North to Alaska

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Aboard National Geographic Sea Bird

Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve


We entered Glacier Bay shortly after midnight and headed up bay, towards the Margerie   and Johns Hopkins  Glaciers. Our day was dictated by what we saw along the way. For example, a mother bear and her three cubs, seen on an earlier cruise this spring by some of the crew, had survived--which in itself is a rarity in these parts. This bear family created a lot of interest, with many amateur and even the professional photographers employed by National Geographic taking advantage of this rather rare photo op. This activity pretty much consumed the entire morning and the lunch afterwards, consisting of a delicious chili complimented by cornbread and salad was a great topping. The chocolate chip cookie inspired me to ask for recipes for both dishes. Jen, the activities person who doubles as masseuse and Yoga instructor was fascinating company. A professional ballet dancer, she lives in New York City with her boyfriend, a Shakespearean actor, and takes advantage of any work where she can use her many talents/skills.  


Cecil was overcome by emotion at one point when he thought about the majestic scenery with which we were surrounded, and the insignificance of we humans--specks in the universe. How small we are, how little we know.  And thus it shall always be. His is such a special spirit. Listening to John Legend, the great new young voice that speaks for today’s youngsters was equally inspiring--an earth shaking experience.  We can only hope that those who follow us will have more insightful moments and open themselves up to freedom, peace among all species, respect for all living creatures and pride in our connectedness.


Tonight we lounge in our cabin--exhausted by the day’s activities and the realization that    our endurance has been compromised by our station in life. Cecil’s hip and my surgically impaired knee make us stand out from the crowd--and not in a good way. “I remember when I was one of the young one,” he often says. And I, too, remember those times. I joke that it is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all. This covers many subjects, including lost beauty, youth, and of course, loves. We ran into other couples from other voyages along the trail to the lodge here at Glacier Bay. All ages were represented: the young, the old, the halt, the lame. Children lucky enough to experience this perspective, rangers, deck hands, and the wild life whose natural habitat is here. Faith, the Tlingit native woman who addressed our tour group aboard ship today said it all: We look at all things as having a spirit: the rock, the land, the bird, the fish, the people. When you view your world from this perspective, you get the most from living your life.