As far as I was and am concerned, I was travelling in luxury while cruising anywhere – from San Diego to Hawaii and San Diego through the Panama Canal to Miami; or, from Vancouver, British Columbia (where I had lived from November 1970 to late January 1971), up the spectacular fjords via Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan to Glacier Bay, Alaska, which is a Wonder of the World in my my blog, if it isn’t in fact.
There was I – in September 2004 on the Carnival Spirit- all the way from little Anguilla in the Caribbean, in Juneau with its abandoned mines, beautiful glaciers and the historic Red Dog Saloon which still boasts Wyatt Earp’s gun; in Ketchikan the “Salmon Capital of the World” with its historic Creek Street, a “red light district during the Gold Rush”, and its rich native heritage which is on colourful display at Totem Bight State Park; in Skagway with its “lovingly restored frontier-era storefronts and saloons” which “will take you back to the days of the Klondike Gold Rush as will a ride aboard the vintage White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad to the Klondike Summit and Yukon”.
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We arrived at our final destination at Glacier Bay in late September – on the cruise ship’s last trip for the season. I vividly remember my dear uncle and I standing on deck captivated by the awesome sight. In utter amazement, we beheld near encircling mountains of solid bluish ice, with a facing wall that was still draped by some of the winter season's lingering snow.
At times, because of its own weight and the movement of the tidewater below, tons of slipping snow would cascade into the waters below creating waves.
According to one report, within the one million acre park, there were “130 lakes, more than 1,000 plants, and countless animals like whales, moose, wolverines, mountain goats, and grizzly bears. A whale sighting is truly as awe-inspiring as the glaciers themselves”.
I even saw seals basking on ice floes. I heard a story of how the orcas conspire and collaborate in “a complex and coordinated attack” to make a seal kill.
They would cooperate to create a wave to hit the ice floe with the hope that it would wash the seal off; and, once in the water, it would become a meal; although observers say the orcas sometimes do it in playful fun, often letting the seal live.