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Old 06-10-2014, 01:18 PM   #46
lorimay
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EXCELLENT!!!!!!!
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:15 PM   #47
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What an incredible day full of animal encounters! The sea otter and baby were the most precious thing ever.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:13 PM   #48
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Such lovely photos. Sitka looks so beautiful. The Sea Otters are my favourite - so cute!
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:25 PM   #49
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Just found your report. Loving it so far. The Alaskan cruises sound incredible. Can't wait to do one of those one day. The Eagles being released sound like a great experience.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:31 PM   #50
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What a great trip report! We leave in just over 2 weeks and are so excited. We too are staying in the Pan Pacific. Looking forward to reading the rest of your report. Can I ask what type of camera you are using? Your pictures are fabulous.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:02 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallawallakids View Post
Wow! Those photos are amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing.
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Originally Posted by TheChanClan View Post
Your Sitka post is great, thank you! Love all your pictures..what a beautiful place!
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Originally Posted by lorimay View Post
EXCELLENT!!!!!!!
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Originally Posted by kyirish25 View Post
What an incredible day full of animal encounters! The sea otter and baby were the most precious thing ever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pascalstongue View Post
Such lovely photos. Sitka looks so beautiful. The Sea Otters are my favourite - so cute!
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Originally Posted by cstorm65 View Post
Just found your report. Loving it so far. The Alaskan cruises sound incredible. Can't wait to do one of those one day. The Eagles being released sound like a great experience.
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Originally Posted by She Taz View Post
What a great trip report! We leave in just over 2 weeks and are so excited. We too are staying in the Pan Pacific. Looking forward to reading the rest of your report. Can I ask what type of camera you are using? Your pictures are fabulous.
Thank you all for your kind comments. The Alaskan cruise was definitely a very memorable one and I highly recommend it.

I used a Nikon D5000 DSLR with an 18-300 zoom lens on all the excursions. A lot of the wildlife pictures have been cropped as 300 wasn't a far enough reach, but it did very well and I am pleased with the outcome.

As far as the eagles being released, it was magnificent. I wish I could have gotten some better photos, but people kept popping up in my line of sight and the birds kept flying further away!
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:41 PM   #52
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Ice, Ice Baby!

Day 5: Tracy Arm
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sunrise: 4:08 AM
Sunset: 9:34 PM
Temp: 50 F



We woke up to sunny partly cloudy skies again today. The first thing I did was find the laundry room on Deck 7 and secure a couple of washing machines. After breakfast at Bleach Blanket, I went down to the laundry room to put my clothes in the dryer. A few other people were using the laundry room now too. By the time I went down to unload the dryers, there were no machines available and people were waiting. Boy, am I glad I got to them early. So, if you find that you need to do some laundry while in Alaska, get there early!

We got our food at the buffet and headed out to sit outside on Deck 9. It was a beautiful day. Before I even took a bite of food, whales could be spotted all around us. Even the crew was excited and would come running over to see what we saw. At one point, I handed Shane my camera so he could see a while off in the distance. These are cropped:



Let’s not forget the scenery.







A sea lion swam just below where we were eating.





We spotted more whales.





We went up on Deck 10 and spotted a fin.



And then another



The Captain’s route today would take us around the southern tip of Baranof Island and up the Chatham Strait to Frederick Sound. We would then enter Stephens Passage on our way towards Tracy Arm, where we would enter the arm around 12:30.

Supposedly this is a very popular place for whales. And it was!

We interrupt this trip report to bring you Whale Watching 101 and what you have all been waiting for . . . . whale tail!

The first thing you look for way out in the distance, because the whales don’t swim right next to the ship, is the blow. This is when the whale breathes. This looks like a mist about 3-4 feet high above the water line. Basically, you are looking for the whale so you know which direction to aim your camera. Therefore, I don’t really have a lot of blow pictures. Once you see the blow, you will see a black line in the water. That is the whales back. Now depending on what the whale is doing, he may blow for several more times before he dives deep to eat.

Here is an example, taken with a 300 zoom lens from the ship.



Here is the same examples cropped to show detail.


You will know when he is going to dive deep because the arch of this back comes further out of the water and then you will see his fluke come straight out. Here is a sample of a whale preparing to dive.









Once the whale flukes, he will be down 8-10 minutes and the ship will be long gone.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programing!

We were out watching whales from the deck when we saw it; a humpback breaching! I barely got it before it splashed back down in the water. It is not the clearest, but it was far away.

Here is the photo I caught with a 44 mm zoom. Could you tell I wasn’t expecting it, since every other whale picture I took was at 300 mm zoom?



Here it is cropped.



Here is the splash afterwards.



Wow! How exciting. I don’t even think I realized that I caught the moment until I got home and downloaded my photos.

We watched whales for nearly an hour from our deck 4. Then they just disappeared.









To be continued.

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 06-11-2014 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:47 PM   #54
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Ice Ice Baby!

Entering Tracy Arm.

We had lunch at Beach Blanket where they served freshly grilled Steak, Chicken, Salmon and Venison Steak right off the BBQs on the back of Deck 9. They also had a baked potato bar. Lunch was great.

After lunch, DNC grabbed me and we staked a spot on Deck 10 aft right above the Mickey Pool starboard side to go through Tracy Arm. We had a view of the port side as well and could easily slip over there if we wanted to get pictures from the other side. We had heard earlier on our trip that while most of the staterooms were sold out, there were only 1900, out of a possible 2500, passengers onboard. So, it didn’t seem as crowded on deck as I had feared. We had a great spot and not too terribly crowded.

While we went through Tracy Arm, the crew was serving chowder in bread bowls and hot chocolate up near the front of the ship on Deck 10. I was so enthralled with the scenery and not wanting to miss anything that I never got up that way.

We first started seeing some ice.





Goofy and Chip & Dale, dressed in their Alaskan attire, came up to Deck 10 for pictures. Shutter’s staff was also up there taking pictures of passengers.

Now, I had read trip reports from DISers saying that Tracy Arm day was freezing, I came prepared. However, I was pleasantly surprised how mild it actually was. The air temperature was cool enough for a fleece under my windbreaker, light gloves and my DCL headband to cover my ears, but it wasn’t windy and it wasn’t rainy so it was bearable to stay up on deck for the entire way down the arm to the glacier.

Once we started down the arm, Doug Jones narrated from the bridge. Unfortunately, we couldn’t really understand him that well out of the speakers. It was a shame, because I’m sure his information was very good.

The scenery was amazing and speaks for itself. Sit back and enjoy the views.





























We started to get deeper into the ice field.









Here’s some perspective to how big some the ice was.



Continuing on.









Continued on next post.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:51 PM   #55
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Continued

Our first glimpse of Sawyer Glacier













We were also disappointed not to see too many seals, as wildlife officials were there and scared most of the seals and pups away.

Our first seal sighting.



Getting closer.





Another seal sighting.



Unfortunately, while we had gotten the closest to the Sawyer Glacier than any other ship this season, we could not go all the way to it as there was a massive ice field in our way.

This was as far as we were going to get.



Evidently, DCL brought one of the ice floats up to Deck 4, but we totally forget about it and didn’t see it.

Shutters had a small space staked out so you could get a photo taken with the glacier in the background. The ship stayed long enough for us to go forward and get Dom to take our picture in front of the glacier.

DD and DNDDC came up for a little while with us, but everybody else watched us go through Tracy Arm from DNeighbors stateroom at the aft of the ship. Evidently it was quite the party as cheese plates and wine was served. Afterwards, we went to join the rest of our party at the aft of the ship in our DNeighbors stateroom. Of course, by the time we got there the wine was gone.

The Captain slowly turned the ship once and then we headed out of the arm.

By the way, Secret Deck Aft 7 isn’t so secret anymore.



Leaving Tracy Arm.



I love the blue of the ice.





DSisterJ and I watched the ice floats go by and imagined what shape they looked like.

Here are some dolphins;



Anybody else see Ariel?



Look a whale!













Since we had a really early day tomorrow, I put up the “Please Service” hanger on the door before we headed to dinner and our room was done by 8:30 PM.

Dinner tonight was in Animator’s Palate with the Pacific Rim Cuisine. DNeighbors, DParents, DCousinC and DSisterJ all went to Palo for dinner. Since we prefer Palo brunch, we offered to take DNDDM to dinner with us. DNeighbors pre-ordered her dinner the night before. After dinner we were supposed to go see Koda, but DNDDM had other ideas and just wanted to go back to her stateroom and watch TV. DD wanted to see Adam Ace who was doing a show in the Walt Disney Theater at 8:30. DNeighbors weren’t back yet, so I told her to go on and I would join her later. DNeighbors got back at around 9:00 PM so I went down to meet DD. I couldn’t sit with her as the show was going on, but I sat in the back. I really wasn’t that impressed with what I saw, but the kids seemed to enjoy him. Anyway, after the show we headed back up to the stateroom since we had a very early day scheduled tomorrow in Skagway.

Our towel animal.



Next: There’s gold in them thar hills!
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:24 PM   #56
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Your pictures are absolutely beautiful!
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:44 PM   #57
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Your pictures are absolutely amazing.

OMG...I must stop reading trip reports. There is no way I'm going to make it another 60 days until I get to see all this for myself

I don't think I have ever been this excited about an upcoming cruise before (and I get pretty darn excited before all my cruises)
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:01 PM   #58
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I'm loving this !!
Beautiful pictures !! What size lens are you using ?
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:32 PM   #59
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Really enjoying your trip report! I leave in 11 days. Good to know about the secret 7 deck. I have been debating that or our balcony. We are not big crowd people so I am not sure we will want to be on 10. You have given me some great tips and it is really appreciated!
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #60
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I love all the pictures, thanks for sharing so the rest of us waiting for our cruises have something to read and help with planning.
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