Josh and I woke up early in the morning and walked out onto our balcony to an amazing sight. We had entered Tracy Arm Fjord, and it was breathtaking. We ordered breakfast in our room and sat on our balcony enjoying the scenery. Our captain navigated up the fjord quite a long way, past iceburgs. It was exciting and breathtaking. I click photo after photo and tried to spot wildlife. I managed to see some pregnant harbor seals, but I never spotted a bear, to my great disappointment. We were bundled up against the cold in the early morning, but it soon became warmer. We stayed in Tracy Arm all morning, floating up to Sawyer Glacier, then back down and out on our way to Juneau.
We had a shore excursion planned for Juneau: Our group visited the Mendenhall Glacier, which we hiked out to and back again, then we went whale watching. The Mendenhall Glacier has a huge waterfall to the right of it, and the cold spray was quite refreshing after our hike. Although the hike was not long, I am glad we chose this shore excursion and not a more vigorous one, as hiking while pregnant took more out of me than I expected it would. This hike was just the right length.
Our whale watch was good, we saw multiple whales, bald eagles, and some playful seals. The humpback whales in Alaska are not as active above the surface as they are in Hawaii, since in Alaska they are busy eating all the time, and in Hawaii they are mating or teaching their newborn baby the skills they need. We did get quite a few whale photos though, and one boat we saw got a very close encounter, the whale surfaced in front of them and then dove under the boat and popped up again on the other side.
It was another spectacular day in Alaska, and the weather couldn’t be better. I just stare off the boat into the beautiful scenery and am amazed at how gorgeous it all is. I didn’t know that there was anything this raw and wild left in America. My only comparison I can make is that it is similar to New Zealand wilderness. I’m sure northern Canada is also very similar to this, but going on a cruise to Alaska makes the wilderness accessible to those of us who want to see it, but not necessarily hike into the woods and set up camp where the bears could eat us.