Alaska: Back to Back Voyage of the Glaciers Cruises – Episode #5, Ketchikan & The Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour

Chris, as always was up super early on this the morning that we were oh so quietly sailing into Ketchikan; a quirky, colorful, little town that holds many sweet memories for me. Here is a video that Chris caught right before sunrise:

I was still snoozing away as Chris was walking around the ship taking pictures and gathering up his first cup of coffee from the International Cafe.

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My gracious it looked like it was going to be a gorgeous day in Ketchikan! We were surprised and felt extremely lucky that this was the case as it is usually raining and cloudy in Ketchikan. I was actually able to take a bit of a live video for the Facebook “Alaska Cruises on Princess” Group (I’m one of the Admins in that group)—Feel free to go to that link and join if you’d like to do so). 🙂  Here is a portion of that live video:

And then as promised in that video, I come back for a 2nd Facebook live video…In this one I start in our Stateroom D407 and give a very quick room tour:

ANYway, I finally pulled myself away from talking to the folks (who I adore) in that Group and I got myself showered and dressed for the day.  Here is the outfit that I chose:

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Here is the Princess Patter for the day:

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Okie dokie, it was now time for us to head on out and walk over to the Aleutian Ballad for our day’s excursion.  As you heard me mention in the video, we would not be in Ketchikan for all that long on this day, so when making arrangements for an excursion, it was an easy choice.  We love this “The Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour”.  The crew never ceases to entertain us with their harrowing stories of their time on the Bering Sea when they were Crab Fishing–not to mention the fact that I’m a huge fan of The Deadliest Catch tv show, so I’m a bit star-struck every time we take this tour. 🙂

I took a little video while we were walking over to the Aleutian Ballad:

And here are some pictures that we clicked off while on our way:

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When we climbed aboard the Aleutian Ballad, it was like I was home again..haha…We decided to climb on up to the upper deck and enjoy the views from a different vantage point than we ever had done in the past.  And to my surprise, I was actually able to take a bit of live video as we were sailing away out of the harbor.  Here is a snippet of that video:

And here are some pictures of our time on this wonderful excursion.

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The Captain slowed the boat down as we passed “Annette Island” an island that is home to the only remaining Indian Reservation in Alaska.  Bald Eagles also nest right there on that Island and the indigenous folks encourage and appreciate the Ballad coming by and providing a snack to the Eagles…Now, on this day, we only saw a couple of Eagles because one of the crew told me that they consider the “snacks” that they provide as pretty insignificant.  Most of the Eagles had traveled to where the bounty of food was located…there was a Salmon run happening when we were there and trust me, the little snacks that the crew threw out did not in any way deter the Eagles from heading over for a more tasty and much larger meal in the Salmon. 🙂 Chris did manage to get a few amazing pictures of those couple of Eagles, here they are:

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And here is one of their massive nests!!  Did you know that Eagles take a mate and remain with that mate for their entire life? Yes, indeed they do. Also, did you know that the Bald Eagle doesn’t get that beautiful white head until they are 5 years old? Yes, indeed that is true…I’m just full of fun facts huh? 😉 ANYway, here is that nest.

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As we cruised through these beautiful calm waters of the Inside Passage, I had to stop and just take it all in.  I again found myself tearing up at the beauty and grandeur that *is* Alaska.  I again pinched myself to make sure that I wasn’t well ensconced in a very sweet dream. And I once again drank in every sight and sound and said a very sincere and heartfelt thank you to the Lord for allowing us to be right there in that place once again.  Chris happened to catch a picture of me was I was lamenting upon our blessings…here is that shot:

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Our time on the Aleutian Ballad was coming to an end and I was quite humbled once again after I heard the crew’s amazing stories of their time doing the deadliest job on the planet…crab fishing.  Here is our picture with 2 of the crew on the Aleutian Ballad and some more pictures of the sights we saw as we were cruising back into Ketchikan.

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We did do a little bit of shopping on our way back to the Coral Princess, but, we were moving so fast that I didn’t take one picture.  I did get a jacket though…it has “Alaska” embroidered on it, it is purple and reverses to navy blue; here I am wearing it in the navy blue.

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We climbed back on board our big, beautiful cruise ship and headed out onto our balcony and watched as the crew prepared for our sail away…I was a bit sad to be leaving, but, this time, that sadness was quelled by the thought that we’d be right back here in a week on the Southbound cruise.   And then this little bit of excitement interrupted my thoughts…As y’all know, if you are not on board at the time of sail away the ship ***will*** leave you behind…so everyone is always super careful and makes arrangements with that “All-Aboard” time well plastered in their minds.  It is obvious that these 2 people thought that doing a bit of shopping *almost* caused them to be left behind. Yikes!!

And here are some of the sights we saw as we sailed away…

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Later that day, we were heading through a place called Snow Passage.  We’d seen on our Princess Patter that our Naturalist would be doing some commentary from the Bridge. (Btw…all Princess ships have a Naturalist that is on board for their Alaska cruises…we had one on our Hawaii cruise as well):

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So we had eaten at the Buffet when we got back on board from our excursion and had gathered a cup of hot chocolate for me and a cup of coffee for Chris and we were out on our balcony with cameras at the ready so that we’d be well prepared to catch any marine life that might want to show themselves to us and we cruised through Snow Passage…AND boy oh boy did we ever get a treat!!! Here are some of the pictures that we captured of the majestic Humpback whale…and yes, these were taken from our balcony on the Coral–that said, I did crop them down quite a bit (Chris has an amazing zoom lens). 🙂

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This is a special whale tail to me…I’m going to jump ahead in my time line for just a second here.  The day after we caught these pictures, we went on a whale watching excursion out of Juneau and I had a chat with the Naturalist on board our whale watching boat and he showed me this book which contains all of the whale tails that they regularly see in Alaska and have categorized. I came back and compared a picture that I captured out of that book and low and behold this is one of the whales that they have pictured and categorized…Check out number #1758 in that Naturalist’s book of whale tails that are Seasonally seen in Alaska!!  I was blown away that I had actually SEEN one and was able to tell him where so that he could add it to that whale’s information!

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All righty, we’d had a very full, very special day in Alaska…My head did not hit the pillow before I was asleep and dreaming of what our next adventure might entail. This lady was again in awe of the magnificent place in which we were traveling. Life was good!

Next time, I’ll share with you our day in Juneau and our adventure on that whale watching boat in Auk Bay. 🙂 Here is a sneak peek at some of the sights we were able to put our eyes on that day:

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***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

~Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

 

And here is a link to Episode #6!

 

Voyage of the Glaciers-Ketchikan (Day 7)

Hi All,

When I woke up and we were docked in Ketchikan I was full of mixed emotions.  On one hand, I was excited because I knew that the excursion that we had planned for the day was going to be amazing, we’d done it one other time a few years earlier so I knew what to expect.  Also, the weather was amazing! Ketchikan is located in the Tongass Rainforest, so it rains *a lot* throughout the year, but on this day, the sun was shining brightly and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky…how fortunate were we?! 🙂  But, on the other hand, I was kinda sad.  I knew that this might very well be the last time that we were going to see Ketchikan and its quirky beauty; it is a very colorful little city…

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My hubby and I spent the morning walking around the Coral Princess, eating breakfast, and just relaxing on our balcony…

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I enjoyed watching the floatplanes take off and land, there are tons of flight excursions that one can choose to take;  Misty Fjords is one of the major attractions out of Ketchikan and many choose to fly over it as opposed to taking a boat excursion.

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Here are a few pictures that we took on our Misty Fjord’s boat excursion a few years ago:

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After breakfast and lounging the morning away, it was time for us to head out for our excursion, we didn’t have to go too far, we literally stepped off of our cruise ship the Coral Princess and walked about 30 paces and climbed aboard the awaiting Aleutian Ballad for our Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour

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As I mentioned above, we had done this tour one other time and enjoyed it so much that we had to do it again. I was glad we did because there were new crew members aboard and they told new and different stories of their adventures on the Bering Sea where they were doing one of the deadliest jobs on the planet…catching crab. The Aleutian Ballad was one of the crab boats featured on the 1st season of the Discovery channel’s Deadliest Catch.  It got hit by a rogue wave and was damaged quite badly; this is when they chose to start doing a tour out of Ketchikan, so when they had the boat refurbished, they had it refitted to accommodate covered tiered seating to make folks comfortable while sitting and listening to the crew’s amazing tales.

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After they told a few stories we pulled into a little cove that was full of bald eagles, we caught some of the best pictures we’ve ever taken of those eagles–of course I knew this was coming so when they pulled into the cove, I practically dove for a front spot right at the railing…no, I wasn’t rude, just determined…haha. 😉  I think these pictures will speak for themselves…

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What a majestic bird!! I was amazed at their maneuvering ability and their accuracy when diving for the snacks that the crew was tossing into the water.

Here is a little video I took of our time on the Aleutian Ballad:

We then traveled around to some different crab and shrimp pots that the crew had dropped earlier and they explained the process of pulling/baiting/dropping said pot. We got to hold snow (or opilio) crabs, king crabs, shrimp, and other creatures from the sea. 🙂 I loved that part!

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I was mesmerized by all of their stories and completely thrilled yet again with this amazing excursion. If y’all ever get to Ketchikan, I would highly recommend this tour (you can book it on your own, or through any of the cruise lines).

So, this was our last port of call, as we pulled out of Ketchikan I again got weepy, I so love Alaska, its sheer size, its grandeur, and its magnificent sites.  I do hope that we will be able to return one, or two, or three more times in the future, but I’m not sure that we will do so as we’ve chosen to set our sights on other parts of the world.

The next day would be a ‘sea’ day, and then we’d be pulling into Vancouver, B.C. We’d disembark our cruise ship, but our vacation wasn’t quite over…

Next up…Orca whale watching tour on our way to Vancouver Island and meeting up with a dear Facebook friend Liz (that I’d met through my Newfoundland dogs), her hubby Mike, and their awesome Newfoundland pup Jack…I couldn’t wait for this next part of our adventure!

***Update***  I’ve now completed all of my installments in the Voyage of the Glaciers Series and have included links to the next post in line (so to speak) at the end of each posting.  So, here is a link to the next post and it covers our time in Vancouver & Orca Whale Watching tour to Victoria… 🙂

Sneak Peek:

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Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn

I’ve also written two other blog posts that go hand in hand with these blog entries.  Here is a link to my Alaskan Wardrobe Choices entry. And here is a link to my What’s In My Carry On, My Must Haves, and Packing Tips & Tricks entry.