The 2010 Night Rustic Reunion – Cruise to
Don ‘Over’ Mercer, Rustic 41
Seven Night Rustics and their wives joined together in
Jeff and Michele Boston drove across the state from
The spread of food, coupled with excellent company, was
5-star by my standards and included smoked salmon that Goose had caught and
prepared himself. Accompanied by
We departed the party at just past 10 PM and headed
The next morning, folks headed out on their own prior to boarding the ship between 11 AM and 2 PM for a 4 PM departure. I ran into Mike and Lynn Davenport while browsing in the Pike Place Market. More than a few of us got to see the vendors throw the fish that were being bought that morning, a spectacle for which the Market is known. Some made it to the original Starbucks, while others went out for breakfast.
Then it was time to head for the ship. Zeke assisted a number of couples by using the van to haul luggage and take passengers to the cruise terminal.
Boarding the ship was a seamless exercise with cabins ready for occupancy by 1 PM. While some congregated in the open air on Decks 8 and 9, we cast off just a few minutes past 4 PM.
A number of us, including Jim and June Hetherington and Merle and Margaret Shields, joined others for the first round of drinks. Jack and Judy Strickland, Dave and Linda Hull, and Dave and Sue Dekoker were also there and raised glasses with the rest of us. In addition to Jim and June, and Merle and Margaret, John and Vicky Litton flew in on Friday to board ship.
It’s difficult to say that anything is routine about a
By Saturday morning, we were out in the Pacific for a
day at sea en route to
By the next morning, we had entered the Gastineau
Channel on our way to dock in
The array of excursions at each of our planned stops was substantial. In addition to a number of wildlife encounters with bears, eagles, seals, sea lions, otters, and more, there were opportunities to take helicopter rides to the glaciers, fly in floatplanes, fish, and take a number of sightseeing tours of the city and towns, along with adjacent surroundings.
Later that afternoon, my crew took the
Then it was back to the ship for an 8:30 PM castoff. Some in our group got together from time to time or ran into each other at one of the several bars, restaurants, pools, fitness center, shops on board, and the casino.
The next day continued with our arriving at the Hubbard Glacier around noon after having taken aboard a National Park Service Ranger, together with a Native American from the region. A number of most informative details surrounding the glacier, as well as native tales, were delivered over the public address system on board. Pea soup was served on the open decks and in the Crow’s Nest, as all aboard took in the spectacular scenery.
As we approached the glacier, muffled sounds could be heard intermittently, as calving took place, with large pieces of dark blue glacial ice breaking off. Some of the rather large chunks of ice fell from close to three hundred feet up on the glacier’s lip, and they created sizable splashes once hitting the water.
I had been prepared to view the exceptional scenery, but I figured that watching ice move might fall into a similar category as watching paint dry or grass grow. I could not have been more wrong, as the calving was just another example of God’s majesty. The setting could not have been more inspiring, as we viewed large chunks of ice plunge seaward, coupled with distant roars in the background.
the late afternoon, the ms Zaandam put the Hubbard Glacier at its stern, as
we turned west to depart first
I was out on deck by 6 AM the next morning to see a 200 to 300 foot overcast cloud layer extend all the way to the end of Sitka Sound, as we approached the town. The mountaintops were completely shrouded in cloud cover. However, as we approached the spot at which we were to anchor, the sun began to poke through small openings, and patches of blue sky could be seen.
and Linda Hull were off to kayak and hopefully see some of
a delicious breakfast on board, four in my party headed into town after we
got tickets to take the ship’s tender to the docks. While we walked around
a delicious lunch in town, we boarded a small fishing boat and headed out
eight miles into the Sound to try to snag some salmon. By noon, the clouds had moved off for the
most part; and clear skies were the order of the day. All that was left were some small white
puffies and a bloom of cloud that hugged the
Fortunately, our captain got us on some salmon. Each of us caught one with the total being two pinks and two silvers. Earlier this week, we began to eat some of the catch that I had shipped. The fish are outstanding.
After taking the tender back to our ship, most all in our Night Rustic group headed to dinner. Another evening passed with a delicious meal followed by a number of various activities: the casino; walking on the open decks; visiting one of several bars for a nightcap; taking in the nightly show; or attending a movie presentation.
Wednesday, we awoke in
That night, we all gathered in The Atrium to have Mo, the manager of the ship’s photo shop, take a few pictures of the eight men as a group, and then all us with our wives. The photos turned out exceptionally well.
it was off to dinner for six couples and another delicious meal, as two
couples had already eaten. As we
Thursday, our last full day aboard ship, we sailed toward
only problem which arose turned out to be that a couple of us forgot to turn
our watches back an hour. What fun it
is showing up for a 9 AM breakfast at 9:35.
However, the wait staff made allowances for the tardy one. John Litton’s discussion was most
interesting, as he detailed each of the three engine failures he experienced
in combat, one of which took him to a landing at
we docked in
shops remained open until 9 PM, which allowed for some last minute
shopping. All had to be back on board
by 11:30 PM for our final leg that night to
With the need to have all our bags, which we were not hand carrying off the ship the next morning, outside our cabins by 1 AM, most of us returned to our cabins for that last minute closing of suitcases and garment bags. For some of us, that time back aboard ship also included a final trip to one of the ship’s numerous bars.
and Linda Hull took the unusual approach of shipping some bags and purchases
home. They arrived outside
next morning, we docked in
in all, the 2010 Night Rustic Reunion was a grand time. Drake and Suzie Greene set the
enthusiastic tone for our entire week together with their Bon Voyage Party.
General Cruise Details