Dateline: June 27, 2014 (My sister’s birthday!)
Just when you think things couldn’t get any better, along comes a day like today. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a day like today. The sky cleared up, the winds dropped, the temperatures rose. All of this was timed exquisitely, because today was the day we had booked an all-day cruise of the Kenai Fjords. We were on the water for over 8 hours, and everything about it was stunningly perfect.
When we claimed our seats on the boat, only the upper deck, the outdoor section, was available. That was fine with us, because, with the good weather, we hoped to stay outdoors for the whole day. I introduced myself to the young man next to me. He was Nathan, a military man stationed in Fairbanks. I explained that I was a blogger and that I may be asking more questions than is considered normal, socially-accepted behavior. I would also be asking him if I could take his picture. When I asked him what his role was in the military, he gave the generic answer, “security.” When I asked if that meant he was sort of a military policeman, he said no. A bit later, as I was probing a bit further, he used the word “intelligence.” I began to put pieces together and guessed that he was in cyber security. When I asked him if this was the case, he did not deny it. Later I learned that he had graduated from West Point. His home was Maine. We enjoyed getting to know him throughout the day.
The day was full of marine animal sitings and enjoyment of the mountainous scenery. We went up close to a glacier and spent a good half hour there just watching it. We got to see some calving action. (Calving is when a chunk of the glacier breaks off and falls into the water.) It makes a loud, thunderous crash when it does so. Sometimes huge chunks calve, and I was able to capture one of those on video. The sea surrounding the end of the glacier was filled with icebergs large and small.
Here are the animals we saw: sea otters, bald eagles, dall porpoises, humpback whales, orcas, fin whales, stellar sea lions, harbor seals, mountain goats, puffins, cormorants, and other sea birds that I don’t recall. I captured video of a whale flipping his tail up as he dove.
Toward the end of the cruise we docked at an island (Fox Island) and were treated to a buffet of Alaskan wild salmon, prime rib, and veggies, salad, and potatoes. While we ate, a ranger from the National Park Service gave a presentation on the area.