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Windex Blue

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It hit me this morning that our cruise was more than halfway over. This amazing and wonderful surprise of a vacation has gone from something that I was almost dreading to begin, to something that I most certainly dread being over. While it was obvious that I had come to love cruising accidentally, it was with total certainty that I knew I would do this again as soon as was possible. It wasn’t just the amazing Alaska scenery that had wiggled its way into my vacation-loving heart; it was also the actual cruising experience. I simply loved being on the ship. I loved knowing that I was surrounded by the ocean that I adore. I knew we had some long-term plans that would keep us from cruising again in the next couple of summers, so for now I had to be happy with the few days that we had left.

Our day of scenic cruising Tracy Arm Fjord was cold, cloudy, foggy and drizzly. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but if I learned anything in my research for our cruise, I learned that you can predict Alaska weather to be unpredictable. Due to the cold drizzle, the outside decks were practically deserted as many of our fellow cruisers chose to stay inside where it was warm and dry. I, however, wasn’t about to let a little drizzle stand in my way of a day of scenic cruising this beautiful fjord. So Scott and I bundled up in our warmest jackets with hoods and made our way to the very front of the ship so that we had the best view in the house. To my surprise and delight, Princess had a wonderful naturalist on board that began speaking over the loudspeaker and directing us where to look, what we were looking at, how deep the water is, etc. He was so interesting and so informative. While slowly gliding past dozens of small icebergs that were the most beautiful bright blue color, he relayed a story from the prior weeks sailing. Apparently Amy Tan, the author of the popular book, The Joy Luck Club, was on board the Diamond that previous week and she sat with the naturalist while he was giving his talk. He included her often in his talk, and she offered up some beautifully-worded descriptions of the scenery, as only an accomplished and talented author such as herself could do. Knowing she would really be able to put into words the unique and brilliant blue color of the icebergs, he asked her to describe their unusual color, and she replied only two words, “Windex blue.” I had to agree completely with Ms. Tan’s description, they were exactly like Windex blue.

The fjord offered up sights I knew I would never see again: soaring and sheer rock cliffs, dozens of waterfalls, and adorably fat and lazy sea lions snoozing on icebergs. The crown jewel in the day was seeing Sawyer Glacier deep inside the fjord. How do you feel small while on a 100,000 plus ton ship? Compare yourself to a massive glacier, that’s how!

Too soon it was time to leave and make our way back out of the fjord. The naturalist promised us an evening filled with whale activity because the area that we would be cruising was known for its abundant humpback population, and he did not disappoint. We saw dozens of water spouts, several tails, and even a few whales breached for us.

Yes our time on the Diamond was coming to an end, and the days ahead would be shorter and shorter as we slowly made our way south again, but they were sure to be ones for the memory books. And speaking of days ahead, I was so excited for our planned morning of sea kayaking that we had scheduled for Ketchikan. I just hoped the weather cleared…

To be cont'd...

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