Day 10. Sunday 28 August.
The Alaska Railroad is a marvelous thing but trains rolling past the motel all night and day, sounding their horns, makes for some doubt. A very early start, at 5.15 AM, to catch the scenic train to Seward. All tourers arrived in the lobby at the appointed time – except the tour leaders, just a tad late. Then a mad scramble as half the group ran back to rooms to retrieve passports!
The Alaska Railroad runs from Seward in the south through to Fairbanks (500miles). We travelled the Anchorage Seward leg (120miles) through spectacular views of mountains, glaciers, gorges, lakes.
Then onto a cruising catamaran to explore beautiful Kenai National Park: a deepwater glacial fjord, bursting with marine life. Of course much of it has already migrated south to warmer waters. August marks the end of summer, but this year it has rained for the past 4 weeks and we have brought the sun with us! A magic day of cruising – we were privileged to sight land and water wildlife: white swans, ducks, moose, eagle, Canadian geese, puffins, seals, sea lions, sea otters, gulls, a cormorant, a goat, hump back whales, and the icing on the cake coming back near Anchorage were the pods of beluga whales in the quiet mirror-like waters of Turnagain Passage (but no photos, as iPad and iPhone aren’t quite up to wildlife photography).
And what is the most important ingredient in the Seward Sunset cocktail?
After a bit more than a week, the members of the group are feeling fairly comfortable with each other. There is some good – natured ribbing of some chatterers, some awful dad jokes and sometimes just the sort of primary school joking you’d expect! There are, fortunately, no apparent square pegs: but early days!