Saturday, August 12, 2006

But Kath, Where Are Mickey and Minnie?

Thursday morning we tendered over to Hoonah, a “private island experience” on Chichagof Island in Icy Strait Point. Other than tourists, there were no real people in this mini-Disney Land. There was a slick-looking cannery museum (I guess it was a cannery at one time),

a couple of seaside restaurants with different names but serving the same menu at Disney-esque prices, a shoreside to forest trail – again very tidy-looking, and a place to get a Disney-ish photo of our ship.

(Only one ship is allowed to visit each day, so they must feel pretty safe hanging just the one ship’s sign up there.)

So, if you’re going to Hoonah, my advice would be to skip the Disney experience altogether and go on a bear watching tour instead. Or just don’t get off the ship at all!

Back on ship, I dodged the formal evening in the dining room, enjoyed pasta from the pasta bar in my jeans and sneakers instead, read my books and watched for bald eagles and orcas on our way back out Icy Strait. Kathie was a good girl and went to dine with the lovely people, because she just had to see that baked Alaska. Here's a photograph of our waitress, Russell, and the baked Alaska. (That's the infamous Bob on the right.)

After dinner, Kathie and I reunited on the top deck to walk our hearts out. As we came back into the open ocean, we saw a lighthouse on the point and a pancake glacier on the coastal mountains. The sky changed dramatically as we walked each of our fifteen laps, culminating in the treat of the day - a double rainbow that circled all the way around the back of the ship! It was so close it looked like we could have reached out and touched it - ok, well, maybe if we’d had thirty foot long arms. Too cool!

On what was the summer solstice in the lower 48 states, the golden sun set at 10:20 p.m. But the sky never did get dark.

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