Thursday, May 31, 2007

So Much For Haines

Haines was a no-show.  Or, more precisely, we were a no-show for Haines.  Haines is only, like, 15 miles away from Skagway.  The plan was that we'd all get back on the ship, have lunch, and be in Haines by the time we were finished. 

Good plan.

Somewhere during lunch, we noticed it was getting awfully windy out there.  Somewhere around 40 knots.  That's, y'know, a lot of wind.  Eventually, the captain got on the mic and explained that he'd elected, for our safety, not to go to Haines.  Apparently, it's a wooden dock and he didn't think we'd be safe docking on that thing in the high winds.  We all totally understood -- I mean, safety is paramount and it's his job to make that call.  Still, we were a bit disappointed missing out on Haines.  (And the five of us who'd missed out on our Skagway excursion were particularly disappointed.)  Cruise West dealt with the situation in the time-honored way of ships dealing with disappointed people aboard -- free drinks.  With the bartender pouring everyone a drink on the house, good cheer quickly came back on board.

As an alternative, the Captain took us into a nearby waterway with some pretty scenery.  And, as it turned out, an amazing whale. 

A seriously amazing whale.  This whale stayed on our starboard bow for, like, 20 minutes -- paddling on his back, waving his flippers, and leaping out of the water.  When he got bored with that, he swam over to the port side for a repeat performance.  Everyone got pictures of this whale.  Even me.  Well, I got some lovely shots of his flipper in the air.  It's something.  :)

And that was pretty much how the cruise ended.  We had our last dinner and dessert, and I went back to my cabin for the final packing as a group of 12 Australian passengers took over the mic and gave us a very off-key yet enthusiastic rendition of "Waltzing Matilda" -- including the bits where none of them remembered the words and just hummed the tune. 

And this morning, we disembarked in Juneau.

1 comment:

lanurseprn said...

How cool it is that you saw a whale! Sounds like he put on a show for all of you.