Alaska Travelogue Part 10 – Inside Passage

Sailing the Inside Passage

Our last day at sea was a beautiful one – clear skies, calm waters and plenty of time spent in the thalassa pool and sauna with Cristal and John.  Days don’t get much better.

I love sea days on a cruise.  You can sleep in late, and your only to-do is finding the ideal chaise by the pool (in the shade of course, this fair-skinned girl doesn’t do sun!) to catch up on your reading.  The last day of a southbound Alaska cruise is spent sailing through the Inside Passage,  a gorgeous blade of glassy water that glides past rolling hills dotted with beautiful farms and homesteads.

The Inside Passage

Farms and homesteads on the Inside Passage

Whenever I spy someplace as idyllic as this I always imagine what it would be like to live there:  where do these people go to church?  is it a close-knit community?  where do they shop? do they ever lose their sense of awe over the stunning landscape that surrounds them? do all your problems evaporate when you live someplace as beautiful as this?  Oh, I know our problems will never evaporate this side of heaven, but I am sure that kind of scenery makes almost anything a little easier to bear!

After getting ourselves all packed up, we spent the afternoon on the top deck, taking full advantage of the bright, sunny (yet refreshingly cool) day, the 2-for-1 happy hour specials, and one last all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.  After 9 days of being bundled up against Alaska’s cold, basking in the relative warmth of southern British Columbia felt soooo good!

Best seat in the house? check.  Drinks?  Double check!  Time to load up on the sushi!

Best seat in the house? Check. Drinks? Double check! Time to load up on the sushi!

John dutifully took countless photos of Cristal and me, and in every bloody one the stiff breeze is blowing one uncooperative chunk of hair across her face or mine.  Well, we tried!

The best of the lot!

The best of the lot

We then made our way down to the thalassa pool, which is a large, warm pool with lots of water jets and these metal bench-like areas where you can recline underwater.  This thing is not a hot tub.  It is the size of a swimming pool but you are meant to just float or recline in it.  Very relaxing.  There is nothing like soaking in a warm pool with two of your favorite people, watching amazing scenery silently slip by as the sun sets.  I have no idea where the other passengers were, but we were virtually alone.  Holla! as John would say.

I am the only one of our little group who enjoys the sauna, so I headed off for a quick bake.  I love the feeling of being enveloped by warmth, not to mention that wonderful woodsy smell that saunas always have.  The sauna on board was quite nice, with a large picture window so you could still enjoy the views, and I had the whole thing to myself.  Seriously, where WAS everybody?  As I was savoring the soothing, dry heat, and taking in the breathtaking view, I had one of “those moments”.  You know, one of those moments when you are overwhelmed with the realization that you are truly blessed and you tell God you have no idea what you did to deserve it (nothing, He’s just nice like that!) but you are very, very grateful that in His gracious kindness He has blessed you with this wonderful moment.  I’m not sure who was happier in that moment – me as I delighted in my private sauna while the beauty of British Columbia slipped by or my Heavenly Father, because I remembered to thank Him for it.

One last northern sunset

One last northern sunset

Speaking of heaven, Cristal and I had a very interesting experience on our last nite at sea.  John was feeling under the weather so he conked out early while Cristal and I bundled up on our balcony to enjoy the spectacularly starry sky.  Within a short time I saw a shooting star.  I asked Cristal if she saw it too and she said no.   A few moments later we were both startled by what looked like a huge comet blazing by in an unbelievably long arc of fire and sparks.  It looked so close it almost made me duck!  I was speechless, but Cristal perfectly deadpanned, “I saw that one”.

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  • Sylvia  On January 18, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    I hate for it to end. Where are you going next?


    • E H Whitesides  On January 19, 2013 at 1:31 AM

      aww, you are so sweet Miss Sylvia! fear not…we are off to Hawaii next month! haha


  • far infrared  On January 19, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    very beautiful pictures


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