Alaska trip to Arctic Ocean travel blog

Columbia ferry

Pictures while on the ferry.

Waterfall while on the ferry.

Scenery while on the ferry.


I slept great! We woke up to low clouds touching the mountain tops. The color outside was many shades of grey displayed throughout the water and sky. The air was cool and thick showing signs of rain for the day.

We had a wonderful breakfast in the dining room on the Columbia. Keith had eggs, hash browns and toast with coffee. I had huevos rancheros with hash browns and hot tea. I had asked for "tea", but in Alaska, they assume you mean "hot tea". I drank it and it was actually better than coffee. The food was very good and the view from the dining room, which faced the rear of the ferry, was beautiful! The mountains are really close to us now. The waterway is narrow. It's almost like we are on a river rather than the ocean itself. It is amazing the ferry can fit between the tight spots that it is being maneuvered between. There are no other signs of life around other than what is on the ferry. We are in a very desolate place that shows the beauty of Alaska. The trees are tall and green as they meet the water's edge.

After breakfast, we took some coffee to Janette and Jerald. We then took a walk on the ferry to get some movement in our legs. It is not as easy to walk on a ferry briskly as it is short and there are many stairs. Plus it was raining and cold winds made it hard to keep the pace. There aren't many people moving around at this point. Most seem to have slept in. The ferry does not have as near as many employees as a cruise ship. You fend for yourself on everything, which is fine with me. I enjoyed the ferry more than a cruise ship, other than the fact that they do not have karaoke. Interesting note: the employees of the Alaska ferry system are state employees. There is no tipping allowed to state employees for any services.

We met Janette and Jerald for cards and dominoes around 9:00 AM. We are now three hours behind Texas time. During our spades game, it was announced over the intercom that whales are spotted at the front of the ferry. I was able to see the whales from the inside windows, but not very good since there were people trying to see them as well and they were in front of the windows, so I went outside in hopes of getting a great picture. By the time I got out there, they had already gone back down under the water. We got into rougher water around 10:30 AM. It was announced that there will be two hours of rough seas, so now is the time to take Dramamine. I was already starting to feel the effects of the waves, so I took the Dramamine. Jerald decided he should take some too.

Janette and I went to the store on the ferry. It is very small, but had quite a few things. I bought 10 postcards to send out to family. Janette bought me a map of the route the ferry is taking us.

The four of us then had lunch in the snack bar. I had peaches and cottage cheese with crackers. Keith had a roast beef sandwich with chips. Total cost was $13.00.

Tonight for dinner, we will eat in the dining room for buffet.

We met Janette and Jerald in the bar area where there were tables to play games on around 4:00 PM. Janette won at Hearts and Janette and Keith beat us at Spades.

We met for dinner in the dining room at 6:00 PM. Everyone else had the same idea, so the line was long. Dinner is buffet style. We all tried rock fish. It was really good. I was able to get great pictures of waterfalls as we moved even closer into the mountain sides. It snowed today, but I didn't see it. Jerald did get video of the snow. It has rained most of the time we've been on the ferry. The mountains are so big now with white snow caps. We are about 1/2 mile between the mountains on either side. Watching the mountains go by makes me wonder if there are any bears, moose or any other animals watching as we pass. We are so far away from the towns.

There have been a few whale sightings today, although I seem to be on the wrong side of the ferry when it is announced over the intercom. I wonder if when the captain announces a sighting and all the passengers go to that side of the ferry....if the crew members are going to the other side of the ferry to balance out the weight.

Ferry experience is very relaxed and the passengers seem to be low key/low maintenance. There are no loud noises, kids running around, music playing. It is quiet, which helps to relax and enjoy the scenery.



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