Sunday, September 9, 2012

Statendam Cruise - part 3

We ended up leaving Haines about 5 1/2 hours late. They called a tug from Skagway to help get the ship away from the dock. The tug came and helped when the 50-knot winds finally began to die down. Our departure happened around 1:30 AM. We still arrived in Juneau on time - about 7AM - guess there wasn't much traffic and no speed limit!

It has been a really nice day- a few showers but lots of sun and little wind. The temps were in the low 50s.

We caught a bus and headed for the Valley – it is a number of miles out there. Thanks to some locals on the bus (the driver didn’t talk much) we got off at the right stop! A short walk and we were at Raintree Quilting.
It was definitely worth the hassle of getting there! It is a nice store with a great selection of fabric and very friendly ladies.

Here is part of the store.
I was debating how much I could buy since I had already shipped everything home. I found enough that I knew we’d have to make another post office stop - then they offered to ship it for me. The neat part is that there is no tax if they ship! So we will consider this as a day that I saved money!

We walked the whole downtown area this afternoon. Stopped at Changing Tides quilt shop downtown but I passed on buying anything. We also found the fabric part of Ben Franklin but again passed.

We did find a number of bears downtown. This fellow was pretty big!

It was a great night with comedian ventriloquist Mike Robinson, The Marriage Game, and The Indonesian Crew Show – I love the 1000 Hands Dance!

Our crew is fantastic. Each of them always has a smile. We talk often to one young man and asked about the name on his nametag: E G I that he pronounced as Eggie. He said that is the short version of his name. We asked for the long version. He said Scrambled Eggie or Eggie Benedict! We all laughed and he just kept cracking jokes! Our cabin stewards always want to know what we have done when we leave the ship. It is hard to believe that they sign on for 10 months, work 12 hour shifts 7 days a week, are always smiling, and enjoy their jobs!

In Ketchikan we went on the Herring Cove Bear Adventure for about 3 ½ hours. We were on a bus for 8 miles then we hiked in the rainforest. Ray and I were both in shirtsleeves. We walked over 4 swinging bridges
I really don't like swinging bridges!
with tree stands in-between and at each end. The bridges are 50 feet above ground. We saw 12 black bears! We were told there are no grizzlies on the island.

At the end of the bridges, we were on a board walkway and we were completely surrounded by bears. Twice, our guide put himself between the 9 of us and a bear. I think the closest bear was about 10 feet away! We all slowly backed up as a group and all was well!

There was an old boat that this fellow seemed to like!

Saturday was a wonderful day for cruising  - sunny, clear, and in the 60s. It was a great day watching orcas, humpbacks, and dolphins.

We were up early Sunday and watched our arrival in Vancouver. Sailing under the Lions Gate Bridge was pretty awesome – the bridge was all lit and it was still fairly dark out. The disembarkment process went extremely well as did our plane trip to Chicago. Tomorrow we will arrive at home.

It has been a wonderful adventure. 

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