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Chasing Kelp

On July 3, 2010 I traded in my pair of Mossimo for Target Espadrille wedges for a pair of Ahnu water/hiking shoes to embark on a nine day small ship cruise via Fantasy Cruises with my boyfriend Mike throughout south east Alaska.  Anyone who knows me would think I had gone a bit crazy, trading in the hot summer days of Rhode Island to visit one of the coldest places in the United States but I was ready and determined for new experiences.

After checking the weather for the month of June and discovering that maybe it wasn’t going to be that cold, 56degrees with a chance of rain didn’t sound that bad. Upon arrival to Sitka, Alaska, I discovered that 56degrees and raining on the coast with wind gusts, felt more like 40degrees and freezing! After realizing this and discovering that perhaps I did not packed as well I thought, I managed to find a store in Sitka comparable to REI with REI prices as well. Finding a pair of North Face all weather pants and a pair of socks to boot, I was ready for this extraordinary journey to begin.

Each day of this cruise was even more amazing then the previous.  I spent at least 4 full days hiking, exploring small Alaskan towns, kayaking, and sightseeing.  The other days were filled with spending time with the people on board this small cruise ship, which including the crew was around 30people. With a crew of 30 you get to know each other very fast, which is great when everyone surrounding you quickly becomes like family.  When asked what my favorite part of this Alaskan cruise was, I found it very hard to answer. The wildlife alone was unbelievable; watching 10 Orca’s swim and breach around the ship for over 5minutes is up on my favorites as well as watching a Brown Bear walk the shore and eat from 100ft away.  I would be hard pressed to pick just one of those.

I’ve done my fair share of traveling over the past two years but I had yet to embark on something quite as amazing as Alaska.  I started out my nine day journey chasing kelp in the Pacific Ocean looking for what I thought were Humpback Whales, to discovering new attitudes, abilities, and friends that will last me a lifetime.

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Written by Lindsay Carreiro

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