I got duped into an Alaskan cruise the last week of May/first week of June. Short version: Dad told me that he had “arranged” the trip already, implying that he already bought it without asking me first. I wanted to go, but didn’t think timing was great since I had planned on exhibiting at TNNA in mid-June. I finally agreed, then he quickly added that family friends were coming too. Family friends are great, but sometimes they have a whole different meaning and feeling of dread for the “kids” no matter how much you like them, especially on a vacation (if you come from an Asian, Latino or other cultures where family friends are your “aunties” and “uncles,” then you know what I mean). There were 8 of us (before I got on the plane, I though there would only be 5) and the “adults” designated me as the group’s tour guide/ translator/ navigator/ negotiator/ reservation-maker, which was a bit stressful since 7 other people’s vacation-happiness weighed on my shoulders. Of course, I relieved stress with lots of knitting, which really wasn’t since it was work-knitting on deadline for TNNA. I packed lots of yarn though, including some Anzula Mermaid, Rowan Revive and Bijou Basin Ranch Lhasa Wilderness. My dad, who still sometimes thinks I only knit sweaters to sell to consumers online, thought I packed too much stuff. Um, I had one carry-one and a backpack for a 9-day trip.
Anyways, I really can’t complain much. It wasn’t how I would’ve liked to vacation if it was just me, my dad and stepmom, but it was still a nice trip. I even had a chance meeting with Allison Haas of Alaskan Purl, due to my losing my passport, credit card, $150 cash and $900 of train tickets in Skagway. Allison totally made me blush with her blog post about our encounter. In the way that the knitterly web works, I tweeted about Allison returning my passport, which led to Lucy Neatby recommending a visit to Skagway’s quilt/yarn shop and saying “hi” to employee Jean, which led to Jean asking me for yarn substitution suggestions for a lace weight version of Weekend Shawl, which led me to introduce her to Anzula‘s yarn, and of course, since I was at the shop, I bought some gorgeous Alaskan-produced yarn. Whew! See how wonderful our knitterly web is?
Words and photos cannot really describe the beauty of nature or the feeling one gets witnessing these wonders. In fact, while someone much more gifted in the art of words and photography still cannot match the true sight, sounds, feelings and experience on such a trip.
Click on photos to enlarge.
I saw the Dawes glacier up close and saw it calf! In the first photo, you can see the splash of the water as a piece of ice fell from the glacier. I even managed to capture the calving on video with my iPhone:
There were several groups of harbor seals resting on bits of floating ice all around us as we watched and observed the glacier.
I had the opportunity to spot several humpback whales as we came out of Endicott Arms and as well as on a whale-watching tour in Juneau. This one was when we were going from Endicott Arms towards Juneau.
We booked a special whale-watching trip in Juneau in a much smaller boat. The water was really really choppy, but it was a fantastic tour. Spectacular! Our boat came across a pair of whales feeding close to the shoreline: a mama and a baby. Spot the large white spout first – that’s the mama. You can also see mama’s head and a bit of her tail poking out. Behind her tail, you can see a very faint misty spout coming out of the water – that’s baby’s spout! In the second photo, they are swimming in the other direction. Mama’s spout is on the left and baby’s is on the right. In the last 2 pictures, you can see a bit of mama’s tail.
After leaving mama and baby, our choppy boat came across “Flame.” The captain and naturist identified her by the patterning of her fluke. She gave us a pretty good show, but my fingers missed some of the best shots of fractions of a second. Still, I think I got a few nice ones. And in honor of her, I am naming of my soon-to-be-released patterns after her.
We also went to Skagway, where we took the train up the Yukon trail. We didn’t go all the way up to the Yukon territory, due to time constraints, but we did go up the mountain, up to White Pass at the Canadian border.
Lastly, I leave you with images of a sunset I caught at sea. This gorgeous sunset occurred at around 10-10:30pm. It was the only day I caught sunset, since it was too overcast to see it on other days.