GOLD RUSH INSIDE PASSAGE, 2008

Cruise West

Day 1, Saturday, May 10 Arrive in Seattle
The trip is done this year in order to "save" an on-board booking discount. I tried to use Continental One Pass miles for the flight but with their flight restrictions on "free" travel, they couldn't seem to set up a schedule. So I used lots of Wells Fargo points and got a totally "free" flight. With the early departure, I drive to the airport (4:45 AM departure from home) even though the SuperShuttle is about $10 less expensive. When I printed off my boarding pass yesterday afternoon, Continental had upgraded me to "Elite" status - priority boarding and luggage handling, so my luggage should make it to Seattle safely.

Continental CO 167Houston - Seattle7:50 AM - 10:30 AM4:40

Seattle weather forecast: afternoon, 20% chance of rain; evening, 40%. The expected high in Seattle is 57. It will be quite a change from yesterday's temperatures in Houston: high of 93 with a heat index of 99.

No problems on the flight except that it was quite bumpy on the descent into Seattle. Cruise West representatives are all over the place meeting the various flights and all the passengers. We have to wait a bit for several other flights to get in - then take a Cruise West bus to the Westin Hotel which is the site of their "Hospitality Center." Unfortunately the weather is, as expected, very cool and there is intermittent rain, so not much chance to get out and look around. Eat lunch at the café in the hotel.

About 3:30, we take a long circuitous route through town to transfer to our ship Spirit of Alaska. My cabin is 107 (my first trip on this particular boat) to begin the cruise following the path of the Gold Rush. I'm using the Spirit of Alaska since I can book a Category B cabin (steerage class on the "100 deck") with no single supplement. Also, it's a "re-positioning cruise" so the cost is less - but also being the first cruise north of the year, I see typical early spring Alaska weather - cool, wet, and windy - at least that's the forecast. The Spirit of Yorktown and the "old" Sheltered Seas are in port.

Brave the mist and join our Exploration Leaders (Jessica Rickard and Brian Cripe) on deck as we sail through the Hiram Chittenden Locks. Later, while we are having dinner we can view the gloomy Seattle skyline as we depart this "gateway to the north." We cruise south for a bit for the scenery before turning back north to head out on our trip. D

Day 2, Sunday, May 11 Cruising the San Juan Islands
TROUBLE. As we clear the Olympic Peninsula about 1AM, we have to cross the Juan de Fuca Strait. The earlier maritime weather forecast had indicated moderate to medium wind and seas, but the weather wizards were really wrong. As we head into the Strait, there is a 40-50 knot wind from the Northwest directly down the Strait - and large waves. We were doing "OK" (sorta) as long as we could head into the wind though it was extremely bouncy - both pitch and roll. Things were falling and smashing all over the ship. Then real trouble - about 4 - 4:30 the wind is picking up as our course requires that we turn north to get in behind Vancouver Island. The wind and waves were on our port bow - and at one point as our bow was dropping into one trough, a "rogue wave" sent about 8-10' of green water over the bow blasting out the port bow window in the lounge. It sent about 5-6" of water into the lounge and even quite a bit of water up into the Bridge. Even down on the "100 deck" where the effects were the least, it felt as if we had been hit by a freight train. We lost most of our dishes in the galley, some of the galley equipment, the main printer and copier were smashed, more supplies tumbled, smashed, or drenched. Still worse - one crew member, Rene, was knocked unconscious (found later by another crew member), another was blind-sided by deck gear while he was trying to secure the stuff, and a third crew member, Lisa, had torn ligaments / tendons in her leg and is now out for the season. We have to make an early morning emergency stop in Anacortes to evacuate the injured crew, particularly Rene who is still only marginally conscious. Considering that we had sailed with a short crew, we're now in real trouble as far as doing what is necessary to keep things running. The crew all 'rallied round' and it all got done, somehow. Considering that they started out short-handed; it's the first cruise of the year for the ship; and many of the crew are new to their job (some have never been on a cruise before), Extreme Kudos to the crew!!!

(NEW) After we limp into port, we can explore the resort village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, once an important whaling center. Located on the second largest island, it is the commercial center and county seat of the San Juan Islands. Take an included tour - nice, with an excellent local guide/driver.

This afternoon we have to stay around a few hours longer than planned while we find some new dishes, some other equipment and supplies, and get ALL the towels, sheets, etc through the local laundry - they had been used to mop up/barricade all that water that went into the lounge. The crew also puts "deadlights" (steel plates) over the first three lounge windows on both sides of the ship - there's more bad weather places further along, and they don't want to take more chances even though it makes it very dark in the lounge, and we lose quite a bit of viewing opportunity. We've had enough trouble already.

Later, be on deck to spot wildlife while cruising around the islands - but not too much time to do that since we are so delayed getting out of Friday Harbor - and it's time for dinner. We do pick up two more guests here (they live on a nearby island) bringing the guest list up to 66. The ship can hold 78, but enough 'singles' are booked (mostly on the "100 deck" to avoid the supplement) that all the cabins are occupied. BLD

OPTIONALS: Pig War Tour: The "Pig War", as the confrontation on San Juan Island came to be called, had its origin in the Anglo-American dispute over possession of the Oregon Country, that vast expanse of land consisting of the present states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, parts of Montana and Wyoming, and the Province of British Columbia. As tensions rose, an ignorant little pig rooted his way into hostile territory and became the catalyst that started the infamous "Pig War" between the United States and Britain. On this tour we visit both American Camp and British Camp while our guides tell us the story. Enjoy a scenic drive through the island country side. (included tour) Nice tour.

San Juan Island Kayaking. Take a guided paddling adventure seeing the beauty of the San Juan Island while looking for bird and marine life. 4 hours. (No thanks since it pre-empts the included tour above) $95 - not offered due to the heavy weather/wind/waves.

Day 3, Monday, May 12 Strait of Georgia
(~NEW; I saw some of this on the "Western Canada by Rail" trip a couple of years ago) Cruise among pristine islands nestled between Vancouver Island and the mountainous mainland of British Columbia, home to harbor seals, bald eagles, and orcas. Cruise into Johnstone Strait and be on the lookout for birds and wildlife, commercial fishing boats, pleasure boats, and tugs hauling goods or huge rafts of logs. Nice scenery when we can see it - intermittent rain most of the time. (Taking this version of the "Inside Passage" trip also takes care of my interest in Cruise West's "British Columbia" trip.) BLD

Day 4, Tuesday, May 13 Cruising Northern British Columbia
More TROUBLE: Crossing the "Queen Charlottes" and a couple of other open stretches - more smashed gear and more injuries. One of our three different gangways (which are stored on the top deck) breaks loose and 'runs wild' until it is tamed and tied down. We have to make an emergency stop in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to evacuate more crew and one injured passenger and her husband - in the hospital there. The crew member is sent back to Seattle.

Along this remote coastline, enjoy pristine, cold, rainy and not-so-quiet reaches past ancient glacially carved fjords. Cruise by old growth forests, quiet coves, and nutrient-rich waters that support many mammals and seabirds in the Great Bear Rainforest. This special place is one of the earth's largest remaining tracts of temperate rainforest. Keep a quiet, watchful eye for the Kermode Bear. Known locally as the "Spirit Bear," this rare and elusive subspecies of black bear is a sight to behold with its white fur. Meanwhile eagles and seabirds soar and spotting harbor seals and sea lions is always a possibility while we casually cruise past the vast wilderness. Again, the scenery is nice, but after a while, it becomes just basically 3 days of watching the trees go by. At least we have a calm night (before the rain storm moves in tomorrow). BLD

Day 5, Wednesday, May 14 Ketchikan
We are now cruising within the largest U.S. national forest. The Tongass National Forest covers 80% of Southeast Alaska. Cruise into sparkling (HAH! Rainy: forecast 'rain likely') Alaskan waters and visit very rainy Ketchikan - with strong winds blowing the rain horizontally. Two large cruise ships just bypass the place - they know that almost none of the passengers will want to go ashore, and they can save the port fees. Only one big cruise ship (the crew calls them 'big white Clorox bottles) does stop, and it doesn't stay long.

Again, the crew has to search for more replacement gear, supplies, etc. Rene comes back today, but as it turns out, she is still having major problems and is evacuated again in Petersburg tomorrow - out for the season. We're now down 5 of the original crew members, and only have 3 replacements. At least we can now take off 5 "deadlights" - those over the un-damaged lounge windows. The other will have to stay until the weather is dry enough to use epoxy to seal the gaskets on the new/replacement window.

Ketchikan is the "Salmon Capital of Alaska," (and also the Rain Capital of the US - average rainfall is about 180" and has been as much as 241") and home of collections of Tlingit totem poles and Native and local art. Visit the Discovery Center that takes us through a simulated rainforest with various interactive displays. A respected Tlingit elder (Joe Williams again - with his almost "stand-up comic" routine) will come onboard to discuss Tlingit tradition or at least, his version of them. BLD

I take the opportunity to "swim" 5 blocks to the local post office to mail off my Passport (we're past Canada now) and the Visa applications for the Africa trip next month.

OPTIONAL: Rain City Highlights - Catch the flavor of Alaska's First City with a trip through the heart of totem land. Our guide gives us an overview of the town en route to the Deer Mountain Hatchery and Raptor Center. Then on to the Totem Heritage Center to gaze at a collection of centuries-old totems and contemporary Native crafts from the people who originated the art. Our tour provides access to ancient totems in hidden storage areas not generally open to the public. On the trip back to town, view famous Creek Street. The tour ends at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. We also have plenty of time for walking around on our own. This is a Cruise West exclusive tour. ($35) I've done this one.

Ward Creek Nature Hike - Experience the inner beauty of the Alaskan rainforest and still see all of Ketchikan. First drive through all of Ketchikan catching the highlights of Alaska's "First City." Then enjoy a moderate 1.5-mile walk on mostly level terrain along side a mountain creek. Our guide provides insight on the ecology, flora, and fauna of this rich ecosystem. Water and snack provided. On the way back stop for a quick photo opportunity at Totem Bight State Park. See a collection of totem poles and a traditional clan house all in a natural setting. Operated under a permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service ($35 - booked - but I decide not to go due to the weather - no refund on this one, but those who did go had 2.5 hours of getting SOAKED!)

Day 6, Thursday, May 15 Petersburg
The day starts a bit gloomy, but the rain disappears about the time we get into the Wrangell Narrows, a waterway that separates Mitkof and Kupreanof Islands through 22 miles of snake-like path with 46 course changes. This is a great time to look for Sitka black-tailed deer, black bears and seabirds.

Now to my favorite place: Petersburg. Accept a warm (and misty - forecast: 'rain likely') welcome at the Norwegian-heritage fishing village of Petersburg, where no large cruise ships visit. A small group of the Leikarring Dancers, local children in colorful and authentic dress, perform traditional Norwegian dances (fantastic as always) and we can sample homemade Norwegian pastries (excellent - they 'disappeared' VERY quickly). At least we do have time for an extended coach tour of the area: the optional tour called "The Town That Fish Built." Our driver/guide is really good and we also have a chance to meet other people who board the coach for a short time. Since we (cruise) are running well behind schedule due to the storm problems, there's only a short time to explore this wonderful community before re-boarding our ship for lunch. (Don't) Cruise into iceberg-filled LeConte Bay or nearby wilderness waterways such as the mysterious Thomas Bay - time problems again. BLD

Still TROUBLE - Rene is evacuated again by the local EMTs, and one of the Galley assistant chefs is evacuated with a concussion from an injury a couple of days ago. At least he can walk off by himself.

I really 'lucked out' with the weather clearing as we get into what is, for me, the area I came to see: Wrangell Narrows, Petersburg, and tomorrow, Frederick Sound.

OPTIONALS: The Town that Fish Built - Get to know Petersburg on this comfortable motorcoach tour of the 'Town that Fish Built.' We see all of the town's landmarks and visit picturesque points of view along the shoreline, where icebergs that have drifted nearly 30 miles from LeConte Bay to the east are often beached. Learn how people live life in this picturesque Norwegian-influenced fishing village. The trip includes a stop at Sandy Beach where ancient natives built fish traps. Pass by "Tent City" and continue to the Clausen Museum and view the largest salmon ever landed. Our Cruise West guide "velkommens" us into the spirit of this special place. This is a Cruise West exclusive tour. ($25 - booked - excellent, decent weather, super local guide!)

Petersburg Dock Walk - Meander the boardwalks and back streets of this picturesque fishing village with a guide who has the inside perspective. Explore along Hammer Slough, then through Sing Lee Alley to the busy harbor area. Tour the docks for an up-close look and explanation of working fishing vessels. Chance encounters with friendly fisherman working on the docks make every trip unique and rewarding. Finally, walk down Main Street, finishing at the Harbormaster's office. This is 1.5 hours of walking. ($20) (I've done this one already back in 2003 with Glenna - nice walk with a great guide.).

Mitkof Island Tour and Rainforest Nature Walk - Stroll through old-growth forest and walk along a salmon stream with a local Petersburg resident and learn about living life on the edge of North America's largest rainforest. We pass through forest, bogs, and along a saltwater estuary. Our guide escort us along barrier-free National Forest trails and boardwalks, pointing out local plants, wildlife, and natural features that make this region so unique. See the Tongass National Forest up close and personal. Note: This tour operates under a permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service. ($37) (I've done this one already back in 2001 on my first visit here and it was excellent.)

Day 7, Friday, May 16 Frederick Sound and Tracy Arm Fjord
Travel through Holkham Bay, the mouth of two spectacular, glacier-fed fjords. Travel up Tracy Arm, a deep fjord with sheer 1,500-foot-high vertical cliffs that twists and turns for 25 miles leading to the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Unfortunately, we don't get there. What would normally be a large area of broken 'bergie-bits' has frozen into a ~4.5 mile stretch of solid ice just in front of the glaciers - and neither our ship nor the "Empress of the North" which is larger and happens to be here at the same time, will risk trying to get any further into the Fjord. No glaciers on this part of the trip.

We might have tried to get into LeConte Bay and its glaciers yesterday, but were running so late getting out of Ketchikan (all that supplies problem and crew swap-out) that there's no time to crowd it into the schedule.

Exit Holkham Bay and enter Frederick Sound the body of water that hosts a world-renowned humpback whale population. Spend what's left of the afternoon looking for these huge, gentle creatures that are the size of a motor coach. Also look for the massive Steller's sea lions and their relatives, the harbor seals. Moderate success - some of each, but not as many of the whales as I had expected to see. At least I saw many of them on the other trips. BLD

Day 8, Saturday, May 17 Sitka
En route to Sitka cruise through a zigzag of beautiful, narrow passageways between Baranof and Chichagof Islands. Only small ships can negotiate Peril Strait and Sergius Narrows, the "inside" route to Sitka, the oldest non-Native settlement in Southeast Alaska.

Sitka is gloomy and rainy today - but it's not one of my 'favorite' places for the trip so I'm not all that disappointed. A self-guided walk through Sitka's National Historic Park offers towering totems and thriving wildlife in the forest. Other than that, there's "nothing to do". "All" the shops are closed - no large Clorox bottles in port, and one of the prominent citizens died a couple of days ago. She's part Tlingit, and her (Tlingit traditional) funeral started yesterday morning and will run through today. Even at the Park, there's nobody there except one Ranger. None of the craftsmen are working, and they aren't doing the totem carving either. Bummer!

Return to the ship for lunch and cruise the scenic, narrow passageways of Olga, Neva and Peril Straits into Chatham Strait. BLD

OPTIONAL: Historic Russian & Raptor Center Tour - Visit the historical highlights of this former Russian capital city and tour through the Alaska Raptor Center. View magnificent bald eagles up-close, and learn how the clinic rehabilitates birds of prey. Visit the Sheldon Jackson museum whose collection has been called a jewel in the crown of Alaska ethnographic collections. We are driven through the historic district to view the Russian cemetery, Block House, and Castle Hill, site of the 1867 land transfer ceremony. This easy activity involves some walking. Wheelchair assistance is available with advance notice. ($49) I've done this one.

Walking Historic Sitka Stretch our legs with this intimate stroll through historic downtown Sitka. Along the way, our local guide will present a mixture of Russian American and Tlingit history, and modern anecdotes about Sitka's characters and the Last Frontier. Stroll past Totem Square and the Pioneer Home to Seward Street and the Russian Blockhouse. ($15 - booked - cancel out - rain)

Day 9, Sunday, May 18 Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Cruising
Minor TROUBLE: The toaster (bread) in the lounge for the "Early Bird Breakfast" somehow jams the bread. It gets overdone / burnt and the smoke sets off the fire alarm. "Whee!"

BEAUTIFUL DAY: First established as a National Monument by presidential proclamation in 1925, Glacier Bay has since enjoyed the honored and highly protected status of National Park, Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. Over 65 miles of pristine terrain and habitat have been revealed in Glacier Bay since its giant rivers of ice have dramatically retreated over the past 200 years. Glide through this awesome wonderland, closely approaching the "rivers of ice." We pick up a National Park Service Ranger and a Native Cultural Interpreter off the dock at 6AM, and they offer narration and help spot wildlife such as harbor seals, mountain goats, and brown and black bears, in one of the rare regions the two types of bears share territory. BLD

"Unbelievable!" Wildlife - pack of 7 wolves, 2 large Grizzly Bears, and later, a pod of Orcas. Watching some of this wildlife, its confrontation time. First it seems that the bears have gotten too close to where some Ravens are nesting (young one present) and the Ravens dive bomb the bears driving them off down the shoreline - where they run into those wolves. The bears lose again as the wolves drive them back into the woods. Score: Ravens 1, Wolves 1, Grizzlies 0. There are lots of sea lions, seals, Puffins, etc. Big wildlife day. We even see mountain goats.

Later, just as it's getting dark (we are just outside the Park now), we see a pack of at least 6, maybe seven Orcas. Fantastic day!!!

Day 10, Monday, May 19 Skagway and Haines
(The Haines part is NEW.) BEAUTIFUL DAY! Cruise the waters of Lynn Canal (during the night) to Skagway, gateway to the Chilkoot Trail, one of the original routes of the Klondike Gold Rush. Take a tour of the town in a signature 1920s-style bus. Wooden boardwalks line the outer edges of historic buildings.

We're in fairly early and have to wait around for a while for the shops to open. There's only one Clorox Bottle in port now. At least the weather is now good enough to epoxy the gaskets around the new lounge window and we can get the last "deadlight" off - full visibility now.

Return to our ship for lunch and depart for Haines, an area that thrived for years as an important and integral trade center to the Chilkat band of Tlingit natives, famous for their intricately designed blankets woven with mountain goat hair and cedar bark. Haines is also the home of the world's largest autumnal congregation of bald eagles. Our tour includes a visit through Fort William H. Seward. A brief look into the town says that I like Skagway better, and of course, Petersburg best of all.

Later, as we leave Haines, the scenery along the Lynn Canal is beautiful, and the weather is cooperating! BLD

SKAGWAY OPTIONALS: Streetcar Orientation Tour - Step back in time to 1898 and the fervor of the Klondike Gold Rush. We are met by vintage streetcars, then travel down Broadway, bringing to life the days when 20,000 men, women, and scoundrels jammed streets filled with brothels and saloons. Tall tales, colorful characters, and classic vehicles make this tour unique. The tour ends at the rail depot or back at the ship, allowing us to partake in an excursion or just explore this charming town. (included)

Klondike "Trail of '98" Rail & Highway Tour - Skagway has called itself the "Gateway to the Yukon" since the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. This tour experience gives visitors an overview of the town, a spectacular ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route narrow gauge railroad into British Columbia, a return by minibus over the scenic Klondike Highway, and time to explore historic Skagway's attractions and shops before our ship departs. Departing Skagway, the train heads up one of the steepest grades in North America, climbing above rushing rivers, along granite ledges, across high bridges and trestles, and charging into tunnels blasted through the mountains. The railroad was built between 1898 and 1900, and is a designated International Civil Engineering Landmark, listed with the likes of the Panama Canal and the Eiffel Tower. Approaching the summit, the original "Trail of '98" is visible right below the tracks, beaten into rock by the pounding stampede of men and animals during the Gold Rush. Crossing into Canada, the train skirts a string of jewel-like lakes and descends to Fraser, British Columbia, where we will transfer from the train to a minibus for our trip back to Skagway. The Klondike Highway is one of the most beautiful roads in North America, offering vistas of jagged peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, and even of the railroad on the opposite wall of the canyon. Back in Skagway we have time to walk the boardwalks and explore the city before returning to our ship. ($115 - did this last year - no thanks.)

Streetcar Tour - Relive Skagway's rip-roaring past with the costumed conductors of the Skagway Streetcar Company. In vintage motorcars, visit Skagway's restored historic district, a look-out point with its panoramic view of the valley and majestic Lynn Canal, and the Gold Rush Cemetery. ($35 - late booking - turns out very good)

HAINES OPTIONALS: Fort Seward Walking Tour - Learn the history, Native culture, and present-day lifestyle of the residents of Haines. Our local guide shows us the highlights of historic Fort William H. Seward, which was founded in the early 20th century to anchor America's border claims during the turbulent Gold Rush era. Sights include the old barracks buildings, the parade grounds, Soap Suds Alley and "Officers Row." These buildings overlook the nine-acre parade grounds, Lynn Canal and the Chilkoot Mountains. Along the way, stop to view Tlingit totem poles and other cultural points of interest. (included)

Haines Highlights - Haines, Alaska was recently chosen by Outside Magazine as one of America's top 10 locations to live and play. This tour, hosted by a knowledgeable local resident, gives us an insider's look at what makes Haines so special. Begin with a narrated drive through historic Fort William H. Seward, and downtown Haines. Next, enjoy a ten-mile scenic dive along the Chilkat River. We make a photo stop at the scenic Letnikof Cove Cannery and continue to the artists' enclave of Mud Bay. Visit the Extreme Dreams Art Studio, owned by local artists John and Sharon Svenson. Their handcrafted timber-frame gallery sports a spectacular view of the Rainbow Glacier and is filled with unique creations by selected locals. Continue with a visit to one of the most unique attractions in all of Alaska - the Hammer Museum. We have to see it to believe it! Meet the curator and find out why remote Haines has the only museum in the world dedicated to the hammer. Learn about the connection between Haines' Hammer Museum and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Touch, see and marvel at the unique inventions like the three-clawed hammer, the glass hammer and the Tlingit ceremonial hammer. The homespun tour is sure to leave us with a smile on our face. ($55)

Chilkat Bald Eagle Float Trip: This trip begins with a 30-minute drive into the "Valley of the Eables" to the heart of the preserve. Then take a raft trip through the preserve watching for bears, wolves, moose, and of course, eagles. Riverside snack included before going back to the ship in Haines (not listed online as an option or I would have taken it instead. ($100)

Eagle Preserve by Jet Boat: Similar to the above, but by jet boat. ($95)

Chilkat Valley Photo Tour: Guided tour by professional photographer with special scenery and photo hints. ($115 - triple grumble! - I signed up, but I was the only one so it was cancelled)

Brian has talked me into another Cruise West trip (he generously also made a photo CD for me from a previous trip). It's to the South Pacific - "Legends of the Pacific" from Guam to Fiji. It's on the Spirit of Oceanus, their large (suites only) ship so I use their "Stowaway" plan - basically 'standby' for a 25% discount (and early booking, on-board advance booking, and 5% Quyana Club, etc.) to make it not so drastically expensive. Dates are either December 27, 2008, or February 25, 2009. Deposit made on May 21 (same day I get home!). Late note: I'm booked on the December trip.

Day 11, Tuesday, May 20 Arrive in Juneau
Cruise overnight making the loop down the Lynn Canal and back north into the Gastineau Channel. Travel through impressive Gastineau Channel to Juneau - and find 5 large Clorox bottles in port. I have a couple of hours of gloomy weather in which to walk around near the hotel/docks and get a reindeer sausage lunch before transferring to the airport at noon. Start home - but with an afternoon start in the Alaska Time Zone, it means an arrival tomorrow morning. B Original Schedule:

Alaska AA 54 Juneau - Petersburg - Wrangell - Ketchikan - Seattle 3:08 PM - 9:54 PM

This flight is long because it's a "local" flight (combi-freight-passenger) with stops in Petersburg, Wrangell, and Ketchikan. However I luck out and there is room on the earlier direct flight:

After an extended hassle at the airport (Continental computer had this existing reservation fouled up somehow) I finally get checked in and ready to go. Alaska Airlines couldn't seem to have checked me in at the Juneau airport.

2Alaska AS 76Juneau - Seattle2:25 PM - 3:35 PM2:108:00
3Continental CO 767Seattle - Houston11:35 PM - 5:43 AM4:0814:18

Day 12, Wednesday, May 21 Finally Arrive Home

Very early morning arrival - another reason I'm driving rather than using the shuttle. I manage to get home at 7. Later go by the Post Office to pick up my mail. It's been an "interesting" trip.







OPTIONALS:
Friday Harbor		Pig War Tour  			included
			San Juan Island Kayaking	$95  (no thanks)
Ketchikan		Rain City Highlights		$35  (I've done this one already)
			Ward Creek Nature Hike	$35  (yes - booked, paid - don't go)
Petersburg		The Town that Fish Built	$25  (yes - booked, paid - good)
			Petersburg Dock Walk	$20  (I've done this one already)
			Mitkof Island Tour		$37  (I've done this one already)
Sitka			Historic Russian & Raptor 	$49  (I've done this one already)
			Sitka Walking Tour		$15  (Done but  booked, cancel out)
Skagway		        Streetcar Orientation		included
			Klondike "Trail of '98" Rail	$115 (I've done this one already)
		     	Streetcar Tour			$35  (yes - late booking)
Haines			Fort Seward Walking Tour  	included
			Chilkat Bald Eagle Float trip	$100  (grumble!)
			Eagle Preserve by Jet Boat	$95 (grumble)
			Chilkat Valley Photo Tour	$115 (triple grumble!)
			Haines Highlights		$55  (booked, paid - cancel out)


1Continental CO 167Houston - Seattle7:50 AM - 10:30 AM4:40---
2Alaska AS 76Juneau - Seattle2:25 PM - 3:35 PM2:108:00
3Continental CO 767Seattle - Houston11:35 PM - 5:43 AM4:0814:18

CRUISE WEST TRIPS:
2001 - "Daylight Yacht Tour" (C) - Sheltered Seas and Spirit of Glacier Bay
2003 - "Daylight Yacht Tour" (B) - Sheltered Seas
2004 - "Panama & Costa Rica" - Pacific Explorer
2005 - "Columbia & Snake River" - Spirit of Discovery
2006 - "Glacier Wonderland" - Spirit of Columbia
2006 - "Wilderness Waterways" - Spirit of Discovery
2007 - "Baja & Sea of Cortes" - Spirit of Endeavor
2008 - "Gold Rush Inside Passage" - Spirit of Alaska
2009 - "South Pacific Legends" - Spirit of Oceanus
2011? - "Inside Passage" (B) - maybe Spirit of '98