Carrie's Adventures

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why my life with Akis will always be entertaining...

We went to Villa Vera for the afternoon where I wished I had worn more sunscreen, or applied more often ~ either way, I can say that I was throughly entertained. Who wouldn't be???

Yes for those who recall, this is our 'regular' spot when we go out in Acapulco. Ahhh the memories.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dog Sledding in Juneau

In Juneau there are many excursions to choose from. One of the coolest has to be the visit to the glacier by helicopter where you get to see the Huskies and ride on a Dog Sled.

Even though I wasn't able to get a 'crew escort' on this tour, I was very excited about going. The tour began with a helicopter ride up and over the Mendenhall Glacier and surrounding area, up to the Dog Camp. I had never been in a helicopter, but have a friend who is a helicopter pilot. I had heard from him what an amazing feeling it is to fly in a helicopter and he was right. Unlike being in a plane, you get a sense that you are able to move in any direction and you have a freedom in the air that you don't get on a plane.

Once we landed, we were greeted by 300 excited Huskies. They were all tied to their posts and you could tell that they were anxious to run. Not being a fan of the treadmill, I can't envision how anything would just have the desire to run and run, but apprently this is what these dogs were bred to do. The dogs and the dog sledders stay in the camp for the entire summer season ~ 4 months ~ much like we do on the ship and they run their dogs daily on the glacier. The glacier which has 80 feet of snow on top of it. The run they take is minor compared to what they do in the winter and their training. Some of the dogs have even competed in the Idirod ~ 1000 miles from Anchorage to Nome Alaska. Now that is dedication to running.

After arriving we were introduced to the dogs that would be taking us on our tour. We were able to pet and play with them.

After that, we boarded our dog sled and began our trek around. We took turns both sitting and standing on the sled, and I have to say it was very cool.

Carrie drives the sled...

The REAL driver...

Once we returned back to the camp, we were able to play with the puppies. One tried to eat my nose, my ear and it became obvious why they said no earrings at the beginning of the trip.

Then it was time to go home. Again an amazing view and a close up of the ice that makes up the Mendenhall Glacier.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hubbard Glacier

One of our stops in Alaska was the Hubbard Glacier. My first experience was with one captain who held us at quite the distance from the Glacier ~ generally we held at 7 nautical miles from the glacier. This might have been good for the binocular sales, but was disappointing for others that we weren't getting a closer look.

With the change of captains, also came a change in approach to visiting the glacier. Our first time in, we came withing 1.5 nautical miles and then our closest approach was .75 nautical miles. You realize the immenseness of the ice mass. We were close enough to be able to hear the ice calve or break off into the ocean. Despite the fact that the ice was breaking off into the sea at a relatively consistant rate, we have been told by the naturalist that Glacier is actually growing.

I'm not sure that you can appreciate how large the glacier is until you actually get close to it. Even in the pictures, while you can tell it is big, you see in some of the last photos, that it really is quite a massive entity. I wish I would have paid more attention to the naturalists talks, as he gave statistical data which would have given more empahsis to the size ~ such as the average chunk of ice that calves is about the size of an automobile.

From a distance:

Closer to the ice:

The ice flow just in front of the Glaciers

And a wee iceburg

As we pulled away...

I am always amazed by the blue hue of the glaciers ~ definitely one of my favourite colours.