Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Day 18- Canada/Alaska: The sailing day.

Here’s what was outside the balcony when I pulled back the blinds this morning.

Today was another sailing day, which turned into an amazing morning of beauty as we sailed towards a glacier.

Dawes Glacier, says Megan. She’s sitting beside me as I type.

Oh! We were having breakfast and Suze, the woman we met yesterday, came and sat beside us. She has a suite on the same floor as us – with a separate bedroom and dining room – and we must have found favour with her. We’re invited to a gathering at the Grill on the 10th floor on the next sailing day.

She’s very well-travelled, which I like. She seems like a woman who’s used to getting her own way, which would be a problem if she was going to be hanging around long-term, but for a cruise… it’s fine. She says herself that she’s very impatient, and she appears to ensure that she has things arranged to her own satisfaction.

It’s interesting to see her in action.

I said to her, “My theory is that the people who go on lots of cruises eat like birds. It’s the rest of us who go crazy when we have a buffet in front of us.”

She said, “Oh no, I eat like a pig!”

A pig who had just ordered an egg-white omelette for breakfast. Who throws out the tasty part of the egg unless they’re watching their figure?

Megan disappeared after breakfast and I stayed in the room to catch up on the blog posts. Our cabin is right at the front on the ninth floor, so I kept my cabin door open to listen for any announcements and I photo-dumped and typed, leaping up every second moment to stare at what was going past my balcony.

This was the first ‘iceberg.’

I heard the waterfall. Other than this, all I could hear was the low sound of the ship’s motor, and the sound of the waves.

It was so serene.

I heard later from Megan that everyone was on the major viewing rooms at the back of the ship. She says it was so quiet. People would take turns shuffling forward to take photos, then shuffle back to let others have a go. They were quiet so they could hear any announcements from the Bridge.

Fortunate Frogdancer had the glacier coming up on her side of the ship.

I could see more pieces of ice in the water, the closer we got to the glacier.


Just as they said that there are seals lying on icebergs – on the other side of the ship. Dammit!

Ok then. I’ll just make the best of what I have.

I glanced back at where we’d been. Look at these colours!

Is this better than Antarctica?

No. No way.

Antarctica is pristine. In my mind, she’s brilliant white and clear blue skies. I don’t think any place will surpass what I saw there.

But Alaska is like Antarctica unclothed. Here – you see what is underneath the ice. There’s grandeur here too.

Then… the captain announced that he was doing a 360.

I crossed my fingers. Maybe I’d be able to see the seals.

How wonderful is this? They were much closer with the naked eye.

I tried to enlarge and crop and photo for you, but it looked awful. Just believe me when I say that I was so happy to see them, the three of them nestled together on their ice. They allowed the ship to come so close to them, which surprised me.

It was also a testament to the skill of the captain, who was able to do a donut without disturbing them.

I was so close to the Bridge that I could see and hear people laughing and talking. If they’re happy; then I’m happy!

When I turned back towards the front, the glacier was right there. Look at how thick and blue it is at the end – that ice is OLD.

I’m sitting here at 6PM writing this. I said to Megan, “This is going to be a very photo-heavy post.”

She replied, “Well, fair enough. It’s been a very photo-heavy day.”

I was so happy to see bits of the blue ice that I fell in love with two years ago.

The grooves in the rocks are incredible.

Rounded mountains are those which were small enough to be under the ice in the last ice age. The jagged peaks were the ones that were above.

You can see that this has been taken from my balcony.

Look at how these cliffs rise up straight from the sea. It’s the end of May, yet there’s still snow.

I loved the jagged line of the trees against the snow.

A close-up.

Megan messaged me and said she was going to lunch. I looked at the time – it was 1:30!

Here I am, sampling honeydew melon covered with chocolate. It was delicious.

Then I raced outside to show you the views I was seeing through the window as I was eating.

Rounded mountains.

And a pretty little piece of ice floating underneath my balcony when I came back.

In the afternoon we went to a short lecture by a elderly woman who went to live in an isolated Inuit settlement as a teacher. She started by saying, “These are my stories -all of them are true.”

The things she said proved that I could never happily live there. They work on silence – “Only children talk – adults stay silent.” The only time people speak freely is in the steam room.

“Decisions are only made when you are naked.” This is a reference to the steam room, where every night, people gather, get naked and in the warmth of the steam room, talk about whatever is on their minds.

This, according to her, is the only way you can discipline students when they’re behaving badly.

You can’t pull them up in public. That’s inappropriate. What you CAN say is, “Where is your mother steaming tonight? Do you want your behaviour to be the subject of a chat tonight?”

It was an interesting talk, but it’s far too long for me to talk about here. She’s clearly bonded to this settlement. She kept saying, “we don’t do this” and “we don’t do that,” which made me warm to her. I don’t know if she still lives there, but it is obviously a part of her life that she loves.

In other news – I’ve decided to utilise our butler, Ruby, to make my mornings easier by waking us with an Americano (me) and a latte (Megan) at 7:30 every morning from now on. Waiting for a coffee until almost 9 AM has been making me crazy.

I think Megan appreciates that our mornings will be less twitchy.

Dad joke of the day:

Only the Aussies will get this one!


  1. FIRE for One

    What an incredible landscape! The colour of that water is gorgeous.

    Handy hint if you’re not being given much veg at dinner – you should be able to ask for a side plate of steamed veges at no cost. I was quite annoyed with myself for taking half my cruise to remember that a colleague had told me this. My sister and I were so desperate for veg we were salad-loading at the lunch buffet.

    • FrogdancerJones

      They’re including the veg on board – and everything is ‘free’ so we don’t have to wory about cost. 🙂

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