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An Alaskan Adventure
By Elly Pickette,
Passenger on The Seabird
6/28-First Day
Right now I am on the bow of the Seabird, curled up in the most
up-front seat I can find. The crew is preparing to set off, and so
am I. I can feel that this trip will be amazing, as well as very rainy.
Sitka(and most of Alaska) are part of the Tongas National Forest,
the northern-most temperate rainforest in the world. Today we
went to the Sitka National Historical Park-what a mouthful! It
was really cool, with all of the totem poles. Plus, I got to touch a
sea otter pelt, something I’ve wanted to do since I learned how
soft they are. Also today we got to go to the raptor center, which
was amazing. A rescued bald eagle was used for the presentation,
and it was not scared of humans at all. Finally today we went to
downtown Sitka, and we just kind of looked around-there was a
cool Russian church. Then we went to the boat, had an emergency
drill, and had dinner.
-Elly Pickette
Wanna know what’s really cool? I’ll tell ya. Waking up
in a sea of golden sunlight, stepping outside and
remembering you moved miles overnight, and are still
moving. Pure beauty. This morning I spent nearly an
hour watching whales, but then had to go breakfast.
Right now I am watching baby whales.
-Elly Pickette
6/29-Later that day
I just got back from a hike and kayaking. I saw so many cool
things including a beaver dome and a waterfall with “salmon
steps”, which are steps salmon can jump up. I also went to the
bridge, which is where the captain and first, third, and second
mates drive the boat from. I learned all about the navigation
equipment there. I saw some whales, and they were fluking, and
waving their pectoral fins in the air, and you could see the
patterns on them clearly. While I am on the subject of aquatic
wildlife, you will not believe what I saw- a sea lion! It was so
cool, and so are the jelly fish I see near the boat. Its awesome
-Elly Pickette
We just got back from a sick Zodiac ride. I saw sea lions, and
government officials, all in there natural environment. I‘m not
kidding. The government officials were from fish and game, and
were going to save a sea lion caught in a net, I think. During the
ride, sea lions came right up to us, and put on a show. They were
hilarious! We were all soaked because it was pouring rain, but it
was awesome anyway. Also today we went to George Island, and
I took a race hike up to a World War 2 cannon, then climbed on
some rocks, and saw an oyster catchers’ nest. Then I went on
another Zodiac ride, and saw a rock in the shape of an arch.
-Elly Pickette
Just finished watching killer whales. I’ve gotten so many
pictures, and am so glad I had to go to the bathroom. You read
that right. I left the movie I was watching with dinner because I
really had to go to the bathroom, and came to a tiny group of
people watching killer whales. I got to watch for nearly 45
minutes before other people came-it was awesome! I got shots
of the whales jumping in the air. I also saw sea lions, and it
looked like the killer whales were after them……or maybe
there was just a good fish supply there. Who knows?
-Elly Pickette
7/1-Early That Morning
Last night rocked! See, after my last entry, I got ready for bed.
But then an announcement came on, saying that humpback
whales and killer whales were outside. So, I sprinted outside. I
watched for a while, but knew I had to go back to bed. But then,
another announcement came, that said humpback whales were
bubble net feeding, and that killer whales were breaching. I
could not miss that, obviously, so once again, I ran outside.
Sadly it was too dark for pictures, but oh well. Two rangers and
a cultural speaker came.
-Elly Pickette
Note: The picture on this is not from this actual day- it is,
however, a humpback whale waving its pectoral fins above
7/1-Afternoon note
I haven’t been off the boat today. I did, however, get
an awesome picture of a mountain goat and a bald
eagle in its nest. I have also talked to the rangers, and
seen two new types of puffins.
-Elly Pickette
Oh my gosh, I just saw a massive brown bear. It was sick.
Literally. It was old and starving. Then we saw the
Marguerite Glacier, and the Great Pacific Glacier. It was so
covered in dirt and grit that you could barely see the ice
under it. It was so cool because the Marguerite Glacier
started calving, which means the ice started falling off.
Another big glacier is right near by, although I forget the
name of it. Today I also started trying to identify the killer
whales. I am 90% sure that the whales were mammal
eating, or transitent.
-Elly Pickette
7/1-Late That Night
Just walked around Bartlett cove. I got a cool t-shirt
with a killer whale at a lodge. I learned about a new
plant called goats beard, and saw a bunch of
taxidermy animals at a small museum. I also saw this
cool whale skeleton!
-Elly Pickette
Today I took a hike to Lake Eva and kayaked. One of the guys, Mark,
picked up this massive crab! So many incredible photo ops-I feel like
I’m living in a postcard. Today I also saw this awesome guy talk about
humpback whales. What a great way to live-only I would rather learn
about killer whales. He taught me so much! I also mastered the cork
trick Rab taught me. This trip is turning out so differently then I
thought it would. I literally see the world differently now. I see the
world in photographs. I now want a camera and a chance to help id
killer whales. I still want to be an Olympic athlete, but after that, who
knows. Maybe I’ll be a photographer on the Seabird. How awesome
would that be? Oh yeah, I also saw 3 bear cubs and there mother. The
mother was trying to chase them away from there father so the dad
could not attack them! Sadly, I did not get any pictures, but it was still
-Elly Pickette
Today we went to Ideal Cove and Petersburg. In both
places, I took a photo walk. If I may be so bold, I gotta
say- I’m getting pretty good at this whole photo thing.
I also walked to a muskeg in Petersburg. A muskeg is
a bog. On the photo walk in Ideal Cove, I took an
awesome picture of a bee. My only regret is that I
couldn’t go to downtown Petersburg- I heard there
was a great bookstore!
-Elly Pickette
7/4-Fourth of July
Today rocked! I did a polar plunge, went on two Zodiac rides,
and was in a parade done by kids as a surprise for families! The
first Zodiac ride was right near the South Sawyer Glacier, and
there was this cool beachy area right next to this powerful
waterfall because of so much eroding from the waves of the
waterfall. The polar plunge was also near the south sawyer
glacier, and I did a sailor dive in. The second Zodiac ride was also
near the South Sawyer Glacier, and the captain drove the Zodiac
really fast! The parade was on the boat, and it was really funny.
Oh, yeah, Justin did a live dive, so we could hear him from
-Elly Pickette
7/5-Last Day
Today was the last day on the boat. We had breakfast, said
goodbye to everybody, then left. Once we got to Juneau, we
disembarked, and went on a tour to the Mendanhall Glacier. At
the visitor center, there was this 200 year old piece of ice. After
that, we walked around the area with all the stores.
Unfortunately, the airline put our luggage on the wrong plane, so
it won’t come until midnight. Oh well. This trip has totally
changed my perspective. Now the world is a picture through a
camera lens. Because that is how I enjoy the big moments, and the
small ones. By making them last forever.
-Elly Pickette
Photo Gallery!
From top to bottom: This is a
perfect example of white
thunder. White thunder is
what the T’linget people
called it when ice calved. This
photo was at the Marguerite
This a picture of Jawdrop
Point, at the John Hopkins
inlet. It is in Glacier Bay Park,
named because of the
breathtaking view. It is
literally a river of ice.
Photo Gallery
From top to bottom: this picture
was taken from the back of the
Seabird. The light that day was
perfect, as it was a beautiful
night. For me, it represents the
fact that Alaska is far away
from the lower 48, but still
proudly bears our flag, as well
as celebrate there vast cultures.
This picture is of a peregrine
falcon, flying over a muskeg
near Petersburg. It is literally
only accessible by plane or boat,
and since there is no landing
strip in the forest, only really by
boat. So being able to go to this
almost perfectly secluded place
was amazing.
Photo Gallery
From top to bottom: Buoys at
a dock area in Petersburg. I
took this picture while taking
a photo walk in Petersburg.
All the colors really
compliment each other, and it
is fun to look at.
A little reflection work in
Petersburg! I love reflections
of buildings. These buildings
are especially cool because
you can see the stilts that they
stand on
Photo Gallery
From top to bottom: a red
paintbrush. It looks similar to
an Indian paint brush, but to a
botanists, it is very different.
From what, you may ask. The
pistols are different.
This is a timed photo where
you have to keep the camera
still for up to a second, which is
way harder then it sounds. To
do this, I had to change a bunch
of settings on my camera. Then
I had to hold it on a branch in
view of the river.
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