After seven weeks at home, the next trip was upon us again. Before we left, we were caught in stormy weather in the Azores. The wind whistled around the house quite a bit, especially at night. At the end of March, I boarded another plane to Ponta Delgada on São Miguel, the capital of the largest island in the Azores. From there I continued with an overnight stay in Lisbon and the next day via Madrid to Panama City to the hotel, where I first had to sleep it off.
The Scenic Eclipse was moored at the pier of the new cruise terminal, currently still a major construction site. My luggage was pretty battered during the outward journey. But the airline replaced the damage without complaint. I spent almost a week in Panama City because renovation work was still being done on the ship before the new guests arrived.
After a week in Panama, we set off. We rattled off ports on the Central American coast: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala. Puerto Vallarta in Mexico was the first major city.
I was far from the only one who had caught Montezuma’s revenge in Panama. A night of severe diarrhoea and vomiting demanded some rest. Therefore, I was not very active outside during the trip along Central America.
The first cruise leg ended in the Gulf of California. Loreto is a lovely small town in southern Lower California.
On 18 April in the field. We hike across the island. Poisonous jellyfish on the beach and rattlesnakes in the mountains.
Guano rocks. We are looking, so to speak, at a pile of bird sh…
In the Gulf of California there are beautiful small, partly uninhabited islands with unique flora and fauna that may be visited under certain conditions.
Crazy schools of small fish near Huatabampo, Sonora, Mexico
La Paz, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada were our last stops in Mexico before we reached the USA further north.
After a routine security inspection by the US Coast Guard, I went to San Diego to see Balboa Park and then to a TexMex restaurant.
The next stop was Santa Barbara. But I didn’t get off there. San Francisco seemed more worthwhile. There I used the shore leave for a two-hour walk near our pier. On the onward journey, we were seen off by a hydrofoilboard kitesurfer behind the Golden Gate Bridge.
After a stopover in Eureka in Northern California, I took advantage of the nice weather for a shore excursion in Seattle. From the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” I knew the Pike Place Market, which I wanted to visit as well as the famous “Gum Wall”. I was surprised by the glass art exhibition at the Space Needle, Seattle’s landmark.
We then left the USA for Canada. On the way, we had a good view of Mount Rainier, a volcano 4400 m high. The first stop was Victoria on Vancouver Island.
As a metropolis, Vancouver radiates a lot of vitality. We were lucky and the weather was kind to us that day. The Canadian Coast Guard and the health authorities were on board for a routine inspection. Our meticulous preparation had paid off and we passed the inspections with a high score. Afterwards, I was able to use two more hours for a shore leave.
That was almost the end of our short visit to Canada. We spent two more days in beautiful weather in the breathtaking fjords, bays and channels of British Columbia along Vancouver Island and then set off for Alaska.
Wrangell was our first stop in Alaska, a small town of 2100 inhabitants.
Even tinier was Kake, a village of 550 inhabitants and history, beautifully situated in the fjord. Kake is the larger of the two settlements on Kupreanof Island. The village is home to the world’s largest totem pole, carved by an Indian from a single tree trunk and nearly 42 metres tall. It was erected in 1967 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase.
In the evening there was still time for a chat on the bridge.
Sitka is a city and at the same time an administrative district (Borough) with about 8500 inhabitants. The beautiful weather drove me out of the ship and invited me to take a walk through the city.
Overnight the weather changed and it became cold and foggy. We now drove to one of the largest glaciers: the Hubbart Glacier is located in the Elias Range in the US state of Alaska and the Yukon Territory of Canada. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbard-Gletscher