Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sketching on the Alaska Ferry

I started sketching at the ferry terminal in Bellingham while we waited to board the Matanuska. Some window, eh?

After dark on the forward Observation Lounge.

Bead girl - She made jewelry and displayed her wares each day in the cafeteria.

This is Terry and his service dog in-training, Homer. Terry was a crusty old Alaska guy on his way down to San Francisco to retire and live with his daughter. He said he was going blind and that he and Homer would be attending service dog school in California so Homer could become his seeing-eye dog. Not sure if that was all true or just a story to get Homer on the upper decks. Either way, he sure loved that dog. I gave him one of my sketches of Homer sleeping. He said he would cherish it. Sweet.

Another great character traveling on the ferry.  He was always alone and never took off that hat and black trench coat - even at meals.  If he was trying to be incognito, it wasn't working. I never saw him talk to anyone, but he was the most conspicuous person on the boat.
Never did meet this guy, but I think he and his wife were on board with us for the whole trip. He had a very sketchable profile.

The boat moves slowly through the Wrangell Narrows. These two ladies were enjoying the view and catching a breeze.
This guy was fast asleep, sporting his motorcycle leathers, tattoos and head scarf. I'm glad he didn't wake up while I was sketching him. He was probably a pussycat, but had all the trappings of a tough guy.

A view of Vancouver Island out the cafeteria window.
The view of Wrangell from the port. Sadly, I had time to draw this only because our departure was delayed due to a passenger heart attack. The crew's response was outstanding. They saved the guy's life - got his heart going with a defibrillator before the paramedics arrived. They are very well trained.

A view of Peril Strait from the stern.
We had a generous amount of time in Ketchikan so I had time after lunch in town to sketch this view of the hillside.

The last sketch of the trip and the first sunset I've ever sketched! I wish the sky were softer, but still, I'm happy with it.


  1. Yeah! You're back! I love your characters and their stories.

  2. Great sketches. Thanks for sharing the story and lovely sketches.

  3. Love these and the thanks for the stories that go along w/ each. Looks like a great trip!