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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
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4.42%
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1.77%
total votes: 113
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. " -- Marcel Proust

133--Alaska: The Tip of the Ice-Berg
@ Where`s Cherie?     Jun 25 2003 - 06:21 PST
cherie writes: How many people can say they spent their 32nd birthday on an ice-berg? Besides me.

An ice-berg is simply the most awesome form that water can take. Only the passing of millenniums can create the magical shimmer of glacial ice.

It was my birthday, June 20, 2003 and six of us (Rick, Isabelle, Dave, Sue, Greg and I) were on a sailing cruise through Southeast Alaska on S/V Bob (50 ft Catalina.)

The glacial mist was eerie as it curled around the surrounding chocolate mountains of Le Conte Bay. Then we heard the cracking sound of pure destruction. The crash of the calving glacier was almost deafening. Active glaciers sometimes move more than a hundred feet per day. As the glacier crawled into the sea, fingers of ice released themselves and collapsed into the water below. The violent break-up of ice echoed off the ice-bergs and created a wild cacophony of sound. To the trained ear, the glacier was singing me Happy Birthday.

Rick wanted to make my day special, so he granted my birthday wish. I wanted to “walk on water.” But first, Rick (the Captain) warned me of the danger of hiking on an ice-berg. Water absorbs heat twenty-five times faster than air. Thus, the submerged portion of the ice-berg melts faster than the ice exposed to the air. This sets the berg off-balance and soon the cold giant becomes an icy-acrobat. The sudden urge for an ice-berg to turn, makes them extremely hazardous to walk on.

Danger is my middle name, though my mom still reminds me that it is Lynn. Fully aware of the risks, Greg offered to stand at attention with a fish hook to gaff me should I fall in the freezing water. Rick pulled up next to a flat ice-berg and I jumped on.

I was on my own frozen island! Never before had anyone stepped on this place (which I named “CherieLand”). I would be the first and only person to ever set foot on this berg. Sadly, like Frosty, in a few days it would melt. I strolled around my island in awe. It took many seconds to get from one end to the other.

“Can you sail off and come and get me in an hour?” I asked Rick, needing some additional time to bond with my berg.

“No,” Rick said. Rick likes to consider things for a full nanosecond before he delivers his verdict. “Get back on the boat now.” Then Rick opened the companionway and a delicious scent from the galley pulled me back towards the sailboat. Since I gobbled up his candy stash in a few short days, Rick knew I could easily be seduced by sweets. Greg and Rick grabbed a hold of my arms and hoisted me aboard. I waved goodbye to my little island.

Watching the jagged hunks of ice float by was as peaceful as finding animal shapes in the clouds. The intriguing designs the ice formed let our imaginations wander. Soon we all saw ice sculptures shaped as bunnies, swans and flamingoes drifting by. And that was before we even popped the champagne!

“Someone needs to put me in my place.” I announced. “And my place is in the kitchen with that chocolate cake!”

I could smell my birthday dessert luring me into the galley. It wanted me as much as I wanted it. But you can’t have birthday cake without ice-cream! So Rick brought up a wooden-bucket, fished a lump of ice out of the sea, and proceeded to make glacier ice-cream. Always concerned about hygiene, I made sure he didn’t use the ice I just walked all over.

Isabelle brought a bottle of champagne (since she’s French) to celebrate the occasion.
After I savored a delicious sip (gulp?) of the bubbly beverage, Isabelle was ready to fill up my glass again. “It’s low-tide in your glass,” Isabelle said as she returned my beverage to its proper high-tide status.

We all sat on deck, watching the sea lick away at the glacier, melting the ice trapped thousands of years before. I thought, as dusk spread its pastel light across the icy bay, that this wasn’t a bad way to spend a birthday. But that day was just the tip of the ice-berg! To find out more info about the 9-day sailing cruise Greg and I took in Alaska log onto www.soundsailing.com

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Greg and Cherie star in Titanic II, filmed in Alaska on S/V Bob.

Greg and Cherie star in Titanic II, filmed in Alaska on S/V Bob.

Birds hitch-hike on a passing ice-berg.

Birds hitch-hike on a passing ice-berg.

Bob (50 ft Catalina) is at home in the cool Alaskan waters.  *Photo by Rick.

Bob (50 ft Catalina) is at home in the cool Alaskan waters. *Photo by Rick.

An ice-berg makes a splash as it capsizes itself.

An ice-berg makes a splash as it capsizes itself.

Cherie-on-ice.  It's not just a drink anymore!

Cherie-on-ice. It's not just a drink anymore!

Cherie on her own ice-island.  *Photo by Dave.

Cherie on her own ice-island. *Photo by Dave.

Greg eagerly helps Cherie back aboard Bob.  *Photo by Dave.

Greg eagerly helps Cherie back aboard Bob. *Photo by Dave.

As we near the ice, the water turns a spectacular glacial-green.

As we near the ice, the water turns a spectacular glacial-green.

Greg, Cherie, Isabelle, Sue and Dave near the ice-berg.

Greg, Cherie, Isabelle, Sue and Dave near the ice-berg.

Heading towards the ice-bergs.

Heading towards the ice-bergs.

Bob silently navigates through the bergs.  *Photo by Rick.

Bob silently navigates through the bergs. *Photo by Rick.

Greg, Dave, Sue, Isabelle and Rick on the deck of S/V Bob.

Greg, Dave, Sue, Isabelle and Rick on the deck of S/V Bob.

From the top of the mast Cherie photographs the crew of S/V Bob.

From the top of the mast Cherie photographs the crew of S/V Bob.

Ice-blue.

Ice-blue.

The floating islands are so peaceful until they gauge out a whole in your hull.

The floating islands are so peaceful until they gauge out a whole in your hull.

I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I think it was something like:  Get back down here!

I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I think it was something like: Get back down here!

How much of that ice-berg is underneath the water?

How much of that ice-berg is underneath the water?

The dinghy might have been a little cold, but it never complained!

The dinghy might have been a little cold, but it never complained!

A closer look at the glacier.  *Photo by Rick.

A closer look at the glacier. *Photo by Rick.

The glacier, up close and personal.  *Photo by Rick.

The glacier, up close and personal. *Photo by Rick.

Isabelle with the bergs behind her.

Isabelle with the bergs behind her.

That X on the foredeck is Rick, the Captain.

That X on the foredeck is Rick, the Captain.

Ice-bergs drift by without a ripple.

Ice-bergs drift by without a ripple.

Cherie having fun!

Cherie having fun!

Dave!

Dave!

Is that a swan floating by?

Is that a swan floating by?

Rick scoops out a hunk of ice.

Rick scoops out a hunk of ice.

In a few hours, this lump of ice will be glacier ice-cream!

In a few hours, this lump of ice will be glacier ice-cream!

With an ice-pick, Cherie breaks apart the glacial ice and puts it into the traditional ice-cream maker.

With an ice-pick, Cherie breaks apart the glacial ice and puts it into the traditional ice-cream maker.

Cherie and Greg crank the handle, creating a creamy dessert for the entire crew to enjoy.

Cherie and Greg crank the handle, creating a creamy dessert for the entire crew to enjoy.

Sue, Dave, Rick and Greg.  (Notice how Alaska destroyed Greg's fine sense of fashion.)

Sue, Dave, Rick and Greg. (Notice how Alaska destroyed Greg's fine sense of fashion.)

The ice-cream is ready!  And you call this "roughing it?"

The ice-cream is ready! And you call this "roughing it?"

S/V Bob is about as close as he ever wants to get to an ice-berg.

S/V Bob is about as close as he ever wants to get to an ice-berg.

Of course I had to ask:  Can I go into that cave?

Of course I had to ask: Can I go into that cave?

After we eat the ice-cream and the champagne runs out, we celebrate my birthday with fine wine and silly hats.  *Photo by Rick

After we eat the ice-cream and the champagne runs out, we celebrate my birthday with fine wine and silly hats. *Photo by Rick

Cherie takes a big breath and blows all the candle out.

Cherie takes a big breath and blows all the candle out.

How can I make a wish, when I had already had such a perfect day?  *Photo by Dave.

How can I make a wish, when I had already had such a perfect day? *Photo by Dave.

We played cards into the wee hours of the night.  Isabelle (who claims not to be competitive) wouldn't even let me win on my birthday!

We played cards into the wee hours of the night. Isabelle (who claims not to be competitive) wouldn't even let me win on my birthday!

Dave and Sue get a little crazy on my birthday!  We all have a day we'll never forget!

Dave and Sue get a little crazy on my birthday! We all have a day we'll never forget!