Every morning we recite the following - "How great are your works Hashem, You have crafted them all with wisdom." The last week during our cruise to Alaska these words took on added meaning as we were privileged to see the grandeur of Alaska and Canada. There were so many highlights I will mention just a few of them. We saw a good number of glaciers, many from very close. Of course we were seeing only the end tip of them, some which stretched for 1,500 miles. To our amazement they had a beautiful blue tint, were mammoth and are constantly moving. For the first time I learned how much of the earths present geological makeup was formed by glaciers cutting themselves through mountains and forming the valleys and lakes around the world. These ice monoliths were truly awe inspiring. The mountains were majestic everywhere we looked and hundreds were still full of snow.
We saw pods of wales, a brown bear catching salmon, salmon running up stream by the thousands, a bald eagle, a spotted owl, and sea otters. We heard personal accounts of people who lived in small Alaskan towns like 'Juno, Skagway and Katchakan and contemplated life in a very far away place. In all these places the sun rarely shines and constant mist, clouds and rain form their reality. I was so happy when the sun finally came out as we approached Victoria, British Columbia where we disembarked for our next series of teachings.
While on board we had 3 minyans a day, daily teaching and an overabundance of great glatt kosher food.I lead Carlebach davening on Shabbat and in a very short time we befriended a whole lot of very, very, nice people. Although there were over 2,000 people on this mammoth floating hotel we were able with the cooperation of the boat line to live a normal Jewish life.
There is so much more to tell but we will let the pictures tell their story.
We are now in Victoria and will send more blog posts on the last leg of our trip.