Culture Day on the Safari Explorer

25 05 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

6:00 am rolls around for YAYOG followed by Yoga on the A deck.  Both Janet and Rich join me for the yoga portion.  I think they are beginning to like it.

Breakfast is served.  We dine on banana-nut pancakes.  Janet starts a trend at our table when she asks for an over easy egg to go with her pancake.  It is a good trend.

We have anchored in the cove of a small fishing village – Klawock (Tlingit: Láwaak – ask Eric how to pronounce) – and will be touring it with a Native guide today.  This will be the only “port” stop for our boat.  No “Diamonds International” shopping ports like our friends have on their Carnival Cruise. Our guide (Leslie) is a member of the Haida tribe and is joined by two of the young people of the village who will be apprenticing with him. He gives us a bit of info before we disembark.

Pulling into Klawock

Pulling into Klawock

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As we stroll around the town we all marvel at the simple way of life here.  Could we possibly manage to live in such a place?

Side Note:  Eric did not practice his Tlingit in town – probably for the best.  I think Janet was holding her breath all morning waiting for him to start!

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relax...

relax…

Looking back at our boat we come to the realization that WE are now the big boy in town.  Leslie calls our boat the “Big Blue Canoe.” That is how they refer to any of the large boats that transport them from island to island.

Our "Big Blue Canoe"

Our “Big Blue Canoe”

Leslie is a wonderful speaker and is obviously quite proud of his heritage. He explains many of the traditions and customs.  There are 3 tribes who live on this island.  Years and years ago they did not necessarily co-exist peacefully, but they do now.  Salmon fishing is the big draw.  In the 30’s and 40’s there were at least 3 major fish canneries on this island that have since been abandoned.  Canning salmon is no longer a viable choice because the market now prefers fresh or frozen product instead of canned.  Leslie says the elders remark how they remember there used to be so many salmon in the bay that you could walk across the water on their backs.
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We walk further to a Totem Pole park.  The poles are 3rd generation re-creations of original mortuary poles and they are beautiful.  We are taken to the Tribal House of the Raven/Mink clan and can see the 2nd generation poles that were laid to rest.

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Our tour of the village takes a few hours.  Some of us (me included) are beginning to nod off… Time to get back to the boat for lunch. Today we have a delicious crab salad served on a bed of arugula.  Feeling full and satisfied, I sneak off for what I think is going to be a “little” nap.  Rich comes in to join me.  He says that he needs to take a nap to “rest up for Happy Hour…” Mine turns out to be a 2 hour snooze fest.  I think everything has finally caught up with me.  I needed it.

When I finally emerged and came back downstairs to the lounge, I find Rich and Gordon deep into a puzzle.
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They later claim that they solved several of the world’s problems, but they can’t remember the answers (or the questions).

Everyone is hanging out just relaxing, reading and chatting.  Happy Hour is slowly gaining momentum and the evening snack of chicken wings is set out.

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Bubbles for me

Bubbles for me

Dinner choices for tonight are NY strip steak or Grilled Mahi.  Both of us couples decided to split and have Surf -n- Turf.  Great decision.

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Mahi-mahi and brussels

Mahi-mahi and brussels

We had wonderful dinner companions again tonight: Gordon/Margot (from Phoenix) and Mary whom we met in Ketchikan.  Conversation was varied and lively!  At dessert time we were offered chocolate lava cake and then Janet/Eric’s anniversary chocolate covered strawberries were brought to our table and shared with all.
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Hot tub time.  Just as soon as I step in there comes an announcement from the bridge: ORCAS!!!  We all go crazy scrambling for our binoculars.  The orcas stay with us for a long while and put on quite a show.  The crew says this is an unusual occurrence and one of them is even so moved that she is in tears.  How lucky are we?

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Day 3 (53) 05.23.14

You can see the distinctive flash of white against their beautiful black bodies

You can see the distinctive flash of white against their beautiful black bodies

Day 3 (54) 05.23.14

Rich was ready for the hot tub - he is in bare fee and shorts!

Rich was ready for the hot tub – he is in bare feet and shorts!

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It is too bad we are not having any fun..

It is too bad we are not having any fun..

No fun at all...

No fun at all…

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Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

 

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