08 Aug 2006 Tuesday

We’re packing up the truck and taking one last shower before leaving.  Jeannie has been a wonderful hostess and her cats LoTec and Java have provided ample entertainment.  We’re catching a ferry out of Bellingham to Alaska up the inside passage this afternoon.   Alaska, HERE WE COME!

We drove from Seattle to Bellingham, WA.  We will be traveling the AlaskaMarine Highway, a state ru ferry system.  We had to be there early, 3pmfor the ferry, even though we don’t leave port until 6pm.  While waiting inour truck in line, they had security dogs sniffing all the vehicles for explosivesand drugs.  They board more passengers than they have cabins, so it’scommon for passengers to camp out in tents on deck and sleeping out in deckchairs or on various sofas inside.  We got on board and set up a tent ondeck, prepared to spend our nights in the drizzling rain.  We’ll becelebrating our anniversary while on board, so we put our names on a waitinglist for a cabin, in case of any cancellations.  We’re on board the M/V(motor vessel) Malaspina(Mal-a-speen-a)

We waited with our fingers crossed until 15 minutes after we left port. We checked back with the purser and we’re in luck!  A cabin becameavailable, the last one, the least expensive (our favorite)… but at leastwe’ll have some privacy!   We got our cabin and went to take down ourtent and put all our stuff in the cabin.  The cabin is tiny, 2 berths(really built-in bunk beds), inside (no windows), but we have our own bathroomand shower.  Everything we need and it’s bigger than the truck!

We wandered around the the ship and got turned around several times. They had a car deck call and we took our tent and sleeping bags down to thetruck.  For our safety and for security, we can only go down to the cardeck at port or during a 15 minute "car deck call".  Many peoplehave animals in their cars and this is the only time they can check in on theirpets.  We turned in a bit early, Alaska is one hour beyond Pacific time.

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