After leaving Sitka last Sunday on the fast ferry Fairweather back to Juneau, Mike and I had dinner downtown and then he dropped me at Juneau hostel. I’ve never stayed in a hostel before but for $10 per night, showers, laundry facilities and the close proximity to town I thought I’d try it for at least one night. I ended up staying three nights.
The hostel has rules: no alcohol or drugs, the doors are locked at 11pm, men sleep upstairs and women downstairs, you had to leave by 9am and couldn’t come back uptil 5pm and you had to sign up for a chore. I vacuumed two rooms downstairs one night, a hallway and stairs another night and two other downstairs rooms the last night. My room had three bunkbeds but there was never more than three of us in the room. One of my roommates was bicycling from Anarctica to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. He’d been on the road seven months and was ahead of schedule. Another roommate was from Sweden and was traveling around Canada, the US and Alaska (yes, I know Alaska is part of the US but it seems like a separate place).
The weather was typical for Juneau. Wet and chilly for two of the three days I was there. The last day was beautiful. Sunny and warm.
On Tuesday, I took an all day cruise to Tracy Arm fiord and glaciers. There was about 35 on board and the weather meant you dressed in layers. I had a long sleeve shirt, insulated jacket and windbreaker with a wool cap. I was actually quite comfortable.
This was an example of the floating ice just below the East Sawyer glacier.
The owner/captain Steve Weber took the boat “carefully” through the ice to within about a mile and a half of the glacier. We also encountered floating iceberg that were 10% above the surface and the rest hidden.
Yes, they are blue just like in the picture.
After the East Sawyer glacier we moved to the North Sawyer where we were able to get within a quarter mile of it. You have to stay back in case it calves (large chunks break off and fall into the water). We saw one decent size piece calve but not the hugh pieces that are sometimes seen. This is a tight shot of that glacier. It’s about 200 feet high.
If you are looking for a vacation where it’s sunny and warm, Southeast Alaska is not the place. Here’s a couple of my fellow cruisers.
We saw a variety of birds and harbor seals laying out on the icebergs.
Well, that’s it for today. More to come. Thanks for the feedback from everyone. I appreciate the nice comments and suggestions to make this better.