Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In Alaska

Back in Alaska - arrived here on Sunday night - ready for the last in our series of diving cruises. Weather is not quite what it was last September, a little wetter to say the least, but still, Alaska holds a place in my heart. The last two days have been hectic, getting supplies, chemicals and dive gear ready to go, and tomorrow early we head out down the Gastineaux Channel towards Tracy Arm fjord to collect Red Tree Corals. No cruise blog this time, i've just been too pushed for time, and we have no internet or phone coverage while we're out there anyway, so it's never quite the same. So wish us luck, and we'll be back in "range" on Sunday! 

Despite a hectic packing and organizing schedule, we have managed to go by the famous Mendenhall Glacier trail in search of the mysterious Alaskan Bear (which I have never seen in any of my three visits to Alaska!). Some pictures of the last 2 days....

The Mendenhall Glacier trail at 7am this morning, in hope of seeing bears before I headed to the lab to continue packing. This was the 4th visit to the trail in hopes of seeing bears. 

"Bears Woz 'Ere" - see the dead fish in the foreground. Lots and lots of evidence of bears, but alas, no bears. 

The glacier is however as spectacular as ever. 

Despite the signs, no bears this morning. Maybe it'll wait until after the cruise. 

The view of Auke Bay from the NOAA lab this morning. Crows flying all around calling out into the cool morning air. It's been a little warmer than expected (60F), mostly raining, but spates of sunshine and dry. 

Auke Bay - the view from the lab pier. 

Auke Bay Marine Lab - or at least part of it. 

A bald eagle overlooked our packing operations this morning. So beautiful, I can never get enough of bald eagles. 

The Steller - our research vessel for this trip. Somewhat different from our luxurious tourist boat of past cruises, but none the less functional. The one shower/toilet is going to be interesting with 3 divers onboard. After 40 minutes in 40F water, it's always good to get a warm shower in. 

We finished packing the boat at 4pm and headed back to the lab. En-route Bob decided a fifth visit to the trail was in order....and as luck would have it, my first Alaskan Black Bear! 

A beautiful 16yr old female, no cubs this year as the rangers told us. We'd just been eating donuts in the parking lot. We figured it helped. There's certainly a positive correlation there....:0)

1 comment:

DDdd said...

Yeah for the bear!! Good luck on the water. Here's hoping for perfect TEM samples!