Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alaska 2011: Ketchikan to Juneau on a 42' Grand Banks

I wrote a paragraph or two every day we were on vacation, so that I would be able to remember places we stopped and things we saw and did, but I'm not going to go into that much detail here. Instead I'll share mostly pictures of where we went and what we did, so I apologize in advance because this will be a bit picture heavy.
This is my husbands Dad & Stepmom's boat. A 42 foot Grand Banks.When we flew into Ketchikan we took the water taxi across to where they were docked. We got some groceries at the nearest grocery store, and slept our first night on the boat! We stayed in Ketchikan that night because it was rather late in the day by the time we were done shopping and getting all oriented with the boat stuff.

This is my husband's stepmom (grandma), our daughter Little M, and my husband's dad (grandpa).

Little M had a lot of fun walking around the deck in her life jacket. I was a bit worried that she would hate being in it, but she quickly realized that putting it on meant going outside, which she has always loved.
We went into Misty Fjord, see the signs of glaciation on the rocks? It was so pretty in there!

My husband loves to fish so we went to many little creeks and kayaked up to fly fish and spin. Little M and I enjoyed hanging out by the water while he fished.

We went to Wrangell and then Petersburg, then headed out towards Juneau. We saw several glaciers when we were up there; this was the first. It was gorgeous!

Sometimes the creeks were fairly flat and the flats were very grassy. Its not hard to imagine sneaking up on a bear by accident in this sort of habitat! We were pretty careful and called out to the bears "hey bear, hi bear, how are you bear" to let them know we were coming :)

We saw lots of beautiful wildflowers. Here is a lupine on a sandy shore. My husband saw a beaver further up this stream, and there were moose tracks nearby. We didn't catch any fish here though.

 Not only did I see my first icebergs on this trip, I also got to touch icebergs, kayak amongst them, and we even saw & heard a glacier calving to create more icebergs! The day we spent in Tracy Arm with the icebergs & glaciers was so amazing!

Whenever we could (especially on the second half of the trip), we got off of the boat and kayaked to shore to get Little M walking around and seeing different things than the boat. We saw bears and dolphins in Fords Terror, not to mention cool water plants!

Little M thoroughly enjoyed herself on the boat and off. She got rather wet playing in streams, that's for sure!

We hiked in to some spectacular wetlands and lakes, and got to see some rare plants while we were at it.

We saw killer whales many times, and humpback whales too. And we had dolphins jumping off the bow of the boat! It was pretty great :)
We saw several black bears (one a mama with 2 cubs), as well as some grizzly bears. We got quite close to some of the bears, both in the boat, and the mama black bear with cubs my husband unintentionally got close to while fishing. We got really close so numerous seals, even some mama seals still on icebergs with their babies!
One of the great things of the trip was that got to see so many new-to-us bird species! This marbled murrelet (thanks to my good friend Kyle for helping me ID the murrelets) was just one of the great birds we saw. I was very glad we had taken our Sibley guide, without it I would have been so frustrated - nothing like a great field guide :) For new birds, we had pacific loon, red throated loon, common murre, pigeon guillemonts, arctic tern, surf scoter, white-sided scoter, and greater scaup. We also got some great pictures of other birds that we had already seen in other places, like spotted sandpipers (including shots of a baby!), bald eagles, winter wren, barrow's goldeneye, and harlequin ducks.

Needless to say, the trip was pretty amazing. I'm sure hoping we'll be back someday soon!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Spectacular photos and what a trip. I love the lupin shot, both a fine record and fine art. Glad you all had such a good time.


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