Monthly Archives: June 2008

Vote for me!

Karen and I want a new camera. The Nikon D60 looks like a nice one. The problem is, it costs about $700 more than we can spend.

So I submitted a few photos in their contest. The voting opens on June 25th.

These are three that I submitted from our recent trip to Alaska.

And, of course, everybody loves puppies. This is our dog, Ande, at 10 weeks (almost two years ago). The credit goes to Karen on this one. I figured she wouldn’t mind me submitting it, since it’ll be her camera too if we win.

Ketchikan – Day 6

The only thing we had planned for this day was an excursion on board one of the Deadliest Catch boats. It was another short day so we basically got off the ship, spent a few hours on the fishing boat, and then got back on the ship. Didn’t see any of Ketchikan, which would’ve been nice. Still a good day though, especially since it didn’t rain all day.

The ship we toured on, The Aleutian Ballad, was featured on Deadliest Catch through the first season of the show. It has since been renovated to accommodate tourists

Pictured below is a random selection of crab pots and other fishing gear, as well as some of the bait they use. Yum!

One of the deckhands threw some of that bait so the eagles would come down out of the trees.

That guy in the yellow jacket is Kiwi. Apparently, he’s made a couple of appearances on Deadliest Catch, while serving on a different boat. If you’re ever going to be in Southeast Alaska, check out the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour website to experience your own fishing adventure!

Sitka – Day 5

One of the great benefits of this trip was that I learned a lot about Alaskan history. The history of Sitka is especially intriguing, to me anyway. I invite you to check out and Sitka Photos.

It was fortunate for us that we didn’t have any planned excursions on this day. I say that because it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and relaxing days during the whole vacation. It was sort of a short day because we had to be back on the ship before 4:00pm. But we got off at 8:00am and tried to make the most of what we could find.

The port of Sitka is lined with these really cool island homes. Imagine having to get in a boat to go to a neighbors house or to get groceries.

Because Sitka is a “tender” port (instead of a dock port), we had to be shuttled back and forth on these “tenders”. I don’t know why they call them tenders. It’s a boat, people. Just call it a boat. My dictionary defines tender, in a nautical sense, as “leaning or readily inclined to roll in response to the wind.” It doesn’t sound like something I’d want to ride in. Whatever. It did make it more interesting though and everything turned out alright; no leaning or rolling.

The first thing we did was find a coffee shop where we could connect to the Internet and update friends on our status. I uploaded a bunch of pics to Facebook and Karen updated her blog. After dropping off our computers, back on the ship, we went back ashore and walked along a beach at low tide.

The area where we were walking around is called Merrill Rock, a national historic park in Sitka. E.W. Merrill was a photographer and the park’s first official custodian. The big coin-looking plaque reads: “Elbridge W. Merrill. Who dedicated his life and artistic attainments toward picturing the scenic beauties surrounding Sitka, Alaska, 1932”

Lysichiton americanus. Commonly referred to as Western Skunk Cabbage or yellow skunk cabbage. A resident of the area called it bear laxative because apparently bears eat it to clean the pipes after a long winter’s nap.

Juneau, Alaska – Day 4

Our first port of call was for Juneau, on day 4. We got off the boat at around 7:30am and headed to the first of two excursions. The plan was to hike to the peak of Mt. Roberts. The boat docked about a hundred yards from the tramway that takes people up to the point where you begin the hike to the peak. It’s two and a half miles from the base of the mountain to where the tramway drops you off, and it’s a really steep climb. So we decided to take the tramway to the midway point, in the interest of time.

We paid for our tickets ($25.00 each) and got on the tramway. Unfortunately, after we entered the car and the doors closed, they announced that Mt. Roberts had received over 200 inches of snow this winter and the hike to the peak was blocked. Okay, you couldn’t post that somewhere in the lobby, so people would know ahead of time? Of course not, because then some people (like us) wouldn’t spend money on tickets if they know the hike is closed. So we decide to be happy anyway because we’re in Alaska and the country is beautiful and at least we can hike down the mountain.

Did you know? Tourism is the third largest industry in Juneau, behind government and fishing.

Overlooking Juneau

200 inches is a lot of snow!

Our second excursion was whale watching. The first set of whales we saw was this group of male Orca. Unfortunately, the Humpback whales were much more elusive. That last photo is about all I got of the Humpbacks. The lighthouse is cool though, right?
Male Orca

Male Orca

Male Orca

Cool secluded lighthouse

Update: No, there aren’t any Humpbacks in the last photo. However, I found these pics that Karen got of the Humpbacks. I forgot to mention, it was raining all day (literally, from before we got off the ship, to the time we got back on, it rained).
Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

Glacier Bay – Day 3

Day 2 was spent on the open sea. Not terribly spectacular. It was foggy and windy and cold all day. It rained a lot. Not the most enjoyable time and not really interesting blog fodder.

But this is what I woke up to on day 3, after all of day 2 on the foggy boring ocean.

Glacier #1
Glacier No. 1

Glacier #2
Glacier No. 2

Glacier #3
Glacier No. 3

Departing Seattle

After walking around Pike Place Market for a while we headed down to Terminal 30 to get on the big boat. We shuffled along in line, with all of the other sweaty uncomfortable passengers, for about an hour. The process works very similar to that of getting on an airplane, except it took longer. So they took our bags and moved us from one line to another until we finally reached our stateroom. Fortunately, our bags were already there and all we had to do was settle in.


This large container ship docked while we waited for another two hours or so before we left for the open sea.

Big container ship (little tug boat)

Bye bye Seattle

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