Days 3 and 4 … At Sea and Ketchikan

The sailawy fron Vancouver at 7:00 PM was beautiful and we went right by Stanley Park.

The sailaway from Vancouver at 7:00 PM was beautiful and we went right by Stanley Park.

The third day of the cruise was a scheduled at sea day which was nice as it allowed everyone to catch up after their travels to get to the ship.  I was really looking forward to it as we were “suppose” to be traveling through the inside passage and I just knew I would see tons of Pelagic birds.  So I wake up just as it is getting light out and turn on the TV to see what our position was and lo and behold the captain had navigated something like 90% of the wonderful inside passage while everyone was sleeping.  So already a little downtrodden I look out and all I see is white … fog and lots of it.  I see tons of birds going by but photography is pretty much a waste of time.

(Clicking on any picture will enlarge it and optimize it for your screen)

This is what it looked like most of the morning!

This is what it looked like most of the morning!

Even after being processed in Photoshop the results are still pretty sucky.

Even after being processed in Photoshop the results are still pretty sucky.

So off to breakfast Terri and I went.   A little about the ship and its food.  I’ll be honest and say all I can really evaluate is the buffet as we never did make it down to the dining room.  Being a big eater, that was fine with me and the Millennium has a couple of great features on the buffet line.  For breakfast they will make you omelets or whatever type of eggs you’d like right in front of you.  I don’t think anyone could ever complain about the selection and if they did they are just to, to picky.

Rhinocerous Auklet ... About as clear a shot as I got of the many Alcids that flew by the ship.

Rhinocerous Auklet … About as clear a shot as I got of the many Alcids that flew by the ship.

At lunch and throughout the rest of the day till midnight there is always someone there to make you fresh pasta, again right in front of you.  You pick out what you want in your pasta from probably 25-30 items then give him the bowl.  You then pick out one of 4 pastas and he cooks it all up for you steaming hot and you can then put one of 6-8 sauces on yourself!  They also have a similar station for stir fry … again cooked up hot right in front of you.

Fork-tailed Storm Petrel ... This was a "lifer" that I had hoped to see and was lucky enough for the fog to lift a little.

Fork-tailed Storm Petrel … This was a “lifer” that I had hoped to see and was lucky enough for the fog to lift a little.

I had read some Cruisecritic reviews that said the waiters and other help were not friendly or not that helpful and I honestly have to say that everyone that I dealt with was very professional and helpful and after the first two days knew my name and what my preferred drinks were.

Common Murre ... This is father and young groups.  The fathers have 100% parental responsibiliyt once they leave the nest with their children.

Common Murre … These are two family groups. The fathers have 100% parental responsibility once they leave the nest with their children.

Dall's Porpoise ... Very cool looking but they don't ever jump out of the water like our Bottlenose Dolphins do.

Dall’s Porpoise … Very cool looking but they don’t ever jump clear out of the water like our Bottlenose Dolphins do.

So about mid afternoon we were in open water when the fog lifted and I decided to do another sea watch.  I took hundreds of pictures of Black-footed Albatross, many Petrels and Shearwaters.  I was having a wonderful time but eventually went back to the room due to being very cold.  Now Terri and I were being extra cautious about downloading our pictures frequently and I had a jump drive along to make doubly sure we were protected from a computer mishap.  I’m not sure why but I set the camera down and failed to download the disk … no problem … yet!

Ketchikan Alaska our first port of call!

Ketchikan Alaska our first port of call!

We had a very early tour scheduled for a cruise of the Misty Fiords National Park.  This was a wonderful trip on a jet boat that showed us all the beauty of this magical place.  Gorgeous scenery everywhere and I took hundreds of pictures.  We even came along side a cliff that had nesting seabirds on it.  There were Pidgeon Guillemots within 10-15 feet of the boat and I got some amazing closeups of their bright red feet.

Misty Fiords ... Miles and miles of this beautiful scenery.

Misty Fiords … Miles and miles of this beautiful scenery.

Us enjoying the ride out and Terri showing off the hat and gloves my daughter Theresa made her!

Us enjoying the ride out and Terri showing off the hat and gloves my daughter Theresa made her!

More scenery!

More scenery!

On the way back we saw a flock of Surf Scoters and other sea birds … the following is Terri’s shot of the Scoters.

Surf Scoters

Surf Scoters

So I’m clicking away and clicking away and also “chimping” my shots, that is looking at what I was taking and I was very happy with some of the amazing shots.  We got back to the pier where the ship was and it had started to rain pretty good so Terri decided to head back inside and out of the rain.  I decided to bird a little and went for a 15-20 minute walk and not seeing much I decided to head back too.

Once back on the ship Terri wants to see what we shot so as I get ready to take the card out of my camera and as I go to turn the camera off and I see and error message that says the card needs formatted … what the …. I’ve never seen that before. I take the card out and sure enough it had decided to take a crash.  Now the card was 3-4 years old and I’ve never had one die on me before so I never thought it would happen to ME and now I’m thinking to myself not only did I lose all of todays amazing shots but the entire afternoons shots from yesterday … all of the Pelagics … super, super bummer!

Lesson learned … by new cards before important vacations and download, download, download every chance you get!  Now the only positive about that whole mess was it gives me an excuse for going back someday, not that I needed an excuse to go back but this will work out well as one!

Thanks for visiting and there are lots and lots of whales in store for the next couple of days!

 

 

 

 

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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