Sept. 5 - 8, 2004

Here are some views from an Alaskan Inside Passage cruise on the Sapphire Princess--at the time, a brand-new and BIG (2600 passengers) ship. We sailed round-trip from Seattle. Mark flew out from Texas and joined us and Karen.

This was a 50th-birthday celebration for both Mark and Karen. Mark turned 50 in May, 2002 while he was on another "cruise" on a tugboat, doing a geophysical gravity meter survey in the Gulf of Oman. We never properly celebrated that occasion. Karen turned 50 on Sept. 8, during this cruise so the timing was just right.


Seattle never looked better than it did as we sailed away at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 5.

Ketchikan was our first port and we took a tour out to a re-created "clan house" where about 50 people would have lived. We were impressed with the architecture of the house--would have been a cozy place to spend a S.E. Alaskan winter. Beautiful totem designs both on the clan house and in the surrounding grounds.

The "front door" is the gaping hole in the center totem pole.

Sept. 8

Glenn and Barbara trying to keep warm and stay upright! We had a gorgeous day to enter narrow "Tracy Arm," a 25-mile long fjord south of Juneau. At the upper end of the fjord was Sawyer Glacier, busy calving icebergs into the water. With the sunshine came a howling, cold wind off the glacier. Made us glad we brought along some warm clothes. The waiters did a land-office business selling hot chocolate to those out on the forward deck.

Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm fjord.

The mountainsides go almost straight up from the water, leaving no place to camp. Apparently kyakers often have to be rescued--they assume they can find a campsite at the base of the mountains. Wrong! Where the streams enter the sea, the Alaskan brown bears congregate to fish. Wouldn't want to camp alongside them!

Go to page 2 - Tracy Arm & Juneau
Go to page 3 - Skagway & Storm at Sea
Go to page 4 - Ketchikan Tourists' Funny Questions

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