On the last full day of our week-long Inside Passage cruise, we kayaked, did a polar bear plunge, and marveled at the glacier-carved granite of the fjord.
The day started with our choice of activities. Teenagers tried stand-up paddling. The water’s in the fjord is flat — great for stand-up paddling — but I chose kayaking to stay dry and warm. On a six-mile kayak trip, we saw a mother bear and cubs on the bank. I wish I had brought a camera on the kayak, but I didn’t want to risk wetting and ruining a camera in the salt water. Next time I’ll use a waterproof dry bag.
After kayaking, we did a polar bear plunge into the Alaskan waters. Several of us had agreed to do this together. I did a cannon ball into the water. Underwater, I couldn’t see the sky, only shades of green. I swam for the light green and came to the surface. Back on the ship, a dry towel and hot chocolate felt great.
After lunch we cruised more fjords.
Alaska has glacier-carved granite; our guides told us that John Muir came to Alaska to see and study glaciers. The dome and arch below look like a granite dome with exfoliation joints, where sheets “form in onionlike patterns that are parallel to the land surface. These sheets of rock peel off of the exposed surface and in certain conditions develop domical structures.”
A float plane landing in the fjord provides a sense of scale to help us judge and appreciate the height of mountains.