Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Beginning The Cruise

One of many competitive Cribbage games!
After three days at sea we sailed up Tracy Arm on this trip rather than Glacier Bay-
The jewel colors of the water are amazing as are the icebergs, some so blue/turquoise and on a cloudy day the colors are even more dramatic.
That is a glacier in the distance between the last two mountains, we were told that the mountains around Tracy Arm rise to several thousand feet and the water a thousand feet deep and more.
 Tracy Arm is beautiful, but our ship was not able to get close to either the North or South Glacier so it was anti climactic compared to the drama of Glacier Bay where we cruised very close to the Glacier all day. Unless you are able to take a smaller tour deep into the Fiord I recommend Glacier Bay-most cruises do one or the other but not both.
On the fourth day we berthed at Juneau, the capital of AK. I visited the quilt shop in town called Changing Tides where I purchased another Lisa Moore pattern [to add to the one I bought last trip!]
I hope to actually use this one soon as I plan to make a table runner for a friend using a little of the fabric I found in Ketchikan.
It is possible to take a bus to the Mendenhall Glacier, and trek about, and there's a visitor center with local area information.
Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier is declining - some decline, some advance and others are fairly static. This one still looks very large just from the bit you can see.
The next port of call was Sitka, called Archangel under Russian rule [before "Seward's Folly", LOL].
It is on the west side of Baranof Island and the name Sitka derives from Sheet'ka the Tlinglit name for the people who lived there. Cruise ships must anchor there at a distance from the shore and passengers take a tender the few minutes to the dock.
Here DH and I visited the Raptor Center, a hospital and rehab center for raptors, mainly Bald Eagles. It isn't possible to do justice to this facility without lengthy explanations and pictures but you can get a lot from visiting their website. We hiked the two miles round trip rather than ride the bus, even though the weather was inclement. The rest of the family took a tour that visited several other sites including Fortress Of The Bear and the Totem National Park.
We ate lunch at The Pub, fish and chips, what else!
A few brews too of course............
I paid a visit to Abby's Reflection quilt shop where I purchased a nice set of FQ's that I can't show yet because they are a gift for a friend!
Next stop, Ketchikan, where we only had a few hours so we stayed around the dock area. Fortunately that is where most of the town seems to be located including the quilt shop!
The very helpful sales lady consented to a photo. 
 I remembered the shop well from the previous visit and since then it has expanded, about doubled in size, tourist trade must be very profitable!
These fabrics are for the "Delectable Dogsled" pattern, they join the fabrics below which I purchased on the previous Alaska trip.
 The first Lisa Moore pattern still unused.......
and the fabrics from the other visit, aging for 5 years or so! I really must make something with them, probably a couple of quilts including an "I Spy" to showcase the Alaskan features on each piece.

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