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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 05 Jul 2009

Location: The Columbia Ferry, USA

MapFor Saturday:
The motion, humming, motor, and calming sensation of the ride of the ferry lulls me to sleep and keeps me in a stuper, a daze that will last 3 days. Then we will all have our sea legs on when we depart in Skagway tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday, the 4th of July, was relaxing, but not very festive. We woke at 6:30 had coffee in the room, along with cereal (Mom & me in our room, the Irizarry’s in theirs). Gwynne went to the dining room for juevos rancheros. First on the docket was to go to the Ranger talk at 8:00. Constancio, the Ranger, is a Tlingit native living in the Juneau area. He filled us in on some important info of the ship, stops, and the Tongas National Forest. Sam is able to earn one of 3 levels of a Junior Ranger badge while on the boat. He informed us that there would be two times during the day that we would pass through open waters and advised us to take Dramamine an hour before. Tracy gave us all a dose when the captain announced it was time. The rolling to and fro, back and forth, was not too terribly bad. There were NO whitecaps like we see at Magnolia Beach, but there were swells. One member of our party had a rough time of it, but we won’t name any names. Let’s just say I advised ‘him’ to not read during that time, rather sit in the cool outdoors and watch. We have other opportunities to test the theory tomorrow. There was a lot of sewing, picture-taking, card-playing, napping, going on today. Marmar Jane made sure she saw the Ranger give his ‘short’ talk at 12 and 6, taking the elevator and having handrails most of the way. Constancio’s talk at 12 centered around the Russian ships that sailed to the New World to make their mark and the different theories of what happened to some of the sailors that disappeared in Tlingit territory. It was very interesting. Some of us had sandwiches in our rooms, a few ate in the snack bar. Some Humpback Whales were sited throughout the day, and Tracy & Tony took video as well as pictures. Unfortunately, unless you are outside your room, you cannot hear the announcements of such sitings. Our room rests above the upper car deck. The window looks out over the bow of the boat, where the deck hands work at times. There is not much of a view, but it is still nice to see out. I don’t know that there are ANY rooms on the interior. But ours is larger than most because not only does it have 4-berths, it has a sitting room…..perfect for playing cards and having a party. We have a table & 5 chairs as well as two side tables. Because we rest above the upper car deck, anyone who has a dog, must leave their dog in the car (or an area designated for the dogs, we don’t know). Owners are called to go to the car deck every few hours to take their animals to potty. I would be interested to know where they potty AND what they do with it. When they call for the owners, one particular dog barks non-stop while people are visible until he/she gets tired of barking. It has not bothered my sleep, but have heard others complain of the dogs barking as well as babies crying in nearby rooms. Constancio spoke at 6:00 about Living the Land & Sea, giving us some of the laws belonging to the state & some to the federal governments about what can be used for food sustenance as well as other rules/laws that don’t apply anywhere else in the U.S. After the talk, Marmar went back to the cabin to play free-cell on the computer, while all of us went to have a 4th of July dinner in the dining room, all-you-can-eat buffet. Tony was charged as a child and I as a senior, so they saved us some money, but spoiled our egos. The Rummy playing began, but all pooped out after 30 minutes…..all to bed around 9:30.