Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cruising Thru Postcards # 4

I'm back again, this time with another episode of Cruising Thru Postcards. Not too long ago My Lovely Teena and I cruised from Vancouver to Alaska. As I have done after each cruise , I like to give a recap of the cruise , thru the postcards that I purchased along the way and posted back to myself.

We left Vancouver on Wednesday 12 September 2012 at 1623 hours on board the Island Princess of the Princess Cruise Line, under the command of Captain Nicolo Binetti .Sailing out of Vancouver through the Burrard Inlet and under the Lions Gate Bridge into the Strait of Georgia was quite nice and the weather was great. We arrived  at the notorious Seymour Narrows shortly after midnight.

The Island Princess is a Sun class cruise ship with 16 decks. She was built between 2001 and 2003. She sails with a crew of 900 and 1,970 passengers. The Island Princess was built to Panamax size, meaning she was built to the maximum size a cruise ship can be to sail through the Panama Canal. She is the longest ship in the Princess fleet at 965 feet in length and has a beam of 122 feet. My first postcard is of The Island Princess.

I used a couple of Forever stamps from 2012  along with the American Toleware stamp from 2007. The  Statehood stamps were issued for Louisiana
and Arizona. 

Thursday 13 September was a Sea day. We navigated through the Blackney Passage and later northward across Queen Charlotte Sound and into Hecate Strait. At 0159 on Friday 14 September the Island Princess crossed the Canada/US border and entered Alaska state waters. At 0515 we entered Tongass Narrows for our approach to Ketchikan, our first port of call. We arrived Ketchikan at 0630 . We had covered a total of 535 nautical miles from Vancouver.

Ketchikan - The Salmon Capital of the World. Located on Revillagigedo Island, 90 miles north of Prince Rupert and 235 south of Juneau, it is the 11th largest island in the United States. Around 7,000 people live in Ketchikan. The city receives over 152 inches of rain per year. Ketchikan is home to the largest collection of totem poles in the world. You can see a few of them on my postcard of Saxman Totem Park.

 Another interesting area is Creek Street- a historic boardwalk that was a Red Light District during the Gold Rush. This is where we find Dolly's House . Dolly Arthur was one of Ketchikan's most infamous characters from the 1900s. Dolly was the star of the Red light District and her house of ill repute paints a colorful picture of her saucy life. Here's a picture of Dolly's place.

On this postcard I used the same Toleware and Arizona stamps . I also used the 2 Forever stamps of the Cherry  Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.  

At 1400 we departed Ketchikan for Juneau. We sailed north west and transited Snow Passage, Summer Strait, then Decision Passage and then into Chatham Strait. We arrived Juneau at 0800 on Saturday 15 September, completing another 272 Nautical Miles. Juneau , the capital of Alaska is nestled at the base of Mt. Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. Pictured on my postcard are the cruise ship dock, a view of downtown and the Governor's Mansion.

 One of the highlights of Juneau was visiting the 12 mile long Mendenhall Glacier. Here's a picture of the Mendenhall Glacier to give you an idea of what it looks like.

  While we were docked in Juneau, Libby Riddles came aboard and gave a presentation about sled dogs. Libby was the first female to win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in March of 1985. Certainly something that she can be very proud of.

The 4 stamps that I used on the Juneau postcard are a 2012 set of Innovative Choreographers. These self adhesives were issued on July 28th.

We departed Juneau at 2040 and sailed back down the Gastineau Channel. At 2148 we passed Marmion Island and then entered the Lynn Canal on our northbound passage to Skagway. We arrived Skagway at 0648 on Sunday 16 September, completing another 99 nautical miles..

Skagway, my most favourite place that we visited on the cruise. Skagway was founded in 1897 and is located in a narrow valley at the head of Taiya Inlet. It is 90 miles northwest of Juneau and has a population of around 1000. One of the highlights of Skagway is the White Pass & Yukon Railroad which travels from Skagway to the Yukon in Canada. It is a 41 mile roundtrip to the Summit of the White Pass, a 2,865 foot elevation. My Skagway postcard shows the Thunderbird Diesel of The White Pass & Yukon Railroad as it passes over the Glacier Bridge

The stamps used on this one are the same Toleware and Cherry Blossom Festival issues.

A final note from Skagway is that the White Pass & Yukon Railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, an honor shared with the Eiffel Tower, The Panama Canal and the Statue of Liberty.
interestingly, I have now seen 3 of 4 of these Landmarks. Guess I have to go to Paris soon.

We sailed out of Skagway at 2005 for Glacier Bay.  We would sail another 113 nautical Miles to Glacier Bay. On Monday morning , September 17, at 0635 we were joined by Park Rangers of Glacier Bay National Park. We then sailed to within 1 nautical mile of the Margerie Glacier, where we stayed for about an hour to give everyone an opportunity to take pictures. Here's a nice snap of this wonderful glacier. 
This wall of ice is about 250 feet high above the waterline with another 100 feet or so below the waterline. Upon leaving this area we turned into John Hopkins Inlet and then past Lamplugh Glacier.  We then headed west north westerly across the Gulf of Alaska towards Prince William Sound.

Tuesday 18 September. Around 1200 ,  noon ,  we entered Prince William Sound. Due to a storm over the Bering Sea which was to cause gale force winds and squalls of up to 50 knots in Whittier  we changed course and had to cancel our call to College Fjord. We proceeded directly to Whittier and arrived at 1730 about 7 hours earlier than we should have.   Glacier Bay to Whittier was another 455 Nautical Miles.

Total distance travelled from Vancouver to Whittier was 1474 Nautical Miles or 2730 Kilometers .

So ends another cruise.

I do want to show one more postcard, it's one I purchased  but did not mail. it's a nice Alaska scene reproduced on a wooden postcard.I think these are kind of neat and anytime I see one in my travels , I will be buying them.

Thanks for reading, Take care and Happy Cruising.

No comments: