Thursday, August 13, 2015

Haines--boat trip to Juneau

A group from the caravan took a high speed catamaran trip to Juneau on the first day we were in Haines, which was a wonderful trip!  We saw lots of humpback whales along the way, along with some harbor seals and steller sea lions.  The fjord line is owned and operated by a lovely family, with mom and dad working the dock and office, and their daughter, who is a senior at Cal Poly, handling the crew duties along with the captain.

Harbor in Haines, as we awaited the arrival of the catamaran from Skagway

 And here she comes!
 Daughter Ana, welcoming us all aboard!
 Leaving Haines

 One of the many fishing boats, going out to find their positions, as the season opened the next day
 Glaciers, glaciers, glaciers!

 Lighthouse--and it's for sale!

 Alaska Ferry, speeding toward Juneau
 Humpback whales--here caught a shot of a blow!
 The dorsal fin is much smaller on the humpback than on the orca

 Another blow!

 And a tail!!
 The catamaran docked some distance from downtown, due to the configuration of the island, so we took a bus into downtown, and these shots are from the bus

 Bald eagle

 Had a lovely lunch at The Hangar, right on the harbor in downtown Juneau--where you could hear the float planes as they came in and docked right in front of our window
 Scenes from downtown Juneau

 A cruise ship docked in the harbor
 Cute display in the wonderful quilt shop in Juneau--it was a fabulous shop, though, and we got several fabrics that Trisha will have so much fun with
 More cruise ships

Statue of Patsy, the famous white bull terrier--official greeter to Juneau!  In 1929 she was brought to Juneau with a doctor, but she didn't want to stay in the house, so she took off and hung out along the docks, and would always greet the ships as they came in.  The owners finally conceded that she didn't want to stay there, so she soon took up residence at the Longshoreman's Hall, as the locals figured she just liked to hang out with those who loved ships as much as she did.  Though there was no schedule for ship arrivals back then, she would always be there to greet the ships as the passengers disembarked.  The story goes that one day a crowd of people were gathered at the dock where they thought the next ship was going to unload; Patsy apparently trotted down to the dock, took one look at the crowd and then went to another dock and waited--and, sure enough, in about 30 minutes the ship came into the dock where Patsy waited.  When the town council eventually passed an ordinance requiring all dogs to be licensed and wear a collar, the townsfolk took care of the fee and bought here a collar with her name on it.  This apparently only lasted a short time, as her collar disappeared, but the council just ignored the requirement in her case.  She did this for 13 years before passing on.  Quite the tale!
Back on the bus on our way out of town--mural here depicting the native people's legend of how the Raven created the earth and humans

Mendenhall Glacier--you couldn't get as close as we were in Valdez, but there was a trail to an observation point
Some ice floes in the water that had come off the glacier
Telephoto shot of the face of the glacier--a local came up and told us that when he first came here in 2011, the rock on the left was almost completely covered

Waterfall near the glacier

Dee, inside the visitor center, posing in front of a 200 year old chunk of ice from the glacier--they have this exhibit with a grate and catch basin for the melting ice, and change it as it melts
Hard to see Trisha's face with the sunlight and glacier in the background

Beautiful carved door in the visitor center

The guy that owned this beautiful, retired show dog took the pics above

Our group, waiting on the bus to pick us up to take us back to the catamaran for our return trip to Haines

Another Alaska Ferry
Another group of humpbacks

Side view of a tail

Just as I took this shot of the big tail splash, the boat rocked so I didn't get it all into the photo

Pretty cool shot of this one's tail as it was about to go back under the water
A huge group of steller sea lions on the rocks near the lighthouse

Such a cute face!
And some rare white steller sea lions!

Just as we were coming back into Haines!

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