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Day 1 Sitka
Alaska Cruise on the Baranof Dream

By the waterfall at Mendenhall GlacierBy the waterfall at Mendenhall Glacier (Sandra Woerner)
Sunday morning we ate breakfast at Victorias and checked out of our hotel. Mary Watson, our scientific guide for the cruise, gathered people from our hotel and we walked to the Alaskan Dream hospitality room a few blocks away in the Sitka convention and visitors' bureau. We then toured as a group to the Russian Bishop's House and St. Michael's Cathedral. We also visited the Sheldon Jackson Museum. The Russian Bishop's House was very impressive. We arrived at the Cathedral after services there. The lady who told us about the Cathedral said they had just had a special three hour service and the people stand for the services. There was so much to see in the museum that I could only take a quick glimpse. It would take half a day to really see everything in it. About noon, we boarded a boat for a Sea Otter and Wildlife Cruise. We were served sandwiches after we boarded. Aspen, Cody and I went to the top deck so we could see good. There were binoculars on the seats for everyone. We saw three brown bears, two seals and several sea otter and many bald eagles. There were so many spectacular mountains and islands. One island which was shrouded in fog looked like Skull Island in the movie, "King Kong". We were on the boat fours hours and eventually rendezvoused with the Baranof Dream in Fish Bay. What a fabulous day we already had experienced and now, we were to begin our adventure aboard ship. As we boarded, Suzanne, was showing people to their cabins. There were only 44 passengers and 20 crew members. We were unexpectedly upgraded to cabins with windows. Cody was in cabin 201 and Aspen and I in 202. We were happy with this serendipity and put our luggage on the twin bed. We were going to sleep on the double bed by the window. We soon found this bed to be so comfortable and the sleeping so good with the window open as we glided over the water. We were served hors d'oeuvres at 5:30 and then dinner at 7:30.This was the first of many wonderful meals on the ship. I feasted on salmon, roasted tomato salad and wild berry sorbet. We could have our choice of anything on the menu or all of it. Tomorrow, we are going to Glacier Bay. That night, Aspen and I opened our window and I don't think I have ever slept so good. The clean, fresh air coming off the water was refreshing. The ship gently rocked us to sleep, but only after we watched a heaven sent sunset. We knew we were in for an exciting and wonderful adventure. One night, we laid across the bed and basked in the bright orange full moon over the water.

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