During our week in Alaska, we had one rainy day, which we spent on a boat cruising in Kenai Fjords National Park. The tickets were $179/person, which included a chicken wrap for lunch and a buffet dinner on Fox Island.
The boat got us close to where the glaciers meet water. Despite rain and katabatic wind, which is created by the temperature difference between glacier and atmosphere, blowing at our faces, Tricia and I were riveted by the massive crumbling blue ice walls. It was surreal. I sincerely hope that we can slow down the melting of these icy giants so that our kids can one day stare at the walls in awe like us.
On the way to the glaciers, the boat stopped for a bald eagle nest, rock pillars in Resurrection Bay, and seals lounging on waterfront boulders.
On the way back, we stopped for puffins that resided on a cliff. We were told that there hadn’t been a whale sighting this season. The captain explained that they weren’t sure if the migration pattern had changed temporarily or permanently. But they knew that the fish population had dwindled in recent years, which had severely affected the fishing industry in Alaska and probably reduced the number of migratory whales looking for food. It sadly reminded me of the dwindling number of Puget Sound’s resident orcas, because the rapid decline in their main food source, Chinook salmon population. The captain avoided saying “climate change”, which was jarring to the ears, during the entire presentation.
I’m curious what comments were posted on the internet about the cruise because people were aggressive, sometimes borderline rude, when it came to claiming their seats. People didn’t feel entirely secure even halfway through the day. At one point I got cold in the rain and decided to stand in the top deck cabin for some warmth. A woman eyed me suspiciously, pointed at an empty seat next to me and said in a tone colder than the rain outside, “That’s my seat.” I gave her a blank stare and ignored her.
Food and drinks were obviously overpriced on the boat, but there was a $10 refillable cup for hot and cold drinks, including tea, coffee, cider and hot chocolate. We shared two cups among four of us, and consumed warm drinks liberally.
The dinner was on Fox Island, which was a private island owned by the cruise company. The scenery around the dock was stunning: black pebbles covered the beach and jagged rocks erected from a dark teal color sea. Evergreens and shrubs coated the island soil while the treetops held up the low hanging clouds like pillars of earth. While we were eating our dinner, rain filled narrow space in between the clouds and shrubs.
Fox Island used to be a fox farm (for their fur) after the seal fur industry ended. I would love to explore the island given an opportunity. The rain let up intermittently during our day. But by the time we got on Fox Island, it was pouring buckets. We stayed inside the giant dining hall for a buffet with pot roast beef and salmon. If we were willing to shell out more money, we could also get a bundle of king crab legs on the side.
After the cruise, we drove to a local campground and had a hot shower since our cabin didn’t have a running shower. The hot water felt good after a cold day on the sea. We concluded our night with Allie teaching us a Russian card game called, Chechoka or Kochosa (I actually have no idea what it’s called.)
Another look at the glaciers?