Tag Archives: Interesting Stuff

11
May 2012
Searching for a Piece of Family History

Erik Elvejord, director of public relations for Holland America Line, currently is on Ryndam and went in search of some family history while in Norway.

A Day in Kristiansand: Wednesday, May 9th

The old photo of my great grandparents (left) and two great aunts (right) in front of the house. My guide to find the farm house.

With my conversational Norwegian, an old picture, a general idea of where to go and a few other details, I set out today to find my father’s mother’s birthplace and farm house, as well as the gravesites of my relatives. I planned on renting a car but that changed for the better when I spoke with a woman from the visitor’s bureau greeting cruise guests as they left the pier. She asked me what I was trying to do and when I explained I wanted to drive to Sogne to look for the Stausland gård (farm), she said, “I’m from Sogne and know the Stausland gård.”

The Stausland farm is a large, multi-plotted area so it’s not as simple as one farm. I knew it was gård number 18, plot 36. She provided me with the bus number to take and told me to tell the driver I wanted to get off at the old Sogne Church. Across the street she said was a school and they could probably help with the location of the farm. I looked around the graveyard at the church but didn’t find any names. Then, went to the school and asked one man if he knew how to locate the farm. He sent me to the teacher’s lounge and in five minutes they were looking up the number on a farm registry web site. It didn’t show so we looked at maps online and found the farm plot. He printed out a map for me of the page and I headed down the street.

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4
Jan 2012
Eurodam Welcomes the Consul General of the Netherlands

Me with the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

It was a great visit of the Consul General and we were very honored to have her and her family on board.

We welcomed her and her family to the ship at 10:30am. As they showed great interest in our ship and the operation, we gave them a very extensive tour of the front and back of the house. I even showed them the Hotel Manager’s quarters as they were interested to see how a fellow Dutchman was accommodated on board a HAL ship. ;)

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26
Jul 2011
Glacier Bay Podcasts: Tidewater Glaciers

Ranger Jeff Pietka specialty is the Tidewater Glaciers of Glacier Bay. How is a tidewater glacier different from other glaciers in the Park? Pietka says a tidewater glacier flows down the mountainside and ends in the sea “it’s like a river … of ice,” he says. The tidewater glaciers around the Bay are really shaping the valley and the mountain below it. The tidewater glaciers flow out of the Fairweather Mountains, which feeds the glaciers with snow and ice. Thanks to the unique conditions of warm air coming off the Pacific and rising into the mountains where it cools and provides precipitation, the glaciers see about 150 feet of snow every year that feeds into the tidewater glacier. And most of it sets up from year to year and gets compacted into ice on the glacier. As it compacts, it gains weight and it’s the weight that begins to push the glacier down the mountain, crushing everything in it’s path to rocks and boulders and glacier flour – a silt so fine it becomes suspended in the water.

The rocks builds up at the base into a moraine. And it’s the moraine that keeps the Glacier healthy and advancing. Once the moraine falls into the deeper water and sea water reaches under the glacier, the glacier begins to retreat. That’s what happened 250 years ago, the glacier filling Glacier Bay retreated, having been exposed to the relatively warmer sea water. The process has an ebb and flow to it over the centuries, some glaciers retreat while others advance. That’s what make Glacier Bay one of the most interesting places on earth.

Click the arrow below to hear this podcast:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listeners can download all 16 of the Glacier Bay podcasts, or only a specific audio file, onto a personal iPod, MP3 or portable media player before embarking on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise to Glacier Bay. Preloaded podcasts on iPods also are available on board for checkout. To access the complete “Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology” click here.

Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, travel writers, broadcasters and regular contributors to the Holland America blog, worked with the National Park’s rangers, scientists and naturalists to allow you this rare insider’s view into the science and wild beauty of Glacier Bay National Park.

21
Jul 2011

Glacier Bay Podcasts: For Kids

Submitted by: Paul
Glacier Bay Podcasts: For Kids

Creating creative kids programs that entertain while providing facts about Glacier Bay is a part of the job that really appeals to Glacier Bay Park Ranger Steve Schaller. Steve is in charge of kids programs that are presented in Club Hal during the day spent in Glacier Bay. Club HAL has a dynamic youth staff that jam packs a kid’s day with fantastic activities. From creating totem poles that teach them the Tlingit culture, to animal identification, kids will get through the day before they know it. And along their adventure towards earning the rank of Jr. Ranger, they might experience an Orca alert, a game which teaches about a Killer Whale’s echo location.

There are historical stories complete with puppets, a chance to feel what a bear actually feels like and a steaming mug of hot chocolate that keeps them warm inside while whale watching. And if they return to Glacier Bay and stay for awhile they can witness animals who live in the bay’s tide pools as they paddle out in rented kayaks around Bartlett Cove because Steve has an active kids program ashore. Kids who want to know more are encouraged to sign up for Glacier Bay’s Twitter Feed and visit the Glacier Bay website. While there, they can download the Junior Ranger handbook and see what their adventure has in store! With over 400,000 people a year visiting Glacier Bay, you can bet there’s a lot of Junior Rangers who leave with an experience they’ll never forget.

Click the arrow below to hear this podcast:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listeners can download all 16 of the Glacier Bay podcasts, or only a specific audio file, onto a personal iPod, MP3 or portable media player before embarking on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise to Glacier Bay. Preloaded podcasts on iPods also are available on board for checkout. To access the complete “Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology” click here.

Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, travel writers, broadcasters and regular contributors to the Holland America blog, worked with the National Park’s rangers, scientists and naturalists to allow you this rare insider’s view into the science and wild beauty of Glacier Bay National Park.

14
Jun 2011
Glacier Bay Podcast: Goats and Bears

For Ranger Janene Driscoll, every day in Glacier Bay is unlike any before it. In fact, Driscoll says that the best day on the Bay is any day because you’re witnessing it change from day to day and even hour to hour. Even though a lot of rain falls in Glacier Bay, it creates snow in the peaks towering 15,000 feet above and fog on the ground at sea level and it’s that dynamic weather system that creates some dramatic change for visitors to the Bay. And that range starts at the shore and goes almost straight up, with an ecosystem that changes as it climbs. And yet, it’s all so new, as the glacier retreated from the Bay 250 years ago. So there are plants and animals living in the Bay area that are, geologically speaking, new to the neighborhood.

Visitors who bring binoculars will see dots of color in the fields and forests that show mountain goats, wild Elk, and brown bears. But it’s the Goats that Driscoll finds interesting. They’re climbers who move from Tlingit Point all the way to the icy cold of the Grand Pacific Glacier. But they mostly gather in a place called Gloomy Knob, where visitors should definitely use their binoculars to see the dots of white on the cliffs.

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6
Jun 2011
New Figures Greet HAL Guests at Port of Seattle

Special thanks to Rosie Courtney, program manager of public affairs at the Port of Seattle, for sharing these images of the new Native American art installations at the Smith Cove cruise terminal in Seattle.

The welcome figures appear to stand alone but nothing could be further from the truth. They were created to draw the observer into their presence and begin to communicate the narrative of the space they represent. They are in harmony with their environment and assist people in achieving their own experience of harmony. For thousands of years welcome figures have been standing on these lands.

The Puget Sound natives have always proudly made these figures from old growth cedar that have already fallen, never letting their natural resources go to waste. They are meant to welcome, protect and show the wealth of our communities. The artist is Andrea Wilbur-Sigo. She is a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe and is the first documented native woman carver of many generations of carvers. Wilbur-Sigo has also mastered other Salish art forms including beadwork, button blankets, and basketry. Other recent public work includes a seven-foot round spindal at the Evergreen State College Longhouse and the creation of glass panels and seating elements for the Puyallup Elders Center.


Rosie Courtney
Program Manager, Public Affairs
Port of Seattle

Native American art installation at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. The artist is Andrea Wilbur-Sigo.

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24
May 2011
Glacier Bay Podcasts: A Park for Science

Lewis Sharman has one of the truly interesting jobs in the world. He is park ecologist at Glacier Bay National Park. And that job description means that he is the person who does all kinds of general science work that’s not done by specialists. There are marine mammal specialists, plant specialists, fishery biologists, bear biologists and other science specialists who work within the park. The ecologist is the guy who sort of takes a broader, more comprehensive view of natural history and science in the park.

So he gets to interact with scientists from all over the world who come to conduct research. This is one of the few places on earth where glaciers are advancing. But also in the park the retreat of many of the glaciers means that the land is actually rising and scientists come to study that. The ice weighs so much that as it retreats the land actually rise and according to Lewis it’s rising rapidly. Glacier Bay land is rising faster than the sea level is rising from the melting ice.

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20
May 2011

Now That’s Loyalty

Submitted by: Nicole
Now That's Loyalty

Here is my tattoo of the HAL logo. My artist, Merl Kent at Point Blank Tattoo in Hutchinson, KS, did a fantastic job. Merl also did all the others except the armband which I had done in Bora Bora while on our HAL Hawaii cruise. Anxious to go on another cruise to show off my tats. – Dale Tritsch

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