Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Alaskan Cruise, Day 5 - Icy Point Strait Whale Watching - Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Day 5 on the Norwegian Bliss

Port: Icy Point Strait
Arrival: 7:00 a.m.
Dock: Wilderness Dock
Plan for the day
Bob, Darren, Laura, and Randall went ashore to explore the gondola, trails, beach, and dock area.
Liz, Louise, and Susan Medlin stayed on the ship. 
Michael, Kristin, Rich, and I took a whale-watching tour.

All aboard: 2:30 p.m.

Weather forecast: Cloudy with a high of 55° F.

Today's highlights for the afternoon: During the sail out from the Port of Icy Strait, look for marine life.

Facts about Icy Strait Point:

  1. It has the highest concentration of wild bears worldwide. Coastal brown bears are often sighted and make for an exciting day excursion.
  2. It is located right around the corner from Point Adolphus, one of the world's premiere whale-watching locations. Scores of whales make this their home for the summer. 
  3. The free Green "Gondolas" move through the lush treetops between the Wilderness Landing and the historic Cannery where the food and gift shop area. The Red "Gondolas" (not free) transport you to a breathtaking viewing area and the world's largest zip line. The Ziprider takes you down the mountain at speeds up to 60 mph.
  4. This cruise port is a private cruise ship destination owned and operated by Huna Totem Corporation in the town of Hoonah. It is located on Chichagof Island in the archipelago of Southeast Alaska. Hoonah, one of four communities on the island, is the largest Tlingit community in Alaska. The population of Hoonah is 765. All profits from the port directly support the local community.
Bob and I went to breakfast together. He was going to spend the day with his mom and Liz on the ship. If he had time, he would get off the ship and explore Icy Point Strait with Randall. I wanted to have a good breakfast because our tour today did not include lunch or snacks.

 I had oatmeal with a grapefruit salad.

Michael, Rich, Kristin, and I disembarked the Norwegian Bliss at the given time for our tour. The smaller boat we boarded was just across the dock from our ship. It started raining. Thankfully, there was a large indoor cabin where we could stay warm and dry.

Our whale-watching tour boat, the Huna Eagle,
had both inside and outside seating.

As soon as we had everyone on board, we had our safety orientation, and then we headed out for a 45-minute ride to where the whales were.

Safety briefing.

Our scenery looked like this most of the way.

In the beginning, we had intermittent rain.

It was cold outside, so we stayed put in the cabin for the 45-minute cruise. Once we reached the area where the whales were, we spent quite a bit of time outside taking photos and videos in the rain. 

I was getting cold and wet, so I spent most of my time aft where there was a roof over my head. It was still windy, but the overhang kept off a lot of the rain.

I forgot to charge my cell phone last night, so I had to be careful how many photos and videos I took. A few of the whales got quite close to the boat!

We spent about 1-1/2 hours watching the humpback whales. I'd guess there were about ten other boats scattered around the area. 

At one point, a whale breached completely out of the water. By the time I heard people exclaim and turned to look, all I saw was a huge splash. My son Michael may have recorded a video of the breach. If he didn't record it, Kristin and Rich may have. I'll try to get a copy of their video or photo.

On the way back to the dock, we found some sea lions hanging out on a buoy. Our captain stopped for about 15 minutes so we could take photos or videos.

Seals with a seagull on top.

Mountains could be seen on our trip back to the dock.

This is how rainy it was. That's the Norwegian Bliss.

When we returned to port, it was lunchtime. Bob came back in from exploring trails with Randall. The ship departed at 3:00 p.m. We didn't spend any time on the outdoor deck or even on our balcony looking for wildlife; it was too cold, rainy, and windy.

At 6:30 p.m., we saw the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys" in the Bliss Theater. It's the inside story about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. It was very enjoyable and featured the top-ten hits "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and "Oh, What a Night!"

At 10:00 p.m., we went to the 18+ comedy show with Phil Palisoul. He's pretty funny most of the time, and he was waaay better than Graham Kay (the other comedian on the ship)!!

Tomorrow, we will be in Ketchikan. Bob and I were there in 2018 when we went to Alaska on the Norwegian Bliss with 120 other Volksmarchers. On that trip, we did a Volksmarch in every port.

Good night, all.

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