So, why has it taken me so long to share this trip? Well, I encountered every photographer’s nightmare. For some reason I decided to move my photos to an external hard drive. The key word here is “move”, not “copy”. The next day my external hard drive crashed with 11 years of photographs including those from my Kenai Fjords Tour. Luckily I had backed up the hard drive in May of 2011, so only one year of photos was lost completely. Since then I have checked into recovering the photos and for $1450 I found a place that will. After the shock, a friend’s husband and some of his friends attempted to recover them with no luck. I’ve decided to pass on the recovery for now, but if I ever win the lottery it will be one of the first things I do.
The Good News
There are two pieces of good news. As soon as I discovered that my external hard drive failed, I removed the memory card from my camera. I had deleted the photos off of it, but I’d heard that sometimes they can be recovered. Very few were recovered by my friend’s husband, but I have at least some. And, the best news of all is that when I was in Alaska over the 4th of July my mom and I decided to take the tour again.
On my second trip, I took over 700 photos and those photos are now on four different media storage devices (two laptops…home and work, my camera memory card, and an external hard drive). Eventually I’ll get brave and delete some of them, but for now I’m leaving them where they are.
With so much information to share, I’m going to make this a four part series. In this post, I’ll share a few photos of Seward (where the tour begins). I’ll share future posts about the landscape, the sea life, and the glaciers. The tour is so amazing that I can’t share it all in one post.
I choose to go out with Kenai Fjords Tours which is owned by Ciri (an Alaska Native Corporation). They offer several day trip options ranging in price of $64 and $214 and ranging in durations of 3.5 to 9 hours. I choose the six hour National Park Tour costing $164. My thought was 3.5 hours was not quite enough to really see much and when I asked the major difference between the six and nine hour tours was that the nine hour tours include dinner on Fox Island. Dinner just wasn’t worth it to me. The most expensive tour, at $214, is called Captain’s Choice and includes the captain choosing where to go based on what he’s heard/seen recently. Frankly I saw so much, I’m glad I didn’t both to pay more. The last advantage to the six hour tour, which starts at 11:30 am and ends at 5:30 pm, was people can take the train to Seward and the timing works out perfectly (this didn’t apply to me, but it works nicely for others).
Docking the Orca Voyager (2nd trip was on Aialik Voyager…in photo on left)