Thursday, June 24, 2010

Putting the Naughty Back in Nautical

Sat, on the boat. We woke up to beautiful weather in the Idaho Inlet off the Icy Straight. The crew used a big crane to lower the inflatables from the roof of the boat and we went in groups onto the shore of Chichagof Island. The beach is rocky, littered with mussels with glacial streams run into the Strait. We walked through the woods and saw some of the same plants that we'd seen on Douglas Island but enjoyed it just the same. There were a number of wildflowers in bloom and the island was gorgeous. After we got back the cook fired up the grill on the back sundeck and cooked up some salmon and grilled veggies for lunch. It was warm and sunny and we relaxed as we made our way to Glacier Bay Nat'l Park. We saw a pod of about 8 humpback whales swimming and diving for food, they got quite near the ship and the crew put the ship in idle so we could stay and watch. They were fascinating. We got going again after the whales were out of sight and headed for park headquarters in Bartlett Cove, where Robin saw a little bear swimming just off the side of the ship. We picked up a ranger and a native woman to accompany us in Glacier Bay tomorrow. Overnight we will go north to the Margerie Glacier and work our way south over the course of the day. There is a lot of potential for wildlife sighting as well as study of the glaciers.

While we were on the island, one of the guides asked me if I wanted to help play a joke on the captain..........well, what do you think? So she told me I was to say she had used some very vulgar language aimed at me. I got back on board and played the role of a lifetime. I asked to speak to one of the female crew because I'd had a problem on the island and wasn't comfortable discussing it with the male captain. Kristin is second in command and took me into the tiny office where she heard my story. I was "so shocked" that a member of the cruise west staff had acted that way and even managed to squeeze out a little tear. OMG, she apologized all over the place, took my name and cabin number and assured me that there would be a report and Alexis would received some counseling about it. Fine. A short while later Barrett, the captain, found me on the sundeck and asked to speak to me. We went off away from the others and he started apologizing for Alexis' totally unacceptable" behavior and said he could handle it internally or get guest services and HR involved. I didn't know then but if the incident was real and if either he or I had made a report to anyone off the boat all 3 of the crew might have been fired (the story I told involved a very ugly word). At that point I decided it had gone far enough, they were so concerned I was starting to worry I was going to be in trouble, so I fessed up. I thought the captain was going to bust a gut. He went back to the bridge where Kristen was writing up an incident report and had a little more fun with her before letting her in on it. Later, they called Alexis in and let her think she was in trouble for a while, then they all had a good laugh. It was almost as good as getting to go on stage with the Blue Men.

Anyhow, tomorrow night will be our last and as much as I will enjoy being home with my kitties sleeping on my head, I will miss this ship and all of Alaska. I feel very lucky every day to have been able to do this and especially that Jim and Robin encouraged me to come with them. If you ever get a chance, come to Alaska!!!

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