|[ Click on pics for larger view ]|
Having just returned from The Last Frontier we have photos to share with you. The trip was aboard the Ruby Princess, seven days, round-trip Seattle to Alaska, including port stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, and an unexpected trip up Endicott Arm to see Dawes Glacier. We departed Seattle, Pier 91, on Sunday afternoon, September 6th.
|After one full day at sea we arrived in Ketchikan early on Tuesday|
morning to rain and clouds touching the mountains beside the sea.
|Cruise ships dock right along side of downtown|
|A lighted "Ketchikan" sign across Mission Street sets|
a gateway to this pretty little town.
|We like the clouds reflected in the water.|
|The Ruby Princess passes to dock just northwest of town.|
|We are docked facing northwest right across from|
the First Lutheran Church.
|No, this isn't in Alaska. Just a photo of the Ruby with a red arror to|
show you our cabin location, Starboard, Lido deck, right above the Bridge.
This may help understand the perspective of our shipboard pictures,
like the next one.
|We are right behind and just above the Starboard Wing of the Bridge.|
The Commodore (like a Captain) has full control of the ship from the little blue console.
|The Holland America Line Zaandam is docked south of us.|
|Population of Ketchikan is about 8,000 but may easily double when 4 or 5|
cruise ships are docked in town.
|Creek Street is a popular destination for shopping.|
|Flora alongside a stone wall behind Creek Street shops shows|
early signs of Fall.
|Silversea's Silver Shadow is arriving in port. This ship is much|
smaller ... about 385 guests as compared to 3,500 on the Ruby.
|Could you live on a sailboat? It appeared someone was living aboard.|
An adventurous way of life, but not for everyone. How about you?
|Better check in if you are "from foreign."|
We departed Ketchikan late afternoon Tuesday and headed north toward our next destination: Tracy Arm. The clouds cleared and we enjoyed a nice sunset around dinner time.
|Sunset Tuesday evening after departing Ketchikan.|
Much later, close to midnight, we heard an announcement from the Bridge, looked outside, and were amazed to see the Northern Lights playing in the sky. This was our first time to ever see this phenomena. It was worth the entire trip just to see this. Photos don't come close to doing justice, but here are several photos to give you the flavor ...
|Mostly green dancing lights in the sky. We wonder what caused the dark streaks|
that look wires. No wires up there (that we know of!!!)
|We snapped pictures for over an hour as the lights continued|
|The streaks changed in number and location. UFOs???|
|We are looking out the Starboard side of the ship to the eastern skies.|
Had we been on the port side we may not have seen the lights so well.
|Seeing the Northern Lights was, for us, like a spiritual experience.|
We can't really describe it.
|Note the stars. The dark lower parts of the picture are mountains|
along the sea, of course.
|Looking more forward in this shot. We caught just a touch of our|
Bridge at the very lower left.
|After nearly an hour, it looked like we might see some|
different colors. Tiny differences! The "splotches" (for lack
of a better word) in the upper right quadrant were in the sky, not on the
camera lens! :-)
|We wish you could see the full size pictures.|
|Still wondering about the streaks.|
|One of our last photos of the Northern Lights and some almost pink colors.|
Endicott Arm ...
Wednesday morning and our itinerary called for us to cruise up into Tracy Arm ... a fairly narrow waterway that leads right up to glaciers. As luck would have it, Tracy Arm was fogged in and our Commodore decided to take us on an alternate journey up Endicott Arm ...similar but not quite as spectacular as Tracy. Fine with us, we've seen Tracy before, and something new was welcomed.
|Sunrise, September 9th, Endicott Arm, Alaska|
|Be sure and notice the color of the water. This is due to the|
glacier run off.
|This is a photographer's challenge. Well, the sunrise, is happening right|
ahead, just over Dawes Glacier, making it tough to get a well lighted
shot of the Glacier. This is as close as the Commodore wants
to get so as to avoid floating ice.
|Can you see Dawes Glacier?|
|The Commodore watches from the Bridge as a small boat of|
photographers (next photo) is dispatched to take a
Ruby Princess selfie.
|Like using a "selfie stick" they have to get back a ways to get|
the whole ship in the picture!
|Photographers circle back toward the ship. This photo gives an|
overview of the scene where we stopped in Endicott Arm.
|More glaciers but no longer trailing all the way down to sea level|
as we head toward Juneau.
|Do you know this flag? The Ruby is registered in Bermuda but this isn't|
the Bermuda flag. It is a variant flag of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We don't know why
Princess flies this flag on the Ruby. Do you know?
|Thursday morning arriving Skagway. Another cloudy, rainy day.|
Alaska is beautiful even in the rain, but we did feel a bit sorry
for first-time cruisers who had expectations for glorious
|The Alaska Ferry plies from Seattle to points north. Here she is in|
|Holland America's Rotterdam is docked ahead of us.|
|Best excursion (in our opinion) in Skagway ... the Yukon and White|
Pass railroad trip to up to the top of the Pass and the border with
Canada's Yukon Territory.
|One last photo on Saturday, September 12, enroute to our last port stop, Victoria, BC.|
After a week of cloudy skies it was nice to have one mostly clear day.
Thanks for taking the time to look over our photos in this longer-than-usual post on John's Island. We hope all is well with you and send you best regards from The Emerald City!