Alaska – Aug 30 – Cruising Tracy Arm

The morning trend continues. Awake at 6:00, coffee at 7:00. Today we will be cruising into Tracy / Endicott Arm. The bow will be open at 9:00 and we are supposed to be able to see the glaciers at around noon. The current sky looked gray and the TV said the temp was 50 degrees.

Unfortunately, Chuck’s ear is still hurting so I am not sure what he plans to do.
Breakfast in the dining room again. Tablemates were a couple from Idaho and two women friends traveling together both from the Seattle / Tacoma area. It was interesting that they were all retired medical professionals – 3 nurses and one paramedic. I tried the kabota figs and had the French toast. Very good.

Put on my jacket and rain slicker to brave the outdoors. First tried the sea view pool area and it was raining so much that we had to stay under the shelter but the windows were foggy so not good for picture taking or using the binoculars. Next, we tried the promenade deck which was much better. We could walk from side to side, staying under shelter, but being able to lean out if needed. Still cold but bearable. Of course, it was made even a little more bearable by the coffee with Baileys I bought. Servers also came around with small bowls of salmon chowder which was very good and very warm.
The rain let up after a while. The ice chunks floating by were amazing. Some were the size of dinner plates and others liked like the size of cars or bigger. Some were so blue like a sapphire. I thought the water had a nice blue green look to it. Never saw any seals floating on it but there were many birds who floated by on the ice chunks.

There were a number of small tour boats that raced by us to get to the Sawyer glacier. We got as close as we could but the ice was getting worse so the Captain didn’t want to take any chances. I think I got some decent pictures. However, nothing like as close as we got to the glaciers in Glacier Bay last year.

About 12:45, I stopped by the casino to get Chuck for lunch. He seemed to be holding his own at cards. We got to the dining room just a little after one but they left us come in any way. We had a great table that afforded us some close up views of the mountains and waterfalls. I was surprised at how close the Captain could get us to the shoreline. No bears were sighted.

After leaving Tracey Arm we headed back out with the destination to Juneau. By now, Chuck is flinching and groaning from the pain in his ear. He said pain would come and go but when it hit, it was bad. I think he just wanted to lie down but the stewards arrived to clean the room so we went up to the Lido Pool. He finally decided he would see the ship doctor when they re-opened at 3:00. Did turn out that his ear canal was red and swollen. I regret us getting in the pool yesterday since I know he always has trouble with his ears. He got antibiotic drops for that ear, wax removal drops for his other ear, and advil for the pain. Not sure how much that bill will be. I will try and see if I can submit it to our medical insurance or our travel insurance when I get back. For now, the charges, whatever they are, will be billed to the room. I hope the drops work fast as we still have a number of days to go and he will be pretty miserable if the drops don’t work.

Back to the room stewards. They are both very friendly guys and have done everything we asked – pieces of fruit, delivering the laundry, ice for the ice bucket. However, I can remember the days that we would go to breakfast and by the time we would be back, the room would be cleaned. We called them room ninjas. Over the years, the stewards have been given more and more rooms to clean so the result is that our room being one of the ones at the far end doesn’t get cleaned until about 2:00. I assume that they get a couple of hours off and then will start over again, turning down the rooms for the evening. Our room didn’t get turned down until after 9:00 last night. Just makes it hard to come and go. But, I was glad for the interruption today as it seemed to prod Chuck into seeking medical attention. The ear would not have cleared up on its own.

After taking the medication, Chuck went back to the casino and I changed for dinner. Sat with another couple from Arizona. They were from Tucson so it was interesting to remember information about the city. A lot has changed since I lived there but it has been 38 years.

We finished around 8:00 and Chuck decided he was done for the evening and wanted to go to bed. Luckily the stewards had already turned down our room. I caught the last part of the evening show – Jason Black. He was a talented pianist and should have played more than talked. I got a cup of Chai Tea Latte and read in the Explorer’s Lounge for a while before calling it a night.

The towel animal was a seal. Tomorrow is Juneau.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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