Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reflections on Juneau July 27 or "All creatures great and small"

Mendenhall Glacier Nat'l Park

Best lunch ever!

Spot after swimming under our boat
Awoke today with balloons at our doorway announcing our anniversary which we are celebrating a month early.  Today was Juneau and whale watching and glacier perusal.  Dawn woke us up around 6:00 with the ship docking in Juneau.  We had breakfast on the ship and then disembarked to stroll Juneau's tourist traps.  Again, hundreds of shops selling jewelry...soapstone carvings, Tanzanite and Alaskan gold.  Spent the morning walking the streets.  Discovered a GREAT crab shack called Tracy's Crab Shack that was down the side street by the library...wonderful crab bisque and crab cakes.  Sooooo  gooooood....yumm!

Afternoon brought a whale watching trip that was amazing.  We were so lucky to have the chance to take a whale watching cruise on which we saw at least 10 whales. The crew and captain were all girls which was usual in itself. There were deck hands, a naturalist and the captain. The captain indicated that if they saw two or three whales, it was considered a good trip. Along with bringing the sunny warm day 68, she said we have also brought luck. The most spectacular event was when a humpback whale swam under our boat and then humped his back and flipped hi tail ad dove for the bottom to feed. The picture shows his flukes. It is not a close-up. He was that close…

Additionally we say several sea lion vying for a position on a buoy to sun themselves. There were at least 6 on it with several swimming around in the water, making noises ad obviously complaining that it was their turn. In frustration, one finally reached up and nudged one of the smaller ones who was precariously perched on the edge. He promptly fell in the water. In a flash the other one was up in the vacated place. There was much noise ad complaining as he defended his position. Within a few minutes things settled down and he was ensconced as the rightful owner of that miniscule piece of real estate.
Playing in our wake was a pod of porpoises, smaller ones than I have seen. They seemed to be having a good time, leaping and jumping in the wake of the boat. Very interesting to watch.

Topped off that trip was a drive to the Mendenholl glacier...a river of ice that has carved out valleys over the thousands of years that it has been retreating.  Again amazing...I have to say that something strange happens as you sit at the foot of this wall of ice and see and hear the rushing waters careening out from under it...There is a sense of awe and insignificance....how small we all are...and then in a nano second, there is a realization of the timelessness of our existence...of our place in the eternities...It has been such a wonderful, amazing day.

Got back to the ship about 6 and went to dinner where we had again a choice that was unimaginable…prime rib, Italian, traditional, fruit of all sorts, pasties, desserts, salads…it goes on and on. By 7:30 we were in the theater to watch Invictus, a very good movie about Nelson Mandela and his struggle to put a nation together using the World Cup rugby of 1995. A very good story! Almost didn’t recognize Matt Damon.

One of my favorite books is “All Creatures Great and Small”, a collection of experiences of a Wales veterinarian. It seems appropriate for the day that we have had today in Juneau.
In it there is a quote from Genesis 1:21  "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly...and every winged fowl after his kind and God saw that it was good."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home