100 Photos

Sunshine Over Glacier Bay!
Birthday Alaska Cruise!

(Julia Kocubinski)
Today is our last full day on the cruise, but we were not about to let a moment go by without fun and adventure. We woke early and went for a quiet, beautiful kayak. We were completely on our own, just ten of us paddling up this inlet. We were surrounded by some of the most amazing mountains I have ever seen, and there was not a cloud in the sky. I could not believe our luck! After a couple hours of paddling, we looked behind us and there was our boat, coming to pick us up. We loaded up and headed toward the ranger station. The other half of the boat had done a skiff ride and saw four bears, a mother and three cubs, playing on the shore. I was so sad to miss this bear sighting, but the calm and serene paddle that morning was hard to beat.

Emily gave us a tour of the visitor center and half mile or so walk to show us what the surrounding forrest was like. She was a great guide, and was completely blown away by our perfectly sunny day. She has been up there for a few seasons, and said this was one of the only fully sunny days she had ever seen in Glacier Bay! I thought we were lucky, but didn't realize just how lucky we were to have that great weather and to see the entire mountain peaks surrounding the bay.

As we started heading back towards Juneau, we had the afternoon to again sit, relax, hang on the top deck in the sun. I was in the bridge talking with JD, the first mate, when I looked out and spotted something black. He got out the binoculars and realized it was a pod of orcas! We spent over an hour just hanging out with a dozen or more orcas and their babies as they played, explored and wandered their way through the water around us. This completed our trip! What else could we ask for?

This evening, we had a special cocktail hour to honor a couple milestone anniversaries being celebrated onboard. Our captain Shawn also came out and thanked us for the understanding and cooperation as they worked to fix the engine. He assured us that no part of our experience was missed by the engine. We just got to our sleeping areas a bit later than normal, but always were anchored before we went to bed, so it didn''t affect us at all. After dinner we watched a slide show of all the photos Vanessa and JD had taken during the cruise, and each got our own copy of them all, including a map of our route and a daily itinerary to take home with us.

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