Wednesday, January 02, 2013


Day 6 - Today we were scheduled to spend 6 hours on a boat watching marine wildlife, birds and glaciers. We had bookings for the 8 am cruise and so rose early. For the first time in days, we had slept soundly, thanks to the complete light blocking window blinds of our B&B! We felt well rested and ready for our day on the water. If there is one thing that Alaskan accommodation owners should pay attention to, it should be window blinds, IMO. Nothing is more appreciated than a good nights sleep.

Another reason I loved the B&B accommodations in Alaska is for their self-serve breakfast. Hosts typically stock their kitchens with eggs, bread, cereal, fruit, etc. Guests make their own breakfast. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, especially, when I am travelling. I prefer savoury items on my breakfast plate over sweet preparations like pancakes, muffins, waffles. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that we had our choice when it came to breakfast.  I made us omelettes and toast and some tea. The boat harbour was only a mile from our B&B. We decided to walk as we weren't sure about road-closures and parking situation due to the race. 

Seward harbour
Our cruise boat was big vessel with enclosed seating on two levels. One could also be out in the open along the sides of the boat. Lunch was part of the package and hot beverages tea, coffee and hot chocolate (much needed in that weather) were complimentary. Restrooms (very important) were outside on the side of the boat. There were guides on our boat if we had questions and we could hear the boat's captain (cum chief guide) on the PA system. I was happy with the overall logistics.

During the cruise we saw many humpback whales (one even did a back flip for us!), otters, seals, sea lions and a variety of birds - puffins, common murres, kittiwakes, to name a few.

Stellar Sea Lions
One of the awe-inspiring moments of this trip was seeing glaciers up-close. We saw a couple of them, but we went closest to the 'Holgate Glacier'. Our captain turned off the engine once we were close enough to the glacier. It was drizzling but we went out on the deck. The glacier rumbled and roared, pieces of it cracked and broke (this is called calving of a glacier) and collapsed into the water. The silence only amplified these sounds. It was eerily wonderful....

Just as afternoon lethargy was getting to us, the sweet smell of freshly baked cookies filled the air. Surprise! The crew had baked us cookies. Who doesn't like freshly baked cookies?

Holgate Glacier
We got back in time for the men's Mt. Marathon race. The town was bustling with people. Many of them lined on both sides of the race track. Tom and Nick (our B&B owner and his son) were participating in the race. We found ourselves a good spot so we could cheer for them as they went.

Ready, Steady, Go!
As the race started, runners whizzed past us. In a matter of few minutes we could see them scaling the mountain. We were bundled in layers of clothing, yet cold and uncomfortable. I wondered what motivated these people to brave the cold and run up and down the steep mountain.....

From our explorations on the previous night, we had concluded that restaurant options in town were plain boring. We had access to the kitchen and decided to cook our own meal that night. Nothing like eating a home cooked meal when on the road! We bought some potatoes and pita bread at the Safeway in town. I made us some potato curry. Oh! it was the most wonderful dinner....

Our B&B kitchen - Spacious and well equipped

Yummylicious Dinner

Kia Ora our B&B owner's pet. I think she got hungry with all the smells that resulted from my cooking

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