Inside Passage: Polar Bear Plunge

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.

Charley's polar bear plunge
Charley’s polar bear plunge

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.

float plane landing in a fjord
float plane landing in a fjord

Published by


I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

2 thoughts on “Inside Passage: Polar Bear Plunge”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s