Captain’s Log: Another Scenic Week in Alaska

Captain’s Log: Another Scenic Week in Alaska

The last of our itinerary that has us calling at Juneau first (for as I write we have just completed a call in Glacier Bay and dashed from Vancouver in order to make it, too). Not a great week for weather initially, Juneau was socked in with rain, however Skagway was a little brighter. An unusual sight here, an ‘old’ steam train, from the White Pass railway in Skagway, (although I suspect that she is no longer a coal burner). Nevertheless it made a wonderful sight as it ‘chugged’ over the crossing and wound its way around the town.

White Pass train

When the Pacific High pressure system is sitting over Vancouver/Seattle, the system keeps all the low pressure areas to the north, that’s us, in Alaska, so while I receive emails from a ‘glorious Seattle’, little do the senders know that they are hogging all the sun and we aren’t getting much ;)

I wrote last week about the goods which are shipped north to Alaska by barge, well here is something that is shipped south, although they are Canadian logs being shipped to Vancouver. This is a ‘self-discharging’ barge which we passed during our transit of the BC Inside Passage.

Log barge

Once the barge arrives at its destination, ballast tanks are filled which cause it to list to one side; eventually the point will be reached that the logs start to move and as they tumble into the water, the effect pushes the barge in the opposite direction at quite a rate; voila, one empty barge.

I couldn’t resist sending you 2 photographs, taken today in Glacier Bay. A particularly lively whale attracted our attention, one couldn’t really miss not seeing it, for it was breaching (leaping out of the water) and, as we passed, decided to lie on its back and wave its massive flippers at us, slapping the water, with a resounding ‘crack’ as it did so; the telephoto lens came in handy……

Humpback (1)



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One Comment

  1. Mrs Jacobs September 1, 2013 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Captain Mercer,

    Loving your weekly blogs as they are making us all very excited for our trip with ms Amsterdam. My family and I, a group of 7 of us, will be joining your ship on the 6th of September. We are very much looking forward to it all and hope to have a pleasure of meeting you while we are on the ship. This is our first voyage with Holland America and are very much looking forward to our adventures. Thanks for the time you take to post these blogs and pictures, they are very much a wonderful endorsement of your company. All the very best and happy sailing. :)

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