The good weather was nicely holding and thus we arrived on schedule at the Cape Spencer pilot station to pick up the two Alaskan Pilots who will be with us until Friday evening. Once they were on board we proceeded to Glacier Bay. The sun was coming out, there was no wind and the only thing we really had to focus on was that the currents were very strong today, 4 to 5 knots against us. That means that you have to pay close attention to the way the ship is being set when going around the corner. Especially when you sail with a slow speed into Glacier Bay to meet the Rangers. The slower the speed, the more pronounced the drift is. Ahead of us was the Westerdam with a 0700 Ranger pickup and we were scheduled for 10 am. And it all worked like clockwork. Regulations stipulate that only 2 large ships are allowed in the Bay at any time and 25 small ones (sailing yachts, local sightseeing boats etc.) By spreading the arrival time it makes it possible that we are not at the same place at the same time. By the time we were approaching Marjorie Glacier, the Westerdam was just sailing away. With two ships of the same company that is never a problem but in general all cruise ships follow the same routine and stay out of each other’s way.
The weather was very good today, certainly for the time of the year. When we went up the Bay it started to cloud over and we had a little drizzle but the wind remained away so there was no wind chill factor that made the outside temperature less than it already was. We measured 37oF (04oC) in front of the glacier and with a wind chill factor it might have been freezing. As it was after 1 September, we were allowed to go into John Hopkins Bay. This area is closed until 1 September so that the seals are not disturbed during the pupping season. Now we could poke our nose around the corner and look all the way down the bay to the mighty Hopkins Glacier running up the Fairweather Mountain range. So we had a very good day and Rangers and Guests were excited alike by the time we returned to Bartlett Cove Ranger station at 1900 to say goodbye. We will be back next year. The group of five (3 Rangers, an Indian tribe representative and a geographical specialist, were all expecting to be back next year, so we might see them again)
Now it is time to give an update about our Corinto school project. Both the Hotelmanager and I are now back on board, so we can push the matter forward again. I have a listing below of what we received on board thus far. There are still more boxes with donations stored with the agents in the various ports and we will collect those when we get there. Same for cheques which are in the mail. I will keep you posted. Thusfar received in School supplies: 2100 pens, 1200 pencils, 48 notebooks, 144 pencil sharpeners, 200 pencil with eraser 20 rulers, 20 kids’ scissors, 72 colored pencils, 30 School glue sticks, 100 crayons, 200 new shirts. Unfortunately, I have no names of who sent what as during our absence everything that arrived was unpacked, nicely catalogued and then stored. The wrapping with the names, not kept. ………………………………But to all of you: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Monetary donations: $950 = $ 1020. This will be spent on corrugated iron sheets for a new roof. Donations by: Ruud den Hartog, Steve and Patti Plunkett, William Shakelton, Anna & Gerd Fetchenhauer.
The ship thus far bought and will supply (not counting the 20 pallets with materials we landed in the spring) 2x portable basket ball stands, Cork board 3.7m x 1.18m, Folding tables, Cleaning supplies (mops, brooms, buckets), Trashcans, Flipcharts, Sound system, basketballs, Dry markers, Dry-wipe boards.
My hotelmanager is now in contact with Home Depot in Juneau to see if we can get paint for a discounted price and if they might want to donate something as well. Home Depot has a charity program but it is administered locally. So we are keeping our fingers crossed. More to come in the coming days, otherwise the blog will get too long. September 2012; Glacier Bay, Alaska.