Just as the dining room doors were opening for breakfast, somebody on the ship saw killer whales surface less than a mile from the ship. Within minutes, our morning’s plans shifted; Zodiacs were immediately lowered to the water, and we were all given the option to leave right away and watch killer whales from our Zodiacs. Breakfast could wait! Whale watching conditions were ideal. The water surface was like glass, and the whales’ blows hung in the still air. We observed the 7 or 8 whales as they left the bay and swam towards the north. I almost had to pinch myself; it was barely 8 AM, and we were in Zodiacs watching orcas, surrounded by snow-covered mountains.
Later in the morning, we went for walks at Ideal Cove. We walked on a boardwalk, over yellow blooms of skunk cabbage on the damp forest floor. High above us, many of the tree branches were covered in thick mosses, and they in turn were covered in ferns.
Our afternoon was spent in Petersburg, a fishing town that was founded by a man of Norwegian heritage, and near the top of the dock, there is a Son’s of Norway Hall, and Norwegian flags fly. May 17th is Norway’s National Holiday, so I chuckled when I saw the clerk at the hardware store assembling plastic ‘Viking hats’ for next week’s celebration.
Today in town, we had options to explore by bicycle, go flight seeing over LeConte Glacier, walk on our own, or explore muskeg (Alaskan bog) with a Naturalist. For dinner we had a huge feast of ribs and Dungeness crab. And once dinner was over, tables were pushed aside, and there was an impromptu salsa dancing class in the dining room! There was a pretty sunset tonight, too. This wonderful day just keeps going.