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PeaSea8ch

Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Travelogue

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #1– Prologue

 

Dear Readers,

In the Topic title, “2018” is not a typographical error.  I know this has taken me forever to get this all put together.  Work commitments and life in general were my distractions.  Plus, I am getting older, and my typing speed has degraded over time.

 

Seabourn’s Alaska cruises begin or end in the handsome city of Vancouver, sailing under the Graceful Lion’s Gate Bridge into the scenic harbor backed by snow-caped mountains. Vancouver is actually one British Columbia’s newest cities. Its earliest beginnings date from the establishment of a sawmill in 1862.  Gastown, he city’s colorful oldest section, was born when “Gassy” Jack Deighton placed a plank between two stumps next to a sawmill and started a saloon in 1867.  The town was incorporated in 1886 upon the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and named for the early explorer George Vancouver who surveyed the region in 1792.

 

Today, the Greater Vancouver Area is the third most populous metropolitan area in Canada and the most densely populated.  It is an extremely diverse city, where 52% of the people speak a first language other than English.

 

Vancouver’s port is one of the busiest in the world, and he most diversified in North America.  The towering skyline is a result of strategic urban planning favoring high-rise, live / work infrastructure over sprawl.  It is consistently ranked as one of the cleanest and most livable cities in the world.

 

Its airport is also among the world’s busiest and is the second most active gateway for international passengers on the west coast.  It also It also remains a major rail hub, which extensive service from AmTrak and ViaRail.

 

Vancouver’s well-maintained parks, attractive architecture, many fine museums and galleries, excellent hotels and a thriving restaurant and nightlife culture make it an appealing place to linger before or after your Alaska cruise adventure.

 

Enjoy the armchair voyage!  No rain (we actually had no rain until arrival in Vancouver at the end of the Alaska sailing and the next port, Seattle – no surprise there), no cold (except when we were close to the Glaciers), no bothersome hawkers pedaling their wares and no wall to wall cruise passengers in port from other mega ships (this was because this Seabourn Alaska cruise was essentially the last of the season and the mega ships were sailing in different waters than we were).

 

The Freeze Frame photos were taken on Sept. 24, 2018, the day before the Sojourn arrived in Vancouver on Sept. 25. Also included below is the Itinerary map.

Today’s Freeze Frames:

 

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Emerald Princess Only Visitor Day Before Sojourn Arrival

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Emerald Princess On Her Way! 1 of 2

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Emerald Princess On Her Way! 2 of 2

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch
Rmoved daily itineraryt

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #2 – Vancouver Sailaway!

Embarkation day is finally here!  There were 3 ships in port today.  The first to arrive were HAL ships: the Amsterdam & Zaandam (both were in-transit which made our embarkation process go smoothly & quickly) and Seabourn Sojourn.

After embarking the ship and having lunch in the Colonnade, I went to Seabourn Square and had my inaugural Skinny flat white hazelnut latte and sat in the corner and people watched.  Then around 2 PM, the announcement was made that all suites were ready for occupancy, which triggered the “stampede to the Suites.”  This was not a problem for me as all I had to do was walk forward from Seabourn Square and my suite was on the port side of the ship.

 

Upon arrival. I saw that my heavily packed suitcase, entrusted to Luggage Forward 2.5 weeks ago, was on top of the bed for immediate unpacking, which is exactly what I did.  I smiled and winked to the Seabourn Luggage Valet fairy who watched over my suitcase during shipment from my home to my suite.  Soon after that my rollaboard arrived, that was also unpacked.  My suite stewardess Julia came buy and introduced herself and we chatted for a moment and I chose my bar soap. Now that my Suite is all ship-shape for the cruise it is time to do some exploring around the ship.  I am always glad when this part of the voyage is complete!

 

Sailaway was delayed about an hour for all 3 ships.  The Amsterdam got away before I could take a snap of her.  The Zaandam was gracefully maneuvered away from the dock behind us to turn around and head out to sea.  We were the last to leave the dock and the CD Robert Brendan then introduced the entertainment staff to enhance our sailing.  After sailing under the Lions Gate Bridge and approaching the Pacific Ocean, it was cold and windy, thereby indicating it was time to get cleaned up for supper.

 

I was a guest at the hosted table of Seabourn singer David Fearn in the Restaurant.  It was a nice table and we all got along quite well together.  I really enjoyed my dinner of Poached Shrimp Ceviche with avocado tartare, cilantro and lime; tomato salad, pickled red onion with Roquefort cheese, basil vinaigrette; caramelized scallops & shrimp, fettucine, green vegetables, pommery mustard cream; and capping it all off with a decalf cappuccino.

 

As I walked upstairs, I peeked into The Club and was moderately busy.  With the embarkation and sailaway excitement behind me, I stated to fade so I retired to my suite for the evening.  The moment my head touched the fluffy pillows and I pulled the Scandinavian comforter over me, I was immediately transported back to my home at sea and slept soundly the entire night.

 

Today’s Freeze Frames:

 

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Holland America Line Zaandam On Her Way

 

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Sojourn Sailaway 1 of 8

 

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Sojourn Sailaway 2 of 8

 

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Sojourn Sailaway 3 of 8

 

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Sojourn Sailaway 4 of 8 - The Band & Amber Revs Up The Passengers Engines

 

*** Sailaway Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Sailaway Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Sojourn Sailaway 5 of 8 - One of Many Floatplanes on a flightseeing Tour

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Sojourn Sailaway 6 of 8

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Sojourn Sailaway 7 of 8

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Sojourn Sailaway 8 of 8 - View From Under The Lions Gate Bridge

 

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #3 – Ketchikan

Today, I took the tor Ketchikan’s Cultural Discovery tour.  Ketchikan was Alaska’s First City and I was ready to enjoy Ketchikan’ vivid naïve culture.  First stop was the Totem Heritage Center which contains one of he largest authentic collections of totems in the world.  With the dark, overcast skies outside, the interior lighting was not sufficient for hand-held photography.  The museum vast collection of poles and artifacts, many of which are hundreds of years old.

Then we enjoyed a scenic drive to Potlatch Park, where we explored several centuries of Alaskan history.  Starting with a collection of antique cars.  Then we took an awe-inspiring trip back to the 19th century to explore a fully re-created Native Alaskan village and peer into one of the homes to see the diorama of how native Alaskans actually lived in the 1800s.

Today’s Freeze Frames:

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Our Neighbors In Ketchikan The HAL Eurodam & ...

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The HAL Nieuw Amsterdam

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Walkway to Potlatch Park 1 of 2

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Walkway to Potlatch Park 2 of 2 - Salmon Treading Water Either Waiting to or Actually Spawning

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From Top Down: Eagle, Wife whose Husband was missing, Whale & Raven

*** Ketchikan Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

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Ketchikan Freeze Frames Continued:

 

 

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Apparently a Truncated version of the Previous Totem (the Eagle & Raven do not like each other)

 

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Typical 1800s Home Exterior

 

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Potlatch Park Antique Cars Collection 1 of 6

 

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Potlatch Park Antique Cars Collection 2 of 6

 

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Potlatch Park Antique Cars Collection 3 of 6

 

*** Ketchikan Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Ketchikan Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Potlatch Park Antique Cars Collection 4 of 6

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Potlatch Park Antique Cars Collection 5 of 6

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Potlatch Park Antique Cars Collection 6 of 6

 

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Ketchikan Sailaway 1 of 3

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Ketchikan Sailaway 2 of 3

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Ketchikan Sailaway 3 of 3

 

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #4 Sitka

 

 

Sitka, Alaska’s first capital, had been an active village of native Tlingit people for over 10,000 years when the Russian Alexander Baranov arrived by sea in 1799 and established his Fort Archangel Michael.  His presumption as the Tsar-appointed Governor of Russian America evidently aggravated the Tlingit to the extent that in 1802 they stormed the fort and decimated the Russian population, taking a number of captives and forcing others to flee.  Baranov returned two years later with a military force and re-established the community which he named New Archangel.  It served as the capital of Russian America until the purchase of Alaska in 1867.

 

Today I took the Explore Sitka, Raptor Center & Native Tales tour.  The tour began a brief panoramic drive through the historic district showcases: Totem Square, and Castle Hill, the Alaska Pioneer Home, the Russian Bishop’s house – site of the 1867 purchase and land transfer ceremony of Alaska from colonial Russia to the United States and St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

 

For me, the main event was the Alaska Raptor (e.g. Bald Eagle, Falcon, Osprey) Center, staffed mostly by volunteers who rescue the birds, provide rehabilitative care for them and hopefully release the birds back to the wild.  For those birds who cannot be returned to the wild, the Center cares for them the remainder of their lives.  These birds become Ambassadors to the Raptor Center.

 

After our introduction to the facility we had a fascinating bird-on-a-glove presentation.  Our Ambassador was a female Bald Eagle named Spirit, which she had in abundance.  She weighed 10 lbs. but looked a lot bigger than that.  It was obvious that she liked showing off for us as she was being encouraged with treats.  When the show was over, she made it very clear by squawking loudly and aggressively trying to pull her foot out of her leather restraint that she wanted more treats.  After that I toured the outside deck habitat and the indoor eagle flight center.

 

Next was the Sitka National Historic Park where I wandered along the lush forest on paths which depict the rich culture of the Tlingit people.  Inside the Visitor Center featuring local native artists with both ancient and modern displays.  There was a audio-visual presentation on Sika’s history that I really enjoyed.

 

The final stop was a visit to a traditional-style clan house which the largest carved house-screen in the Pacific Northwest and comes alive with dances, songs and voices.  The beautiful regalia of traditional clothing was quite interesting.  Then back home to Seabourn Sojourn.

 

Today’s Freeze Frames:

 

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Raptor Center Recuperating Eagles 1 of 2

 

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Raptor Center Recuperating Eagles 2 of 2

 

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Raptor Center Recuperating Owl

 

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Sitka National Historic Park - Spawning Salmon

 

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Sitka National Historic Park - Totem Poles

 

*** Sitka Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Sitka Freeze Frames Continued:

 

 

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Sitka National Historic Park - Looking Outward 1 of 2

 

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Sitka National Historic Park - Looking Outward 2 of 2

 

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Authentic Tlingit Singers & Dancers

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #5 – Icy Strait Point, Alaska

The Inian Islands are a half-dozen small, rocky islands situated at the Pacific Ocean end of the Icy Strait between Chichagof Island and the Glacier Bay National Park. Physically, the islands are characterized by their rugged, rocky shorelines and the distinctive, wind-formed forests that cling to them. Their western coasts are subject to the effects of Pacific weather and waves, and the narrow channels between them funnel the ocean into and out of the Lynn Canal and other inland waterways.  This also provides a continual bath of nutrient rich water to the islands supporting a plentiful density of marine life including whales, seals, sea lions, otters and sea birds.

 

Icy Strait Point is a unique community on Chichahof Island, created and owned by a corporation of over 1300 Native Americans of various local Tlingit tribes for the purpose of offering visitors an enjoyable, educational experience of Alaska’s native cultures, as well as the human and natural history of the region.

Today, I took the Spasski River Valley Wildlife and Bear Search tour. After boarding the bus, we traveled to the Tlingit village of Hoonah in route to the remote bush of the Spasski River Valley.  Upon arrival, our guide and 2 armed lookouts (with rifles and bear spray) in front and behind our tour group were there to fire warning shots if the bears get too close, which did not happen.  Before she led our group down the gravel path, she told us that we think we are walking quietly down the path while the bears think we are a thundering herd of elephants! As we walked across a boardwalk over the delicate muskeg (a kind of bog or marsh containing thick layers of decaying vegetable matter, mosses, etc., found especially in Canada and Alaska and often overgrown with moss) and then to viewing platforms to see the river itself.  I was amazed that the rain forest ecology actually supports the island’s 4,000+ massive brown bears.

 

Soon after we arrived, we saw a momma bear and her cub.  Our guide told us that she is out here every day of the summer season and knew the momma bear and her two cubs.  She asked her lookouts to look for the other cub with no joy.  She told our group that the momma bear was not happy and called a few of her colleagues for information.  Someone asked her what might have happened, and she said that maybe the food supply this year was not enough to feed both cubs or the cub ate something with tapeworms and that killed him, or a male bear killed the cub to get momma bear to mate with him.  She then got a little emotional telling us that she first saw the cubs right after they were born, and she showed us a video she took on her iPhone showing the 2 cubs playing with each other.

 

Today’s Freeze Frames:

 

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Spasski River Valley 1 of 2

 

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Spasski River Valley 2 of 2

 

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Spasski River Mama Bear & Cub 1 of 3

 

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Spasski River Mama Bear & Cub 2 of 3

 

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Spasski River Mama Bear & Cub 3 of 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #6 – Juneau, Alaska

 

 

Alaska’s capital is inaccessible by road due to the rugged surrounding terrain.  Set beside the deep Gastineau Channel in the state’s Southeastern panhandle, it was founded as a mining camp by Joe Juneau in 1880 and was the first Alaskan town officially established after the purchase of the territory by the United States.  It was designated as the capital in 1906, after its important mining and fishing industries eclipsed the waning wailing and fur trades at the former capital, Sitka.

 

In the mountainous back of town, the huge Juneau Icefield spawns no fewer than 30 glaciers, including the mighty Mendenhall Glacier, the only glacier within a city’s limits.  Juneau’s extensive limits enfold over 3,200 square miles, making the borough larger than the states of Rhode Island or Delaware.  It is the only state capital that shares a border with a foreign country (Canada).

 

Today, I took the 5-hour Whales & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari excursion featuring a professional naturalist photography guide. The tour is limited to 14 participants, so everyone is comfortable on our 34- foot custom-built safari vessel, based on a US Coast Guard design.  Today there were 13 of us. At the first stop at a panoramic view of the Mendenhall Valley, our photography guide told us the only way to photograph Alaska is with a stand-alone camera and not a smart phone or tablet.  Since the majority of passengers had smart phones & tablets, our guide was generous with his time providing tips and advice while also supporting the minority with cameras.

 

After boarding our safari vessel, we journeyed through the pristine waters of Stephens Passage. Large panel windows open to give us unrestricted views while our Captain skillfully maneuvers the vessel to give us the best angle on the shot.  At first, we weren’t seeing anything in the water and he Captain was calling spotters up in the mountains and other ships on the water for advice.  Once the spotters gave our Captain coordinates of where a whale was, he changed course, and every boat out there was chasing us to horn in on our viewing. And we did see a female whale who “teased” us several times by arching her back and diving, but she did not raise her fluke out of the water.  When she returned to the surface, she was always closest to our boat and when she exhaled water, we could hear her breathing!  To me, that was a nice consolation prize for being “teased” out of not giving us the opportunity for a coveted photo of her fluke as she disappeared into the depths.

 

After disembarking our safari vessel, it was a short ride to the Mendenhall Glacier area (a bucket list item of mine) where we walked along a secluded rain forest trail. While walking this tail, our guide pointed out places where the bears were digging up the foliage on the edge of the path to eat the roots.  The path led us to beaver dams, salmon streams, remarkable glacier panoramas and ending at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center.

 

We learned about the glaciers route over the past, nearly 100 years, with historical images to compare with the landscape of today. Also, while at the Visitors Center, a Park Ranger told us that black bears were nearby us and that the bears cold see us, but we could not see them.  She also sad that the bears come near the Visitors Center when sockeye and coho salmon start spawning in nearby Steep Creek. In the fall, the bears will move to the higher elevations to feed on berries and eventually den for winter.

 

Today’s Freeze Frames:

 

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Mendenhall Valley

 

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Friendship Bridge, From Upper Left, Eagle, Raven & Bear All cornerstones of Tlingit Culture

 

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Mendenhall Valley Flora 1 of 4 - Mushrooms!

 

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Mendenhall Valley Flora 2 of 4

 

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Mendenhall Valley Flora 3 of 4

 

*** Juneau Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Juneau Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Mendenhall Valley Flora 4 of 4

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Warning Signage Was Excellent

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Water Runoff

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A Different Warning Sign: Mendenhall Glacier, 1921

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A Different Warning Sign: Mendenhall Glacier, 1956

*** Juneau Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

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Juneau Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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A Different Warning Sign: Mendenhall Glacier, Circa 1970s

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Mendenhall Glacier Sept. 30, 2018. 1 of 2

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Mendenhall Glacier Sept. 30, 2018. 2 of 2

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Has Fall Arrived Early?

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Mendenhall Glacier & Its Inlet From “The Beach” 1 of 4

*** Juneau Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

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Juneau Freeze Frames Continued:

 

 

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Mendenhall Glacier & Its Inlet From “The Beach” 2 of 4

 

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Mendenhall Glacier’s Inlet From “The Beach” 3 of 4

 

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Mendenhall Glacier’s Inlet From “The Beach” 4 of 4

 

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The Bears Are The Residents. We Humans Are The Tourists.

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #7 – Tracy Arm, Alaska Sawyer Glacier

After departing Juneau at 11 PM, we headed soutward on the Gasteneau Channel and passed the Taku Inlet on our port side.  All 5 species of Pacific salmon spawn into the waers that flow into Taku Inlet.  The inlet is a bonanza for commercial and sport fisherman alike. King salmon weighing over 50 pounds are routinely landed here.

Continuing our southward journey, we entered Stephens Passage which is flanked on the starboard side of the ship by Glass Peninsula of Admiralty Island which is 96 miles long and up to 22 miles wide.  The Tlingit village of Angoon, with 500 residents, is the only permanent town.  The Tlingit named the island Kootznoowoo, meaning “Fortress of the Bears.”  Perhaps, that is also the source of the Russian name for the island Ostrov Kutsnoi meaning “Fear Island.”  Make no mistake, Admiralty Island belongs to the bears − at roughly 1 bear per square mile, the Island has the highest density of brown bears in the world.  Bald eagles also lay claim to Kootznoowoo, with over 900 nests that trace the shoreline of the island.

Technically this was to be a sea day where the ship was stationary but drifting with the current and the Ventures by Seabourn team had glacier expeditions via Zodiac, kayak and catamaran.  Today, I chose the Glacier exploration by catamaran.

 

The “North” Sawyer and South Sawyer glaciers come from the Stikine Ice Field which covers 2,900 square miles along the Coastal Mountains that separate Canada from the United States.  This area is equal to of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Twelve of the glaciers that come out of the Stikine Ice Field are over 10 miles long.

 

The twin Sawyer Glaciers emerge from the west portion of the Stikine Ice Field.  Prior to about 1850, the Sawyer Glaciers were joined and presented one face to the tide driven North Pacific. This single glacier is responsible for scouring and helping shape Tracy Arm Fjord.  Since that time the glaciers have continued to retreat, revealing Sawyer Island and taking the position we find them today.

 

In the Tracy Arm Fjord route map provided by the tour company, it shows the approximate glacier face, in the 1800s and the Sawyer and South Sawyer glacier faces in 1985. Using the map scale as a guide, I determined that the “North” Sawyer Glacier has retreated about 1 mile while the South Sawyer Glacier has retreated about 2 miles. By subtracting 10 years from the estimated 1850 glacier face location for a slightly more liberal estimate of 1985 minus 1840 = 145 years. Having a more recent estimate, say in 2010 would be nice to see how things are going.

 

As we sailed towards our stationary position, I began to see small bits of ice floating by my balcony; then they began to get bigger to some rather large bergie (iceberg) bits.  We embarked on the catamaran from the Sojourn’s tender platform and then off we went.  When we rounded the corner and saw evidence of significant calving activity on the face of the Sawyer Glacier, I knew we had arrived!  There were harbor seals playing in the water and resting on the calved ice.  The Naturalist told me that the Orcas (Killer Whales) were long gone as the food supply was essentially gobbled up, so the seals were safe here.  Out catamaran Captain made two floating passes parallel to the glacier face where the second pass was as close to the seals on the ice as allowed.

 

The fracture surfaces of the glacier face were chaotic and appeared to calve inboard to the fracture face.

 

Sawyer Glacier Freeze Frames:

 

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 1 of 8

 

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 2 of 8

 

 

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 3 of 8 Bergie (as in iceberg) Bits!

 

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 4 of 8 Big Bergie Bit!!

 

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 5 of 8 - Two Harbor Seals Looking For Company

 

*** Sawyer Glacier Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

 

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Sawyer Glacier Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 6 of 8 Seabourn Sojourn As My 3-Deck Catamaran Takes Me To Sawyer Glacier

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 7 of 8

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Navigating Tracy Arm Fjord 8 of 8 - Sawyer Glacier!!

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Sawyer Glacier 1 of 6- Note: the size of these “icebergs” are indicative of glacial retreat.

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Sawyer Glacier 2 of 6

*** Sawyer Glacier Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

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Sawyer Glacier Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Sawyer Glacier 3 of 6

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Sawyer Glacier 4 of 6

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Sawyer Glacier 5 of 6

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Sawyer Glacier 6 of 6 The Seals are safe here as the Orca Whales are long gone due to no food supply.

 

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #8 – Tracy Arm, Alaska South Sawyer Glacier

 

Next, we turned around to travel “around the corner” to see the South Sawyer Glacier.  Upon arrival there was no evidence of calving for a long time.  The tidewater of the inlet was very calm all the way to the face of the glacier.  In stark comparison to the (North) Sawyer Glacier’s face, the South Sawyer’s face had mostly planer or flat fracture surfaces that sheared off the glacier face into the water as compared to the chaotic rupture patterns indicative of very high stress ruptures of the Sawyer glacier’s face.

 

Today’s Freeze Frames:

 

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Heading Over To South Sawyer Glacier 1 of 3

 

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Heading Over To South Sawyer Glacier 2 of 3

 

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Heading Over To South Sawyer Glacier 3 of 3

 

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South Sawyer Glacier 1 of 5 - No Recent Calving Activity (retreat)

 

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South Sawyer Glacier 2 of 5

 

*** South Sawyer Glacier Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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South Sawyer Glacier Freeze Frames Continued:

 

 

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South Sawyer Glacier 3 of 5

 

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South Sawyer Glacier 4 of 5 - "Black Ice" contains rock debris and also fine granules of crushed rock as the glacier moves forward

 

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South Sawyer Glacier 5 of 5 I was fascinated by the colorations in water flow areas.  Brownish red indicates iron oxide; not sure about the purple as it appears to be water runoff.

 

Edited by PeaSea8ch

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #9 – Wrangell, Alaska

 

The town of Wrangell was located on Wrangell Island in Alaska’s Inside Passage.  Its location at the mouth of the Stikine River was important for millennia to the Tlingit people of the region for trade with the interior.  The Russian Baron Ferdinand Wrangel built his Fort St. Dionysius adjacent to an existing Tlingit fortress in 1811, attracted by the abundant otter, seal and beaver populations.

In 1839, the fort was leased to the British Hudson’s Bay Company, which renamed it Fort Stikine.  Initial Tlingit resistance of the British appropriation of the Stikine River trade route was stifled by catastrophic smallpox epidemics among the natives.  Within a decade, the Company managed to decimate the fur resource.  Fishing and timber remained important to the local economy, and still does today.

But the fortunes of Wrangell were transformed by its strategic location of the routes of the Klondike Gold Rushes.  The Stikine River was the earliest route of prospectors into the Klondike goldfields, and the town remained an important staging area for successive waves of miners heading northward.

Today I took the 3-hour Island Heritage Discovery tour.  This was a journey back in time that highlighted the history of Wrangell.  Our Alaskan Native guide shared with us the diverse influences that shaped Wrangell starting with the first inhabitants, the Tlingit Nation.  Tlingit history spans approximately 10,000 years and we heard the high points at Chief Shakes’ Tribal House.  The stories told have been passed down from generation to generation.  Next was he story of Fort Wrangell at the Wrangell Museum.  The museum was laid out quite well with a lot of displays leading me to daydream a bit on Wrangell life way back then.  As the third oldest city in Alaska, ruled by four nations under three flags, Wrangell’s rich and diverse history was very interesting.

The final stop was seeing the ancient petroglyphs that have been unearthed on the local beach and their significance to the local natives.  Carved out of stone, they told stories that have survived millenniums.  I found this very interesting!

Today’s Freeze Frames:

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Chief Shakes Tribal House 1 of 2

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Chief Shakes Tribal House 2 of 2 Inside

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Tlingit Frog Museum Artifact

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Ancient Petroglyphs Unearthed At This Beach 1 of 2

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Ancient Petroglyphs Unearthed At This Beach 2 of 2

 

*** Wrangell Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

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Wrangell Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Ancient Petroglyphs 1 of 6

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Ancient Petroglyphs 2 of 6

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Ancient Petroglyphs 3 of 6

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Ancient Petroglyphs 4 of 6

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Ancient Petroglyphs 5 of 6

*** Wrangell Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

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Wrangell Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Ancient Petroglyphs 6 of 6

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Also On The Beach 1 of 2

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Also On The Beach 2 of 2

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Recently Made Petroglyphs On Display 1 of 4

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Recently Made Petroglyphs On Display 2 of 4

*** Wrangell Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

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Wrangell Freeze Frames Continued:

 

 

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Recently Made Petroglyphs On Display 3 of 4

 

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Recently Made Petroglyphs On Display 4 of 4

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #10 – Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska

 

The Misty Fjords National Monument is a tract of over 2 million acres of spectacular wilderness located on the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska.  Compared geologically to California’s Yosemite Valley by John Muir, it is serrated by numberless glacial fjords; steep valleys cut by flowing ice through the granite rock ages ago.  Today, these are now flooded by the ocean waters into narrow canals up to a thousand feet deep, between peaks and walls towering 2,000 to 3,000 feet above the surface.

Their slopes are densely covered by ancient rain forests of majestic hemlock, Sitka spruce and western red cedar trees.  The cliffs accommodate silvery waterfalls plummeting from the heights to ripple the mirrored channel below.  The area is abundantly populated with wildlife including grizzly and black bears, whales, mountain goats and deer.

So after slowly threading the 100-mile Behm Canal, we arrived at scenic Rudyerd Bay where optional Zodiac and Catamaran excursions were launched from the Sojourn’s Marina for viewing the scenery and wildlife up close from sea level.  For some inexplicable reason, I missed booking the Catamaran exploration.  Grrr.  However, all was not lost.  Members of the expedition team were on deck offering and pointing out highlights as they appeared, which I thought was very nice.

Today’s Freeze Frames:

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Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska 1 of 6

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Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska 2 of 6

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Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska 3 of 6

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Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska 4 of 6

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Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska 5 of 6

*** Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

 

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Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska Freeze Frames Continued:

 

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Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), Alaska 6 of 6

 

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Sojourn 2018 B2B Alaska and America’s Gold Coast Vol. 15 #11 – Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

Like many towns on the Pacific coast of North America, Prince Rupert was founded on the site of First Nations communities that thrived here for millennia.  The town was founded in 1910 and named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the 17th century Duke of Cumberland and governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.  The vision of the city current city was that of Charles Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, who recognized its deep ice-free harbor as the natural northwestern terminus of the North American Railway network.

Today, Prince Rupert is the closest year-round rail terminal to the vast markets of Asia.  It is also an important center for tourism, being a hub for ferry, cruise and rail traffic between Canada, Alaska and the lower forty-eight US states.  It is also the wettest city in North America.

Today, I took the 2 Hr. Prince Rupert City Highlights & Museum tour.  This was a bus tour with a few stops along the way.  The city’s highlights are a reminder of the many peoples and cultures who founded Prince Rupert, including adventurers and entrepreneurs.  From the British gentleman who founded a dairy at Cow Bay to the Chinese gold miner who started Prince Rupert’s longest-running grocery store and from the many shop owners who set up their first businesses in tents to the people who invested in the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and its fleet of ships.  These stories are as varied as they are interesting.

Our first stop was at a scenic viewpoint and lookout over Prince Rupert’s harbor and Metlakatla Pass.  This is where the Tsimshian Natives made their winter villages with great cedar houses and canoes and thrived in the rich coastal landscape.

Next we drove through the downtown core, while taking in the diverse styles of architecture, passing City Hall and heading towards the waterfront.  We then learned about the modern-day port and the transportation hub that links Canada to the Pacific Rim via train and ships.

The next stop was at the waterfront Kinsmen Park and visited he Kwinista Railway Station Museum, where we learned about the building of the trans-Canada Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and the Whale Monument.  The Kwinista Railway Station was relocated, intact from its position on the working railway to here; a project that took several years to complete.  I was impressed with this museum as it was jammed packed with memorabilia from its heyday.

Finally, we traveled to the Museum of Northern British Columbia, known for its important First Nations collection of exhibits of the art, history and living culture of the Tsimshian people.  I really enjoyed meandering through the museum and seeing how they lived so many years ago.

Then, back to the ship for a Baltic Lunch in the Colonnade.

Today’s Freeze Frames:

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Totem Pole

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Viewing the Inside Passage From The Trees 1 of 2

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Viewing the Inside Passage From The Trees 2 of 2

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Kinsmen Park – Whale Monument

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Kinsmen Park - Kwinitsa Railway Station Museum

*** Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Freeze Frames Continued in Next Post ***

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