Carrie's Adventures

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jim and Jane visit Alaska

The first time I asked Dad if he wanted to cruise with me over Christmas, he was on the fence. Cruising the Caribbean wasn't exactly theh cruise he wanted to take ~ he said that he wanted to cruise to Alaska. Well, unfortunately we don't cruise to Alaska in December so he had to settle for the Carribean. So Jim finally got his Alaskan cruise.

The weather was great and to be honest, it was one of the best weeks we have had all season.
We had dinner each night in the Dining Room and despite having the late seating of 8:30pm, we were dining in daylight. Dad wanted to come in June/July so that while we cruised in the evening, we could still check out the scenery. The sun would set after 10:30pm, and often we were able to see the sunset after we finished dinner.

My big excursion with Dad and Jane was a trip to Mendanhall Glacier. We took a local shuttle out to the glacier and were entertained by the driver of all the local facts of Juneau ~ the capital of Alaska.

The shuttle:

We saw many pieces of ice floating and perhaps even more shocking was the group of people swimming in this 'refreshing' water!

Took a bit of a hike only to discover that when you keep going up, you won't end up at the base of the waterfall!!

Our Destination:
Our Path...

Evidence of Glacial movement on the rocks ~ how else could they get all scratched up like that.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Hubbard Glacier

One of our ‘ports’ is to cruise up to the Hubbard Glacier. The first time we sailed in, I was shocked to see the chunks of ice floating in the water next to the ship. It was like we needed to dodge these mini iceburgs to make our way to the glacier. It is a bit disappointing that we hold at 7 nautical miles ~ you would think after coming all this way that you would want to get a closer look. This distance must be good for the binocular sales though…

The Glacier:

Surrounding Mountains and Ice:

Nice finger Ioannis!!!

Road trip with Akis

One of my favourite places on Vancouver Island is Long Beach. There is something about the long strip of beach, and solitude I find ther. For some strange reason I find there are generally very few people here… After convincing Akis that we should take a road trip ~ we gathered our things one morning and headed to get a Rental car and off we went.

I think it may be true of most Europeans as their countries are significantly smaller than Canada, but to drive for more than an hour or two is a great ‘outing’ for the day. Needless to say, the trip which was close to 4 hrs each way was at times a bit much for Akis, but in the end, the scenery was well worth it. Well that and the discovery of Boston Cream donuts at Tim Hortons seemed to keep him going.

We stopped at a few places along the way for ‘smoke/scenery’ breaks. Akis did want to know if we would find bears and deer, cause ‘we are in nature you know’. I laughed and told him, no, we aren’t going to see bears and deer.

Stop 1: Lower Qualicum Falls

Stop 2: Cathedral Grove

Stop 3: A Miscellaneous stop along the road

Stop 4: Bear watching at the side of the road

Stop 5: Long Beach

Akis was indoctrinated with my usual road trip dinner ~ pasta/potatoe salad from the local deli and a roasted chicken… Nothing beats a 6.99 whole chicken from Safeway.

On our way home, we managed to spot yet another bear. I was truly shocked, I didn’t expect to see one bear, never mind two just wandering by the side of the road. Further to that, we rounded the corner in Port Alberni to find the deer grazing on the side of the hill… Definitely a wildlife kind of day.

It was a long day, but a good one.

Where to start….

It’s difficult to start writing again after you have ‘fallen off the grid’. You are not sure where to start and what is even relevant anymore. So we’ll start with a quick synopsis and go from there.

May: After finishing the repositioning cruise to Vancouver, the ship took off to Victoria for 10 days of Dry Dock. I had never been to a dry dock before and to be honest, while there was work to be done, it wasn’t as horrible as what some people said. They would cut the AC, hot water was not readily available ~ thus some cold morning showers ~ but the flip side was that we could go out in the evening, have some nice dinners in the restaurants and join a somewhat normal life for a few days.

During the 10 days Akis and I did manage to rent a car and head up to Long Beach for the day. More on that in another post.

After Dry Dock the weekly runs out of Vancouver began. There are only 3 ports and to be honest, I have only been out in 2 of them. 2 of the 3 ports require that we tender and it is a bit of effort as you need to wait for the guests to go off before you are able to go and then you need to make sure that you are onboard at least an hour before we leave. But the upside of this is that you get into a pattern which is pretty consistent.

Sunday: Vancouver
Monday: Sailing the Inside Passage
Tuesday: Ketchikan
Wednesday: Sailing to Hubbard Glacier
Thursday: Juneau
Friday: Icy Straight Point ~ the port I have yet to see
Saturday: Sailing the Inside Passage

And then it begins again. Unfortunately with Vancouver being an Embark port, I don’t get out to see people much. I have managed to catch up with a couple of friends at the Starbucks which is near the ship, but Powell and Heatley is not really the ‘cleanest’ part of town.

The other major event was Dad and Jane came to visit last week to take in Alaska ~ more on this in another post.

Over the past 6 weeks it has been a bit of a struggle with work. I have been very disappointed with some aspects of the job and the company. This has led me to considering other options. Right now Akis and I trying to sort out what it is that we want to do. Unfortunately planning is not a strong suit for either of us, so coming up with a concrete plan is proving to be difficult. We do have options however, some are looking for work in the UK as both of us will be able to work there within a short period of time, looking for work in Canada and Akis will come and be there until his paperwork is processed, we go back to Greece and I learn Greek in rather short order. While the other option of staying on the ship and both of us working here seems like a good solution, I have been less than pleased with how things are being handled by the office and realize that I need to ensure that I am treated fairly. So hey, if anyone wants to offer me a job…

Other big news ~ I’m going to be an aunt. Yep, Krista and Craig are expecting. I won’t be able to see the ‘developing belly’ if I remain on the ship, so I will need to rely on photos. If I do finish out the contract, I will be home about 3 weeks before her due date.

Akis will also be going home soon. He has been onboard taking over for Nikos, so he has been the boss man. He is scheduled to go home on the 15th which is long overdue. He has been onboard for almost 8 months. I will miss him when he goes, but also understand the need for vacation! We haven’t received a schedule so we aren’t sure where he is going back should he return to the ships. Hopefully that will come on Friday, and we’ll know more then.

Other than work, some movies and signing up for Facebook ~ which people who have know it can be addictive ~ life is pretty much the same. I am hoping to take advantage of being in Alaska as they have just opened up guides on the Shore Excursions, so you can bet that I will be looking to find some ‘interesting’ things to check out during my weeks alone here without Akis.