Sunday, 13 September 2015
13.09.2015 - 13.09.2015
Another one of those line-ball mornings. Will it or won't it rain today?? So we dressed in layers and stepped off the ship. Luck was with us, the bus driver was a vivacious young lady with a wicked sense of humour and a repertoire of doubtful stories. Some rain spots on the windscreen were wiped away and we dodged a shower by visiting the Salmon Hatchery.
We were overloaded with facts and numbers ans spent a good hour looking around the facilities. They imprint the location on the fish by holding the juveniles in a net pond for about three months. This acclimatises them to the salt ocean water where they will live for up to five years. When the adult fish return to spawn they climb the longest fish ladder in Alaska. The trapped fish have their eggs and sperm removed and they are brought together in a bucket. In-Bucket Fertilisation !!
Next stop the Mendenhall Glacier which gives birth to a lake and a river. It is another of the shrinking glaciers and looses about 20 feet in height each summer. There are many different estimates as to when it will totally disappear but the frightening fact is that due to the loss of bulk the rate of decline is increasing. Markers show where it used to end at various times in the past 50 years.
Third stop on the tour was an hour spent at the Glacial Garden. The gardens were established on a site that was devastated by a massive landslide. The passion of the landscape gardener and nurseryman owner of the 40 acre site has turned it into a spectacular park. The range of flowers and other plants blends beautifully with the mature trees that surround the property. There are three huge hot-houses containing plants and flowers that are nurtured through the Alaskan Winter. One of the enclosures is used for weddings and other functions.
Finally we were dropped off in the shopping zone. Surprisingly, Jenny found a unique jacket that just had to be acquired. We then wandered back to the ship along the foreshore, had a quick late lunch and returned to the cabin.
Formal night tonight and there was Lobster Tail on the menu. I have that choice every time because it is inevitably well cooked and beautifully presented. Tonight was no exception. The dessert was excellent and the coffee great. This cruise and the land-tour portion have exceeded expectation. My cough appears to be clearing up as well.
Ketchikan tomorrow and hopefully a continuation of the great weather.
If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view a photo of the Mendenhall Glacier by following this link to my main album.
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony