They say love grows best in little places...and that is certainly put to the test in a tiny cabin aboard a ferry for a 6 day stretch with only a total of about 5 port calls. Hands down, the one to suffer the most are the fur-babies who have to spend that time below deck with a max of about 4 pet calls per day. During those calls, you suddenly ask them to break all the "house rules" and now go to the bathroom inside, while being distracted by all the other dogs, skirting tie-downs, and squeezing between cars. All of this is to happen in 15 minutes max. What's amusing is how desperate people get to have their pets "go", and the bragging rights of the first "master" to get thier dog to go. (Not to brag, but we are the proud owners of the "early goers" trophy). Ha!
It's a dog's life:
All of the sudden the others are desperately asking where the dog went and if we have any advice. Luckily our fur baby caught on rather quickly, and followed our commands well, so we where able to love on him in the extra time we had. His only real issue being that he was being treated like a dog and not a human. ;)
Being prepared is key:
On our first Alaska gulf crossing, we where not quite prepared and we spent a ridiculous amount of money in the galley on board. While the food is adequate, it's nothing to write home about and certainly not worth the price (although the sticker shock has greatly deminished after living on Kodiak for 3 years). This trip, we decided to be smarter and more prepared and so far, it has really paid off.
We brought aboard a box and cooler of food. We packed the box with mostly non-perishables like cereal, cup of noodle, hamburger helper cups, oatmeal, popcorn, cereal bars, shelf-stable milk, etc. The cooler sported some fresh deli meat, cheeses, mayo, and juice...leaving room for ginger-ales and waters. We also made a grocery run right before boarding and picked up bread, tortilla shells and bananas. While all of that was a necessity, our true "ace" was our road-kit.
No...not a normal road kit, this one consisted of our mini-Keurig, coffee, cider, & sweetener. The mini-Keurig is perfect for making coffee and oatmeal or cups of noodles. So far, this preparedness has helped us eat breakfast and lunch in the room and only partaking of galley food for dinner at our choice.
The port calls are little snippets of sanity interspersed throughout the trip. This is when you are generally able to get off the boat and walk your pet (or yourself). Since our ferry was late, many of the port calls where cut much shorter than originally planned, but at least it's nice to see the different places. Our 1st stop was Chenega Bay, followed by Whittier in the wee hours of the morning. CH Bay sported a beautiful church and other beautiful sights. In Whittier, only man & dog disembarked for a potty break, but I was able to snap some pics from the boat.
(Port and car deck call board)^
After Whittier, we slept through Yakutat since it was also in the wee hours and we remembered it being a very tiny port where everything was likely to be closed. We then sailed on for Juneau as the day dawned beautifully....