Our second port of call on the cruise was Skagway. The day did not get off to an auspicious start. We decided to have an early breakfast in the dining room and when they asked if we would be okay sharing a table with others, we said yes, thinking we would eat quickly and get out before anyone else was seated at our table. Instead, we were treated to an awkward meal with three other couples who, despite not knowing each other, talked as if they were old friends and completed ignored us. We couldn’t finish eating and get out fast enough.
Going ashore was complicated by the need to use a “tender,” which is a fancy word for a small boat. There had been a rockslide at the pier where the ship was moored and foot traffic was not allowed. Skagway is really just a tourist town, so after a few minutes of walking around and shopping, we returned to the ship to eat and gear up for our tour. We actually shed a layer, as the weather was much warmer than we expected, a situation that would follow us for most of the trip.
The tour du jour was eagle watching, for which my husband and I were joined by one brother-in-law. The ferry taking us to our starting point was late in arriving and then – not kidding – experienced a stick in the engine, slowing it down for about fifteen minutes. When we disembarked, I ended up at the back of a huge line for the ladies room. An old blue school bus, smelling strongly of BO, transported us to our start point for a float down a river through an eagle preserve.
We were treated to lunch before starting – some extremely dry sandwiches and bags of chips. The river was so shallow we got hung up on the bottom a few times and all of the eagles we spotted were high in the trees, making for limited photo ops. Not that shooting from a moving raft was a great idea to begin with. The unbelievably gorgeous weather and scenery more than made up for that.
The late ferry and its slow starting speed meant we returned to the ship later than expected, only about thirty minutes prior to the “all aboard” call. We later found out that my sister-in-law received a call about her husband not being back yet. Don’t you people keep track of your tours? Our return was so late, the buffet was pretty much done for the night and we had to settle for dried out chicken for dinner. A nice topper to our dry sandwich lunch. Later on, I went for a pizza run with the rest of the family and we put two more bottles of wine down the hatch. Our supply is starting to dwindle.