Yesterday it was the Hubbard Glacier, today it’ll be the town of Ketchikan.

Again: always take a photo of the cruise ship’s day schedule:

  1. You’ll be certain of the time you need to re-board.
  2. In the distant future it’ll help identify in which city you’re in when you’re reviewing your photo stream.

We’re greeted by this great statuary on Front Street.

The main square, where Carmella (at right) is negotiating a last-minute walk-on fishing expedition. (Those of you who know Carmela also know that not much makes her happier than fishing. This is going to be a fun ride.) Of course, she uses all her skills to wrangle an amazing price for the day with the most personable crew around (but we don’t know that yet).

OMG do I feel like I’ve dressed for the part, in my Alaska rust-colored hat and fisherman’s overalls.

The view from the boat we rented; just the three of us! Woot!

360° photosphere

New photo by Michael Sattler / Google Photos

Our Captain, animatedly explaining Carmella’s technique in landing her catch.

This will be cleaned, flash-frozen, and shipped to me in California. (Current laws don’t allow delivery to Canada. Yum; future dinners for me!)

Here’s how she does it:

New video by Michael Sattler / Google Photos

Our captain is so impressed by the size of her haul that he jumps in to help in hoisting when I grab the camera.

360° photosphere of the dock, after our return. I haven’t yet mentioned how wonderful the trip was; how our Captain did such a wonderful job of picking out places for us to go, his detailed explanation of the geography and his personal tales of his years in Alaska. It was a grand day out on the water.

New photo by Michael Sattler / Google Photos

Back aboard, it’s another trip to the main dining room. On this trip we didn’t do the specialty restaurants. It’s Surf ‘n Turf night.

Venison.

We return to the cabin, waiting for the sounds of the crew on the dock releasing the ropes, the horn signaling our departure. Soon we’re underway.

We leave for Vancouver, the setting sun putting

The next day is a typical end-of-cruise sea day. We enjoy the strolls around the ship, mindfully conveying our appreciation to the crew, sharing stories of future destinations with fellow cruisers. (I’m heading back to the San Francisco Bay Area while Carmella & Harry will be joined by Darlene and then they’ll take another Alaskan cruise on a different line.)

That evening we go to the invitation-only Mariner Event, based upon Carmella’s loyalty points with Holland America.

It’s a tasty brunch, nicely made and plated. The best part of the event, though, was the time we had with Michael Hiereth, the ship’s hotel director. He’s a very charming guy, with great stories of his time at sea. The time flew by, and we helped close the place down.

There’s the obligatory teary end-of-trip “last” photos…

…and the farewell to the fabulous stewards, who made us feel so well-taken-care-of the entirety of the trip. Hard-working, attentive to detail, yet cheerful despite the long hours and often very busy shifts.

We reluctantly pack our suitcases, keeping out what we’ll need to have handy tomorrow.

On the last evening, we head to the aft deck for some whale-watching. Yes, we’d been seeing marine life, from the whales to seals and schools of fish, but it’s really hard to capture them, so you’ll have to use your imagination. Sorry.

We met a veteran who had us in stitches with his tales; his wife was quite the life of the party as well.

Very late, and very tired, we head back to the cabin for our last sleep aboard. It’s a low-stress affair because our bags are already packed. We hear the fuzz of couples all around the ship, as they face the last-minute daunting task of stowing their things.

The unwelcome sight of the bridge outside of the port of Vancouver, an unmistakeable sign that things are wrapping up.

One last fabulous breakfast on our huge balcony, a bit of family time in Vancouver’s delightful summer sun.

I deliver the Lesiuks to their next ship, moored across the way. I can’t go far into their security gauntlet, so it’s hugs and before I know it I’m retracing my trip to the airport. I get this photo, with the light of the setting sun coloring the clouds in the distant background, and fall asleep.

The intersection of Castro & Market Streets, San Francisco, seen through a fortuitous break in the clouds.

My treasured souvenir, a sesqucentenial coffee mug from Tim Horton’s, on my workspace.

And that’s that! Trip done, fish in the freezer; life returns to normal.

Until the next trip…

Leave a Reply