Day 4 Juneau – Embarkation Safari Endeavour
Embarkation day and it is still raining in Juneau, normal for Juneau.
After dropping our bags with Uncruise (with Keli) we ventured out to find breakfast. We met some more of the locals – the ravens, whose voices and behaviour are so unlike the Australian raven (i.e. crows), so much more melodic – all the native American influenced stories featuring ravens I’ve read now need to be read again in a different light.
Breakfast was only achieved after circumnavigating the town, having one of those “go past where the old mill burnt down” conversations with a helpful local and we ended up next door to the hotel for a very American breakfast – Charlie, ever adventurous, tried the Chicken fried steak (essentially schnitzel) with scratch gravy (white lard based gravy, not very appetising to look at because of the chunks!), he lived but won’t repeat.
As embarkation wasn’t until late in the day, we took a Glacier “express” shuttle ($20 round trip per person) out to the Mendenhall Glacier. Fortunately the rain cleared briefly, and the Glacier just got bluer and bluer. Unfortunately, the rain clearing brought in the hordes, so we headed back to town.
Lunch at the Fish and Chipery, watching the flying boats land and listening to 20s something angst at the next table. I’d like to walk around with a recorder as so often the snippets of overheard conversation have been fascinating. We will never know if he got her to leave his mate, who was a really nice guy but also a womanizer?
So, to the ship. Much more personalized than a big cruise, and the guests and crew were unfailingly friendly, helpful, gregarious and interesting. On the BIG cruise liner around NZ we distained sitting with people to eat. However, I wonder if we missed an opportunity, everyone we met on the Endeavour were so interesting .
Before even embarking we met two fellow Uncruises from the UK in the street, and it was to them we owed the intel about the glacier. In the line up to get on the ship we met our next two interesting people, well travelled, with a large interesting family and business. Then at dinner we sat with the editor of the Alaskan Magazine and her partner (who works in Solar energy), as well as two travel writers. There were two other Australians on board, a smattering of Brits, some Europeans, a couple from Israel. While as might be expected the guests were mostly Americans, they came from all over.
While we were eating (first in a long line of excellent meals) the Ship began to move out towards the Glacier National park, and so to bed. The cabins were comfy, albeit space restricted by the size of the ship (especially the bathroom) and the amount of camera gear we brought with us ………………..
but the view from the bedroom window each day amazing!
Who would want to stay in ones cabin with so much going on outside?