Alaska – Day #3

August 15, 2013

I woke up a number of times during the night knowing an amazing day was coming and I didn’t want to miss any of it. When the 7AM announcements started there was no way I was going back to sleep. It was the naturalist telling us about where we were, what was coming, and she also said there were two humpback whales alongside the ship.

We tossed on our clothes and made our way on deck in time to see the whales in the distance. They had fallen behind because of the forward motion of the ship but we could still see the white water where they were blowing air and coming up above the surface.

The morning was incredible. The water was as smooth as glass, and the sun was peaking through spotty clouds which were reflected on the water. There was an occasional fishing boat in the distance, and the fog and mist made the distant islands and mountains look ethereal and magical.

It wasn’t long before the naturalist announced that more whales had been spotted and they quickly came into view. I couldn’t believe it! Humpback whales, right by the ship, close enough to see easily. I had to review my pictures a few times to believe it myself.

We eventually pulled ourselves away to get some breakfast. People had pulled chairs to the windows on either side of the dining room so they could watch the water, and it wasn’t long before we were all rewarded with more whales, this time three humpbacks, again close to the ship.

This was only the beginning of a fantastic day. Today we went through the pass, through the fjords. The fog and rain cleared, the sun came out, and the mountains became taller and closer to the ship. It was incredible! Eventually we were maneuvering through passages of towering rock walls that looked too small for this huge ship.

We ended up as close as the ship could get to the Mendenhall Glacier (which we would visit again in a couple days). The pictures do not even come close to doing justice to this experience! The water was smooth emerald green, we were told from the dust in the glacier runoff. The mountains were almost on top of us on either side. The views were amazing! By the time we made it to the end of the passage we were about frozen solid from being out in the cold wind but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to miss a bit of this trip!

This was as far as the ship could go though, so when it turned around we decided to come in for lunch and to warm up. Everyone was still sitting by the windows and watching the incredible view from the restaurant. We were tired though and eventually retreated to our room to rest a bit.

When I came out, it had started to rain again. I went to the computer library to sort through my photos but couldn’t resist popping outside now and then when I saw something that cought my eye. I continued to watch the view through dinner and the evening until it got too dark to see any more.

I have a lot of photos! It was hard to choose, but hopefully these will give you some idea of what we saw on this wonderful day.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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14 Responses to Alaska – Day #3

  1. vnlilman says:

    uhm.. WOW. I love 815g

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  2. kattrinna says:

    Wow, the photos are great and I loved reading every bit of your experience. Seeing the whales must be really exciting and it’s so surreal to be caught in such a magical view. I wish I’d get to experience it also in the future. Although I am really one of those “summer” persons (maybe coz it’s something i’ve gotten used to), this could be an exception. 🙂

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    • Kris says:

      I hope you can go there! I’m a summer person too, believe me, and I spent a lot of the time with my coat on even indoors 😀 It was well worth it though.

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  3. indacampo says:

    Beautiful Kris! Glad you had a great trip and can’t wait to see the rest! Welcome Home. 🙂

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    • Kris says:

      Thank you 🙂 I remember the whale photos you posted right before we left, and told a number of people that my friend in Panama was also looking at whales 😀

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  4. Allison says:

    We did this trip last June, and it was fantastic! We had a naturalist that we can’t say we loved due to his monotone speeches, but the whales and glaciers were amazing!

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    • Kris says:

      We were lucky and our naturalist was excellent and obviously loved the whales. She would get on the PA when whales were spotted and tell everyone where they were and how they were acting. She also gave a lecture on the wildlife in the waters that was very interesting.

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  5. sunnymikkel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this incredible journey, your photos are amazing. BTW-Who was that one Polar Bear sunning in the deck chair? LOL
    I have a classmate from Annapolis whose name is Mendenhall (Corwin Guy Mendenhall III), I will have to ask him if that Glacier is named after a relative.

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    • Kris says:

      My pleasure 🙂
      I don’t know the polar bear 😀
      Maybe your friend Mendenhall could at least get free admission to the visitors center there

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  6. Karen says:

    Just amazing photos. I am overwhelmed with the beauty

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  7. Wow!! I knew you would have some spectacular photos to share!! Thank you so much for taking us along!! But I have to say, I couldn’t recognize you guys all bundled up in those coats!! That’s something I am certain I’ll never see here in Panama, Kris & Joel in Coats!!!! Ja!Ja!Ja!

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