Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Alaska Journal #5: Balcony Sights the First Evening of Our Cruise

That first evening, I was captivated by the views off our balcony as the ship slowly made its way from Vancouver, B.C., through the Inside Passage toward our first stop at the port of Ketchikan.

Today's blog post was all about making choices.  That first evening, I took 144 photos from the balcony.  All of the pictures are spectacular.  It was difficult, but I selected the most impressive to share with you here.  

I zoomed in for some photos and backed up for others.  Each view required (in my mind) that I take at least half a dozen pictures to capture it in all its splendor.  

I'll be framing this one.

I love the colors of the landscape in the foreground fading to the blurry shades of blue grey in the background.

Wouldn't it be fun to spend some time in that home in the middle of this photo on the hillside?  Watching the ships go by and just being there would be great.

My mind would drift off and then I'd see something like this (rarely) and I'd snap back to reality.

Lon was impressed with all the snow on the mountains.

The sun dropped lower and lower and cast a pale, golden glow on the mountains.

My conversation with myself:

  Is that a shark fin up there or am I hallucinating?
  No, it's a mountain, you idiot!  What did you expect after drinking all those Alaskan beers!  Your nightcap was 8.5% alcohol!  Take it easy, starting tomorrow, okay?
But, we have those beverage cards and can have as much as we want every day.  It'd be foolish not to use them.  Just think how many new beers I can sample if I max out my card for 11 days.

An expansive "forward" look... 

and an equally vast "aft" look.  

Looks like a painting, doesn't it?

Another "painting."  I've got to frame and hang this one, too. 

I can't get enough of these surreal mountain photos.  To be there, looking at sights like this as far to the right and left as I could see was worth the trip already.

I went to bed but kept looking out the window.  

I couldn't help myself.  I got back up several times to get "just one" more photo.

And I'm sure glad I did.

I wish those were two humpback whales relaxing in the distance.  We saw several later in our trip, but it's hard to capture breaching whales in a photo.  One would be spotted and by the time I was ready to snap a photo, they'd have disappeared back under the surface of the water.  I do have some photos of whales that you'll enjoy (when I get to them). 

This shanty appeared out of no where!

The sun was no longer visible, yet, darkness was no where to be seen either.

The first day of our cruise came to an end, our path narrowed, yet the ship carried us on as we slept.

The narrowing occurs as we are leaving Georgia Strait and entering Johnstone Strait.  Please see the 4th and 5th maps below to locate where I took this picture.
This map and those below, show the cruise ship's route through the Inside Passage.  To follow our route from Vancouver toward our first stop in Ketchikan, go to the last map and move upward.   
I didn't know exactly where we were when we were cruising through these areas, but it's fun to consult with these maps today.  Occasionally while cruising, I'd check out the electronic maps that indicated our present location.
Our route is the blue line in the maps above.

Our route is the red line in the first two maps above.  I found these maps in a book I bought on the cruise, THE ALASKA CRUISE EXPLORER by Joe Upton, Mapmaker.

I'm thinking that the lighthouse picture I captured and posted above is of the one shown here at the opening to Howe Sound.

The second day of our cruise we were AT SEA all day, slowly advancing north, toward Ketchikan.

How are you holding up?  You're not getting seasick, are you?



Linda McMann said...

Spectacular photos, Cheryl. I've always wanted to take this cruise. I'm excited to see more!

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

You will, Linda. Lots more!!!

Stephanie said...

I love the pictures! I would want to frame them all, lol. I think my favorite was the lighthouse picture.

Cap Chastain said...

Who knows why .. based on the calm and quiet and scenic photos in this post .. but I think you would love Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong? Go figure! Since you are home now .. I wonder if the excitement and the hyper-stimulation of the trip has in any way begun to subside? I can NOT grasp having a plastic-card that enables one to order drinks in a more-or-less unlimited manner. It may seem odd .. but in China .. I have seen equally stunning scenery. I guess we truly live on a wonderful planet! Keep-on-with-the-keeping-on .. Cap and Patti ..

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

STEPH: I don't know how I'll decide which to frame!! Close my eyes and point? The lighthouse is one of my favorites too.

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

CAP: We DO live on an extraordinary planet, indeed!! I am beginning to "come down" from my hyper excitement. Now I'm suffering from self induced pressure to get all my photos posted. I should be in control of how much time I spend doing just that, but I'm not. I could choke myself for pushing myself farther than I need to.