One Last Ship Post

Pictures say 1000 words. Other then the cold I caught this was an awesome ride with mountains, snow, and water. Enjoy the photos.

Things that stood out to me on the ferry ride

  • The scenery be it foggy mornings or bright mountains
  • Considering the last two years we’ve had, the amount of cruise ships that are floating, Just unreal. In Ketchikan Alaska alone there were 4. We also ran into 2 more going the opposite direction.
  • Whittier Tunnel this still freaks me out. One lane road, driving over active railroad tracks in a tunnel. I think it is because my mom always said ‘Don’t play on the railroad tracks.’
  • Being on the water for 1,629 miles and not getting sick

Now that I’ve gotten my land legs back and I will catch you up on this leg of the adventure.

Observations from Sea-t Level

I know a lot of people who follow me know I’m in a power wheelchair at least part-time. This trip has been an eye opener any way you look at it. I am so glad to have had it on the journey because without it, I would have watched the water flow by from the window in our cabin. Instead, it provided me wheels all over the ship. Although I could only get out one door on the boat deck and one door on the sun deck. That was not a problem, it is a fifty-year-old ship, so I understand it was not built that way, and there are just so many ways that it can be adapted. I will say the cargo elevator is large. (More on that later.) The interesting thing for me was noticing things out of place or out of reach.

This is one of those times you do not realize things until you do.

This trip has helped me come to grips with just how much has changed for me and how strong I am. I was pleasently surprised how helpful fellow passengers and crew were. It is funny that just opening a door takes 4 steps that used to come natural and never thought about when you are on two feet.

  • 1. approach door and grab handle
  • 2. step back and pull door
  • 3. open door and walk through
  • 4. get out of way so door can close.

I do those same steps now but never realized how heavy doors are and how often I used to use two hands to do some of the steps. I was so grateful that there were a bunch of people on the ferry who were in the places when and where I needed doors opened for me. The good part was by the end of the trip I was confident and ‘skilled’ enough that I was getting good at the four steps. When the places I had to go was an empty room. Speaking of rooms, we did upgrade to a handicapped room which was a blessing in disguise the door had a push button to get out.

Talk about open doors let you go places. THEY REALLY DO!

Two things here I bring up: One just how helpful the crew on the M.V. Kennicott was even if one of them was working unexpected overtime. (That is a story I’ve covered already) Second how out of reach normal buttons and levers can either by accident or because it was designed for the rest of the population and would be illogical to have two sets.

Now onto the elevator and why I had a ride in it. There was a ramp that I used to get up to the passenger elevator except it was not flush to the ground. That said, a lip anywhere you have one is difficult for the wheelchair to get up. I brought this up to the Chief Steward and she suggested the freight elevator. They had a ramp that went right up to the edge of the doorway, easy peasy.

Just a few observations while in my seat at sea

On Ship Antics … or

Let’s see if she floats. Not really, but, let’s just say that’s my story. I promise I will come back to this. I did not think I would enjoy my trip on the ferry because of my likelyhood of getting sea sick. That is what dramamine is for. I am having a blast.

This has been a great cruise for pictures lots of landscapes, snow, orcas, and sea otter logs. (you’ve seen these, the ones that masquerade as animals but are really floating logs.) I have missed capturing on my camera a few eagles and some whales. When we were in dock today at Yakatut, Alaska, here I am just yaking away (yes, I said that) right overhead a Bald Eagle and a crow was there. At least people did call my attention to it. No picture though, camera operater was too busy. I did however, get my first clear shot of a golden eagle. Earlier in the day I was able to get a blurry golden eagle. Both of these occured in Juneau. Now that I finally have a photo one, it’s time to work on getting them closer. I’ve also learned things about the lens I brought on board, 28mm – 300mm Tamron. I just might want to take my 150mm – 600mm Tamron on the return trip.

This cruise has been great. It is truly refreshing to get to know people who are willing to help you navigate when you are in a motorized chair. They are also fun and easy to laugh with when you do something silly like navigating the narrows of the cafe tables. The tables are non-movable and the chairs are attached and rotate. So one evening I come into the cafe from outside, (this is the only door that has a ramp on both sides of the door that I’ve found). Two couples I’ve met and have helped me get a lot done were at a table, so I invited myself to join them. We got talking about my pictures because the camera is always around my neck. The challenge was getting to them in the chair. There is more then one way to skin a cat.

The back story begins the night before with a stretch of water called the narrows. This area is before Juneau and after Ketchican, we also travelled it in the dark or dusk as we are in Alaska. It is called the Narrows because you have land on either side and a small channel to navigate through. I did not stay up to see it. The captin has to move in a zig-zag pattern to get through. Just like me and the chairs. So after talking for awile it was time to go, I tried to get out another way. Not happening, back through the narrows I went. Unfortunately, no one decided to film it for Tik-Tok or You Tube so you have to trust me … I looked cute.

Those were the antics. Now onto why someone would want to see if I floated or not. ‘I’m sweet and innocent’. Just ask anyone who doesn’t know me. I had a question, so I rode around and did not have far to go until I found someone to ask. We were getting close to Ketchikan (which is a crew change port). I asked this crew lady a question about Whittier and she said she would not be there, that she was getting off duty. I looked at her with my normal smirk and said ‘Didn’t they tell you your replacement isn’t coming?’ I cursed her. Two hours later she found me and playfully said that I jinxed her. That started an awesome banter with a few comments back and forth that might include me floating. In all truthfulness, it was all in fun and she is cool. But, sometimes I can call them. I was just joking though.

On a side note here, I’ve met some amazing people. One couple is travelling for the summer, but staying at hotels and Air BnBs. Another couple have come up here to build their off the grid home. I joked with them that they were bringing everything up but the kitchen sink. Turns out they do have a small bucket labelled kitchen sink, in the trailer they are bringing up. A cool guy who basically kept showing up every place with a warm happy attitude and two dogs in the car who did not like the deck calls to do it’s duty. I think his dogs were not happy. He is coming up to fish and enjoy his property. The offer of a home cooked meal will be acted upon because he lives where we will be camping for a month.

I have to say, I hope our return trip in September is just as fun.