Greetings from Sitka, Alaska
The Spirit Of Endeavour has docked in the lovely town of Sitka. I’ve tracked down an internet cafe and I finally managed to upload some pictures to Flickr. I’ve also updated the gallery right here.
The voyage so far has been idyllic. The weather has been consistently sunny and warm. When I was preparing for this trip, I packed thermal underwear and thick shirts. I didn’t expect to be hanging out on deck wearing a t-shirt.
In theory, this is a working trip. I’ve been sequestering myself with my iBook in my cabin and getting some writing done. But it seems like every time I do that, a shout goes up that a whale spout been spotted or that porpoise are bow-riding at the front of the ship. Both sights are unmissable.
Yesterday we were treated to the spectacle of humpback whales breaching. It’s an awesome sight to see these behemoths lift their entire bodies out of the water.
You can never count on seeing these kind of things but for this trip, it almost seems like Alaska is putting on a show just for our little ship. Humpback whales, orcas, northern lights… they’re all showing up as if on cue.
Life on board the ship is most convivial. It’s a small vessel that can berth one hundred passengers. On this cruise, there are just 32 of us. That makes for an intimate, friendly atmosphere amongst the passengers and the crew.
The shore excursions have great so far. The weather helps. I saw Ketchickan, the rainfall capital of America, in gorgeous sunlight. The town of Petersburg looked equally picturesque under clear clue skies.
Whilst docked in Petersburg, myself, Jessica and Jeb took the opportunity to take a floatplane ride up to Le Comte glacier. Viewing conditions were perfect and the glacier looked truly spectacular. Our pilot, Butch, took us in very, very close on occasion. This necessitated some fancy flying that began to upset my internal gyroscope.
Towards the end of the flight, when I was really wishing I had taken some dramamine, I spotted a humpback whale in the waters below. I excitedly pointed out its location and almost immediately wished I hadn’t. The plane executed a ninety degree bank that left my stomach churning. I was able to overcome my quesiness but I was pretty happy to get back to dry land… or water in this case.
Jessica’s parents and grandmother also went on a floatplane ride up to the glacier. Of course they felt just fine. I’m such a wimp.
My next excursion involves a helicopter ride to a glacier where we’ll go dog sledding. I hope my stomach doesn’t let me down again.
It’s time for me to wrap up my shore leave here in Sitka and make way back to the dock. At least my sea legs haven’t let me down. I think I’m more suited to nautical, rather than an aerial, adventures.