forget to check in with us from time to time to see what we've been up to.
Oh and by the way, some of you have noticed that wee Shaemus hasn’t made an appearance during our Alaskan adventure. We will leave you with a few reasons to ponder.
You decide; we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or an email.
1.  He fell over board
2.  He stayed home to have a leprechaun party
3.  We simply forgot him
Let us know what you think, thanks for hangin’ out with us again.
 
Rick and Sandra J
 
 



































Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Whale Of A Time

 
Well peeps, we’re almost at the end of our land/sea adventure to the amazing State of Alaska.

This post is about our visit to the capital city of Alaska; Juneau. For those that may not know, Juneau is named after a miner and prospector from Canada who was born in the Quebec town of Saint-Paul-l'Ermite.
 
Whilst in Juneau we visited the Mendenhall Glacier and did some much anticipated Whale watching. I hope you enjoy some of Rick’s amazing photos of what I think can be considered the highlight of our adventure.

Our travel companions Wendy and Terry took a similar excursion, albeit theirs was a more intimate tour with less people and included the expertise of an on board professional photographer. Between the two of them they took some amazing photos and they have been kind enough to share one or two here on our blog.

Prior to boarding our boat we visited Alaska’s most "accessible" glacier on the shores of Mendenhall Lake.
 

There is a lot to be said about having the opportunity to leave footprints on soil that was under ice just decade ago.
 













 

Glaciers obviously contribute vast volumes of freshwater to land and marine environments. Southeast Alaska’s glaciers alone discharge enough water to fill 40 million Olympic sized swimming pools. They grind mountains into fine particles, as you’ve already seen in our previous photos/posts. This melt water provides a variety of nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus and unique ancient organic carbon, and contributes to the productivity of marine food chain. Swimming at the top of this food chain are the whales, so it makes complete sense why the Juneau area is frequented by these amazing creatures.

 After visiting the Mendenhall Glacier we boarded our whale watching catamaran stopping briefly at the beautiful Orca Point Lodge on Colt Island where we enjoyed a feast that included grilled wild Alaska salmon, chicken, vegetable medley, rice pilaf, cole slaw, fresh-hot rolls and desserts.  The lodge offers peaceful seclusion with modern comforts in a remote wilderness setting. 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Now for what we’ve all been waiting for; an afternoon with the humpback whale.
Humpbacks are enormous mammals, known for their majestic whale songs and aerial acrobatic abilities such as the ability to continuously breach the water in spite of their large bodies.
And breach they did….

 
 
A sea lion enjoying the last warm rays of summer

 
When it comes to physical size an adult humpback whale can grow to an average length of 40-60 ft. long and weigh as much as 44 tons.

Note: One of the largest ever recorded humpback whales measured in at 89 ft. long.

 
Ooh lucky photo op, breaching humpback and the Mendenhall Glacier in the background

 



 
 

What is a whale fluke?
 

 

Since you asked…the easiest way to explain it is when a large whale prepares for a deep dive, it arches its back, moving the central part of its body above water to get a better downward angle. With his/her head in position, the whale moves downward with the last thing you see before disappearing into the depths is its fluke sticking straight up above the water.
Fluking gives researchers a good look at the tail markings, which can be distinct enough to identify individual whales. Some whales apparently don't fluke at all.
 
The below photo was taken by our travel companion Wendy.
 

 

We’ll leave you with a little video Rick put together so you can get a little glimpse of what we experienced on our afternoon of whale watching. If you’ve never experienced it before, please put it on your bucket list!
Tomorrow we are in Ketchikan our last port of call on this adventure. See you there!
 
https://vimeo.com/143153590
 
video
 
video
Thanks for stopping by.
Rick and Sandra :)