Back in Alaska

After a prolonged absence, I return to the blog.  Since last posting, (it seems like an age ago), I have been keeping busy; time in Europe, training and U.K. with family and a of course, some time in Florida.  It has been quite disjointed, flitting hither and thither……

My ‘training’ was at our Training Centre outside Amsterdam, a town called Almere.  I’ve mentioned it before on these pages; on this occasion I was doing a course on ‘Ship Handling’.  I was dubious about this before going there; after all, I have been handling ships since 1982.  As is transpired, after many years of handling Azipod-drive ships, I returned to ‘conventional’ with rudders, twin-screw and thrusters.  In my case, my ‘sim’ was a Costa Cruise line vessel, 135,000 tonnes.  During the week, I and the officers with me were put through numerous scenarios.  I had to confess that I enjoyed it immensely.  Simulators have come a long way since I first experienced one.  One is totally absorbed into the complexities within minutes of walking into one, they are so realistic.  While another team conducted their exercise, I took the opportunity to whip out the iPhone, so, for your delectation, some visuals of the sim.  The first is taken in the ‘control’ room; the room in which the adjudicators/instructors sit and the 2nd is in the sim itself.  The scene is from Port Everglades, (Fort Lauderdale), complete with a Delta airline aircraft on final approach, they think of everything!


Having come away from my course it was back to U.K. and some time with family.  Returning to Cambridge, (a beautiful city) and visits to Sam and Liz and (of course), the grandchildren.  They are growing so fast.  It was a delight to have to do a ‘shopping’ memory game with Emily every morning 🙂 .

Cambridge, punting on the river Cam

St.Ives near Cambridge. Birthplace of my Mum. This bridge has been in existence, (in various forms), since the 1100’s. The building in the centre is the old ‘Toll gate’, one had to pay to get across!

Olly, very pleased, having completed building his ship model

Violet and Lois, her little sister

Olly and Emily having some ‘Papa’ time with Anthony.

I write now, on a (our first) dull and gloomy morning.  We are docked at ‘Icy Strait Point’, (presumably so named because it looks good in cruise brochures).  I have known it as Hoonah for many years and previously one had to drift off the village and tender guests ashore.  The new dock makes a world of difference and instead of being on or near the Bridge all day, I now have luxury of sitting in 🙄 my office and writing.  We are on a 14-day itinerary this year; out of Seattle on a Monday, we make our way north and call at Ketchikan, then scenic cruise Tracy, (or Endicott) Arm before going to Juneau, Icy Strait Point, thence across the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage, Homer and Kodiak before crossing back to Hubbard Glacier, Sitka and Victoria B.C. and Seattle.  It’s a superb itinerary, far less intensive than the 7-day cruises. 

I must be getting old; despite writing this blog for months I always return after a period off the ship and find that I have to remember how I did this and that on these pages, crunching photos and videos for example. Never mind, it all came back and I post a time-lapse of our transit of Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier; (the actual transit to the glacier took 3 hours, you see it in approximately 40 seconds  🙄 

Here is arrival Juneau, a similar ‘speedy’ docking 🙂  It’s nice to back!


26 thoughts on “Back in Alaska”

  1. Dear Captain,
    The grandkids are growing just like time nothing stopping them. The photo of Violet is a charmer. Randy & I have Alaska on our list for a trip and so I will watch along closely. The simulator is fascinating. Thanks for taking the time to write and post this journey.
    Bon voyage!

  2. My mother and I will be joining your crew on the 31st. We are so looking forward to seeing Alaska, the Amsterdam, Christel and Henk again so soon!! Thanks for sharing your updates

  3. David and Anne Ulrich Victoria,BC

    Captain Jonathan,
    Great to have your informative blog back.
    We will be joining you Aug 28th for the 14 day Alaska.
    We were aboard Oosterdam in Nov 2003 cruising the Mediterranean and sailing to Fort Lauderdale. You rejoined her in Lisbon for Oosterdam’s first Atlantic crossing. We shall never forget the crew who were so eagerly enthusiastic for your return from a vacation. ‘Happy Crew, Happy Ship, Happy Passengers’.


  4. Just found this through a post on our roll call. We will be sailing with you on the next cruise, July 31, my birthday. Looking forward to this amazing trip.

  5. Captain Jonathan,
    Thanks so much for the update of you and the family.
    Glad you are enjoying Alaska and so look forward to
    sailing with you again on the 2018 World Cruise in January.

  6. Hello there Captain. Once again we are enjoying your blog, I guess this is the next best thing to having you home. ☺️

  7. Glad to have your blog on again as my computer information has been quite boring since your last blogs of the World Cruise. Now I will have something to wake up for every morning–to see if you sent a new blog. Looking forward to seeing you and Karen on the World Cruise 18 in Jan.

  8. So glad to be cruising with you again. Enjoy the glimpses into your private life especially seeing your grandchildren again. Alaska is on our cruise list, the 14 day adventure appeals to us.

  9. Welcome back Captain. I enjoy traveling with you virtually and look forward to many more travels. I hope someday to meet you on an Amsterdam WC or maybe just an Alaskan cruise.

  10. So good to be able to read your blogs again and see your beautiful grandchildren. Olly did a fantastic job on grandpa’s ship. I did the 14 day Alaska cruise in 2012 and definitely enjoyed it. Have a great trip.

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