Alaskan Cruise, Days 10 and 11 – At Sea

If a cruise is going to suck, it will probably suck on the days you’re at sea. You paid to visit fascinating places by ship. When you’re not at the fascinating places, you’ve just got ship. I grant that it’s a marvelous ship, with liquor near the hot tubs and pizza a short walk from the string quartet. But in the end it’s a hotel full of strangers you can’t get away from. The cruise line tacitly admits this by packing each day with entertainment and educational opportunities. But at some point you’ll want to choke the hillbilly at the next dining table to death with his own beard, and no number of cha-cha lessons will change that.

However, the ocean offshore of Alaska is more fun than any of the places you might visit on shore. The ship has a guy whose job is to look around for cool things, such as a sea lion climbing the face of a glacier (just as an example). Then he tells everyone to look off the port bow for this amazing thing. After half a dozen people are trampled to death while everyone tries to figure out where the port bow is, people pack the railing four deep to collectively snap a quarter of a million photos of one perplexed sea lion.

It’s great.

Rather than babble about how great it is, I’ll include a few of the 5,000 photos I’ve taken over the past couple of days.

To start with, here’s a glacier. Yes, I know it’s just another wall of ice, but I think the picture is pretty.

Glacier In The Mist

I’ll follow that with a couple of humpback whale shots, one jumping around like a dachshund, and two more just hanging out, wondering where to go for dinner.

Whale Jumping

Two Whales

I happened to catch a glacier calving, which means a hunk of it is falling off. Look for the red circle on the first shot—that indicates the hunk that falls off.

Calving Frames 1

Calving Frames 2

And I’ll finish with a traditional farewell whale shot.

Whale Butt