Thanks to technology and the ability to receive a cell signal finally, we are streaming to you LIVE via cellphone with friend Tom, as our intermediate, from the Clarence Strait - just north of Ketchikan, Alaska. As we suspected, we have been out of cell range, with no wireless or computer access as well as no cookie bar. But the cafeteria has a cold case with some killer desserts and they're open 24 hours :) Besides the cafeteria, there is a dining room and the food is pretty good.
We wanted to update you on the travel. Everything has gone smoothly and pretty much like clockwork. We departed out of Bellingham, WA Friday night at about 6:15pm and from there we sailed non-stop until we reached Ketchikan this morning at 7:30am. We were given an hour and a half while they unloaded some of the vehicles that were staying in Ketchikan, while at the same time, they were bringing on new passengers that are continuing the trip forward. We spent that time letting the dogs out and taking them on land.
Let me just describe to you briefly the trip through our doggies' eyes: "We can't believe this, what are they doing to us!!! We've been stuck in these crates in the back of Mom's truck for over a 1000 miles now. And our lousy owners put us on this ... floating-whatever-it-is , still stuck in the back of Mom's truck, locked up in our damned crates. Our generous owners seem to come and visit us every 4 hours or so ... or is it, that they just want to come and look at us like we are some kind of circus freaks. Lucky us, they let us out of our crates for about 15 minutes and let us maneuver through the lines of parked cars and trucks, telling us the whole time 'go potty, go potty'. See if YOU can go potty under these conditions, potty my ass go potty. Is this our life? Have we been reduced to this kind of existence? Will we ever see 'normal life-as-we-knew-it'?"
You can easily see where any dog put in this condition would find it difficult to relieve him/herself, but there was finally salvation! The first patch of grass after unboarding the vessel became victim of the continual flow of our dogs' pent up frustration. They went and went and went!!! After holding it for 2 days, we were just as relieved as they were, so we found a patch of grass and went and went and went ;)
The sights have been spectacular! We have never seen so many islands of nothing but forests and snowcapped peaks. It is just spectacular beyond words. We have sailed through narrows as wide as football fields. It's just been breathtaking!
This morning at 5am, I rolled over to see a cruise ship passing us on the water, in fact, as I tell this, I'm looking off in front of us in the distance, and I can see another large ship, perhaps a cruise vessel approaching us. Since we didn't have cabins onboard, we were fortunate enough to shack up on the top deck of the ship in the solarium. Covered on 2 sides and the top with glass windows, the front of the solarium opens up to a deck where people have been able to pitch tents and we are able to overlook the ocean behind us. We have the laydown chaise lounges (with our sleeping bags) in the solarium itself where we have our little camp set up. There are about maybe 20 other people amongst us with the same type of setup. The neat thing is that everybody has kind of gotten to know each other the past 2 days and it's kind of like a little commune. In fact, just like the hippies, you go to bed at night sleeping next to one person, and wake up the next morning sleeping next to another. According to where the heat lamps are, how cold it is, and which way the wind is blowing into the solarium and in the case of occasional rain, people shift their little lounge chairs around the solarium. Thus, you never know who you're going to wake up next to!!! ;) Oh yeah, that cruise ship that I saw coming, it's actually another ferry passing us right now. Right now it's sunny, not too cold, ominous-looking clouds in the distance and a very light breeze.
We have 2 more stops today for about an hour each (of which the doggies can't wait for) and then we arrive in Juno early in the morning at about 6am. At that point, we will probably be able to get some kind of wireless or DSL at our motel we will be staying at that night (Monday, June 11th). Then, we will further update you. And we might have a couple of nice pictures too.
So signing off for now from the inside passage, somewhere in the panhandle of Alaska, we thank Tom and Bea for their overwhelming patience and support for allowing us to be able to transmit this to you LIVE via cellphone lost at sea!!!
Take care, our love to all.