UPDATE#29 08/28 thru 08/31/07
period 01/19/07 thru 08/27/07 has been covered in Updates 1 through 28.
We continue with UPDATE 2007 # 29.
2007 #29 08/28/07 through
Welcome back to the new Adventures of the trawler AMARSE.
At last update, we were already part way through the second week of our
cruising vacation in Alaska.
ICY STRAIT POINT, HOONAH, ALASKA
Following a leisurely breakfast in the
Waterfall Café of Deck 10, we boarded the tender for our shore trip to Hoonah.
Once again, the SUMMIT Captain had brought us in much closer to the dock
than the VOLENDAM Skipper had; consequently, the tender ride to the cannery was
only a few minutes long.
The native people of this land are the
Tlingit. A few members of this
tribe donned their elaborate regalia to welcome the guests. This is only the
fourth year that the cruise trade has been visiting this village population of
850. Only one ship per day is
allowed here. Perhaps Judy thinks these guys are “HOT”.
The SUMMIT is a beautiful sight lying close
to these picturesque shores. Here
are some facts and figures about the vessel:
Turbine System” powers GTS SUMMIT. It
was built in St. Nazaire, France in 2001.
3 X 2350kw
The actual village of Hoonah is located several kilometers from the
cannery. We bought our round trip
tickets for the shuttle that brought us there.
The effects of tourism have not been hugely significant.
Although not strikingly interesting, we enjoyed the tranquil nature of
Back at Icy Point however, tourism makes
its mark. They have erected the
world steepest “Zip Ride”. The
chair-type ride rolls down a cable that stretches over one mile.
Thrill-seeker tourists pay $85 for the 90 second ride.
It takes 45 minutes to bus them to the top, and then off they go at
speeds of up to 60 mph.
The Master is Captain Panagiotis
Skylogiannis. The young, 43 year
old, is of Greek nationality, as are the other members of the navigation crew.
He has held the senior position of Master, with Celebrity Cruise Lines,
Back aboard ship, we headed up to the
indoor pool area. There is a large
“Thalassotherapy” pool that beckons you to gently soak in the warm waters.
Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word “thallasos”,
meaning "sea") is the
medicinal use of seawater. The properties of seawater are believed to have
beneficial effects upon the
pores of the skin. There are two
smaller, hotter tubs adjacent to this pool.
When the SUMMIT weighed anchor, we were
comfortably seated on Deck 10 near the stern.
The huge windows offered a spectacularly scenic view of the area terrain.
We were hoping to see some whale activity, however, it just wasn’t to
The casino was not as active on this cruise
as some others that we’ve been on. Our
spontaneous attempts for sheer luck were sadly disappointing.
When it comes to “real luck”, I can
assure you that I am the luckiest guy in the world to have this magnificent lady
at my side.
Our second, formal night dinner was set for
Our menu selections included Shrimp
Cocktails, a Crème of Chicken Velvet and Corn Soup, Lettuce Wedge with
Roquefort dressing, perfect Filet Mignon, and, of course, I had to add a lobster
tail to make a wonderful Surf n’ Turf. The
dessert specialty was Baked Alaska that was served with flair in the Parade of
10:45pm, we were treated to the Showtime performance of Judy Kolba.
Her style, reminiscent of “Charro”, has the audience in tears of
laughter. We had seen here before on another ship out of Galveston.
That was the Royal Caribbean “Rhapsody of the Seas” voyage that my
two sisters joined us for. When she twists, her tassel dress swings back and forth like
a car wash brush. What a hoot!
At 11:45pm, the doors for the Cosmopolitan
Restaurant swung open to welcome the hoards of guests eager to photograph the
Gala Midnight Buffet. My friends, I
assure you that this is the most spectacular display of food that I have ever
witnessed. There was table after
table of artistic displays, ice sculptures, and food presentations that looked
much to pretty to consume.
The pictures tell only the visual aspect of
this spectacular display. Imagine
the textures and the smells. Wow!
If you are not famished after looking at
these photos, please, please, take your pulse to make sure you are still alive.
This platter is arranged with hundreds of
thin slices of Roasted Beef.
The photo session ended and the drooling
guests relined up at the entrance door. When
the doors re-opened at 12:15am, the band of voracious jackals swarmed the
displays as if they had been locked away in the hold for a month. There was absolutely no mercy when these folks tied on the
feedbag. Did I also mention that a
chef was slicing off thick portions of a perfect Beef Wellington?
Unfortunately, we had been at the late dinner seating so we could not do
justice to this wonderful feast. The Cosmopolitan Restaurant was set up
beautifully as always.
It has been another thoroughly enjoyable
day and evening.
Breakfast in the aft section of Deck 10 is
wonderful. The large, picture
windows look out over the Alaskan scenic treasure and the seats are the most
comfortable on the ship. Outside, a
low cloud deck let a steady drizzle fall to the ground.
As the skies lightened, we made our way toward the center of town.
In the gift stores, I bought a few hats to replace the one that blew away
last week. We found a pretty jade
and silver necklace of a whale fluke that I knew would look so nice around
the mouth of the creek, a small group of fishermen were reeling in the salmon.
One fellow in particular had the knack and had stowed more than twice the
numbers of anyone else.
We strolled along on historic Creek Street
wondering how wild it must have been in years gone by.
From high on the ship, you can almost
capture the whole town in a camera shot.
Our restful afternoon led to Showtime in
the Celebrity Theatre for the 7pm event. Entitled
“Thoroughly Broadway”, the fabulous singers and dancers graced the stage
bringing joy and excitement to an attentive audience.
The costuming for these numbers was
spectacular. Together with the
expert lighting, the visual effects were captivating.
Ballet Aerialists, Alexey and Sally,
dazzled everyone with their flawless execution of grace and beauty.
All too soon, the closing curtain fell and
we were headed for the dining room for late dinner seating.
Another wonderfully prepared dinner with
our choices of New England Clam Chowder, Salads, and pinkish-red slabs of tender
Prime Ribs of Beef. Tonight’s
special dessert of Flambé of Crepe Suzettes, was prepared tableside by our
We had another delightful evening with
George and Kai-Li.
The Rendezvous Lounge hosted an evening of
Karaoke. Some of the musical offers
were quite good; others were only respectfully tolerated.
All in all, we enjoyed the guest talent and applauded the singers until
after the midnight hour. Tonight,
we must move our clocks ahead one hour to Pacific Daylight Time.
Oops, there goes another hour of sleep.
CRUISING THE INSIDE PASSAGE OF ALASKA and BRITISH COLUMBIA
From our favorite vantage point aft in the
Waterfall Café, we savored both the spectacular view of the Inside Passage
while nibbling on the selection of breakfast items so expertly prepared. I brought my computer there and quietly worked on my photos
and update logs.
were eager to attend the lecture on “Stars and Planets”.
Naturalist Milos Radakovic presented a wonderful dissertation in the
Celebrity Theatre. I could listen
to this guy talk about nature and the universe many times over.
lunch, I remained in the windowed dining area viewing the outside pass by.
I rattled away on the keys of my laptop trying to get an edge on my logs
and photos. I continue to be amazed
at how much time I must devote to these pages and their publishing. I’m glad that so many of you have indicated that you enjoy
decided to go to a movie of the “Producers”.
It still left plenty of time for more sightseeing of the waterways.
the curtain rose for the 7pm Showtime, Mark Merchant, the talented
ventriloquist/puppeteer, kicked off his show with a puppet of George W. Bush.
What a riot! I’m sure that
some of the more zealous supporters of W. might have felt a twinge of uneasiness
with the controversial dialog; however, we laughed aloud in the spirit of
next character is declared Chinese. This
is my personal favorite and I loved the way they interact as if both were
separate and real. Really cool stuff.
Another stunning performance from Alexey
and Sally brought the entire audience to their feet for a standing ovation. They are clearly the best that I’ve ever seen.
Judy Kolba gave us another hilarious set of
comedy coupled with her musical talent.
Oy Vey, I think this Yenta likes me.
Judy and Judy, looks like a fun couple of
blonds to me.
On our last evening aboard, the beauty of
the Inside Passage was highlighted with a fabulous, sunset sky.
In the interim before dinner, the sounds of
“Guys and Doll” entertained us in the Rendezvous Lounge.
At our final dinner seating for the cruise,
we said our farewells to George and Kai-Li, as well as, our attentive waiter,
Jesus, from the Philippines.
I couldn’t help but have some fun with
them. I can add these sketches to
the picture right on my camera. Fortunately,
they all had a great sense of humor and found the camera feature unique and
amazing. It was good for a laugh.
Thanks ya’all for a great week. By
breakfast tomorrow, George and Kai-Li will have left the ship headed early for
the airport and a flight home.
By midnight, everyone’s luggage had to be
placed in the hallways for transfer to the terminal.
This is when the realization sets in that the cruise experience is
rapidly coming to its conclusion.
When we awoke, we were secure at the dock
to the ship newsletter, we have traveled 1,663 Nautical Miles, or 1,912 Statute
Miles, or 3,080 Kilometers.
you ever wondered how much food is consumed on the average 7-night cruise?
Here is the list according to SUMMIT:
pounds of Beef
pounds of Lamb
pounds of pork
pounds of veal
pounds of chicken
pounds of duck
pounds of turkey
pounds of fish
pounds of fresh vegetables
pounds of potatoes
pounds of fresh fruit
gallons of milk
of ice cream
pounds of sugar
pounds of rice
pounds of coffee
pounds of cookies
of herbs and spices
bottles of assorted wines
of assorted liqueurs
bottles/cans of beer
The figures include all supplies for
cooking meals in the restaurant and buffets, as well as all baking and
confectionary supplies. And you
thought you had a big grocery bill every week.
The ship was docked in a different place
than where we left from two weeks ago. These
are the Ballantine Docks located a ways away.
You can just barely see the other terminal in the picture below.
In no particular rush, we enjoyed a
leisurely breakfast before disembarking the SUMMIT.
The early morning harbor view seemed more tranquil than our afternoon
After retrieving our luggage, we found the lines waiting for taxi
service to be ridiculously long. For
over an hour, we inched along without much progress.
Aggravated and frustrated, we jumped when a shuttle bus employee offered
to take us to the hotel for not much more than a cab fare.
Okay, Okay, just get us out of here, OK?
2017 at the Marriott Pinnacle was not only comfortably decorated, it had a
wonderful view of the Vancouver skyline.
We only have a few days to enjoy this
lovely city. We began the
sightseeing almost immediately. Gastown
is the historic and restored area hosting many upscale restaurants and shops.
One of the most recognizable landmarks is this Steam Clock.
Not only is the mechanism powered with steam, the steam calliope sounds
each 15 minutes.
It seemed like we’d walked a hundred
miles. My tootsies were complaining
loudly, however, we pressed on into Chinatown.
This large, tranquil Chinese tea garden sits right in the middle of this
highly urbanized area.
I thought this sign was really humorous.
It says, “International Flight Centre”; “Become A Pilot”;
“Learn To Fly”; and then, the ultimate punch line, “Enquire at
Fairyland.” How’s that for
I love these outdoor displays of bulk foods
in Chinatown. The variety of color
and textures is visually captivating. Although
I don’t think that I would enjoy eating many of these, seeing them fascinates
Ducks, chickens, pork, and who knows what
else has been proudly displayed in this Chinese market.
Although I am not sure, these dried items
look strangely like a variety of Jellyfish.
Isn’t it amazing how different the
variations of international culinary tastes can be?
I am almost ashamed to say that I am probably afraid to even try many of
these highly desired delicacies. Just
when I begin to think that I have had a fairly broad exposure to international
cultures, I am shocked into the reality that my actual range is very limited.
The market for fresh fish enticed a continuous line of customers.
It was a shame we had no place to cook any of these seafood offerings.
The extensive walking tour had taken a grim
toll on my legs and feet. Both of
us were getting very tired and decided to rest a bit back at the hotel. Nothing like one of those afternoon naps to refresh the body
and restore the soul.
early evening, we were back on the sidewalks hoofing it back to Gastown;
Walking, Walking, Walking. Across
from the steam clock, we sat at a small table in the Water Street Café.
For dinner, we selected bowls of Portobello Mushroom soup with a basket
of fresh, herb bread. It was just
the perfect meal in this lovely Italian café restaurant.
steam clock would have been sounding off at midnight as we walked back to the
hotel room. Tomorrow, we will set
out again to explore and sightsee the great Northwest.
We will be in British Columbia until returning to Georgia on the Tuesday
after Labor Day.
Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.
The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.
You can review any of the 2006 or 2007 logs and learn more about the crew
and our plans. Enjoy.
ATTENTION: SPECIAL NOTE:
is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".
website is: www.amarse.net .
and Judy Law
Fred H. Reed
www.amarse.net © 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011