Been there, done that, and here's the proof! travel blog

Touring on a skiff

Sitting on the inflated edge of the skiff

Black-legged kittiwakes

Sea lion

Tufted puffins

Common murre

"Meadow" walk in the rain

Leaf lichen



Mother ship waitng for us

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 2.80 MB)

Our first humpbacked whales!

Sun Aug 25, rain rain GO AWAY!!!

Busy day! Glad we’re doing this before I get any older.

Breakfast buffet included fruit (perfectly ripe!), egg soufflé, great bacon, bagels, English muffins, oatmeal, yogurt, and muffins.

But no time to linger…we signed up for activities and off we went. We chose to go on a skiff adventure, in the rain (no activity cancels due to weather), to Icy Straight. Alaskans have a saying, "there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing." This was my first time in a skiff, and I was sitting in the front feeling the brunt of the wind and waves. There are no "seats" in a skiff, you sit on the inflated edge and hold on for dear life (it can be a very bumpy ride when going full speed). Next time, I'm sitting in the middle! We saw a bald eagle, lots of sea lions, glaucous gulls, cormorants, an otter, tufted puffin, marbled murrelet, common murre, and a pigeon guillemot.

The lunch buffet included lemon chicken gyros, polenta, goat cheese, lemon rice soup, and chocolate chip cookies. Pretty tasty.

The afternoon activity we chose was a “meadow walk.” Don’t be mislead, this meadow is like no other! Somewhere between a bog and a forest, we were sometimes chest deep in grasses, ankle deep in creeks, and hidden in Sitka spruce. Our guide was Indie (she's from Indiana like Denis). She is so enthusiastic and knowledgable. We saw so many unique mushrooms and lichen, very pretty. Lichen grow abundantly in Alaska because the air is so pure. The “meadow” had such a lovely, herbal fragrance! We saw evidence of bear, but fortunately, no bear. One does not want to encounter a grizzly on land; it’s much safer to see it from a boat. And so Indie would chant “hey bear, hey bear” while clapping hands, making noise to alert the bear to our presence and not surprise it if it is sleeping. The guides all carry bear spray. Unfortunately, this noise making also scares away what few birds might be around.

Dinner choices always include a meat, fish, and vegan option. Tonight we chose the cod over pork loin, and it was the best cod I ever had!

Our evening event was a whale slide show.

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