Hello, Sharon again with my next article in the Alaskan cruise series!

While we are on the topic of bears… since in recent weeks I shared a layout featuring my bear sighting photos…I thought I would share a page that I did documenting a sighting of a rare “spirit bear” on our second day onboard the Disney Wonder.

While I was off taking photos around the ship and getting a pedicure my husband was enjoying some quiet time sitting on the balcony of our cabin with his binoculars gazing at the distant shores of islands.  During this time he spied what appeared to be a white or light crème colored bear playing in the mild surf on the shore.  Thinking he surely must be mistaken he kept looking and looking and it definitely was some type of bear. When I returned to our cabin he shared his sighting with me.

When he said he thought maybe it could be a polar bear I gently reminded him we were not in the Arctic so it couldn’t be a polar bear – but what was it then?!  Neither one of us really had any idea so we shared the story with the onboard naturalist and as my husband recounted what he saw the naturalist was clearly becoming very excited.

Yes, we did indeed see a white bear he confirmed for us as we were in the correct location at the time of the sighting.  These white forms of black bears are known as “spirit bears” to the Alaskans. The naturalist told me that it was a fairly rare sighting as they are restricted to one area and they number only in the hundreds.

My journaling reads as such:

Curt sighted a rare spirit bear near Princess Royal island.  Here is his account: “I saw what appeared to be some type of white colored animal so I grabbed the binoculars and was completely surprised to see an almost pure white bear right along the water’s edge of the island in the distance. I didn’t think it could be a polar bear but then… what is it exactly? “The next day we attended a lecture given by the naturalist on board and Curt described what he saw and the naturalist confirmed that Curt saw a “spirit bear” – they only live in areas stretching from British Columbia onwards to southeastern Alaska. It is a very rare sighting to see one. Not only are they elusive in habit but there are very few in existence, limited to that one geographical area. The National Geographic estimates the spirit bear population at 400 – 1,000 individuals, saying that “the spirit bear may owe its survival to the protective traditions of the First Nations, who never hunted the animals or spoke of them to fur trappers”.    There was no way to photograph the bear but some experiences just don’t need a photograph.

Disney Scrapbook Page Layout - Spirit Bear from Disney AlaskaCruise

Now, obviously at such a distance and me being the family photographer and given that I wasn’t even there – we did not get any photos of this bear.  My husband is a huge animal and nature lover and the experience really meant so much to him on that day.

I knew I wanted to document it in our scrapbook so I created a journaling page using a kit called “Worn” by One Little Bird and Sahlin Studio.  The kit has a very cool negative film strip, little vellum pocket and paper elements perfect for a nature journal type page.

Inside the polaroid type frame I used bear foot prints and colored them a sheer white creating a fun faux photo or art type effect.  I also used a beautiful mask by Simple Pleasure designs by Jennifer Fehr.  I filled it with a rainbow type paper to add color to the page.

To me, the paper also had a native American vibe to it.  It was so much fun to make and I love that the page emphasized that even though we didn’t obtain a photo our memory is the most important thing.  Photos are very important in a scrapbook but so are the words!

I also learned the importance of including memories and experiences of my family members – even things that I myself don’t experience with them.  Ask your husband and children what are their most favorite and important memories and document them!  What a great gift for your family!

Happy scrapping!  I’ll see you on the first Tuesday in May with the next article in my series.  Let’s go to Juneau and see the eagles and whales!

Sharon Signature



Check out more of Sharon’s adventures in Alaska on our Trip Reports Page

Scrapbook Page Credits:

  • Papers & elements: “Worn” by One Little Bird & Sahlin Studio
  • Mask – Simple Pleasure designs by Jennifer Fehr
  • Paper for mask – CD Muckosky
  • Fonts: alphas – title alphas – Worn kit, Beyond Wonderland, Batik regular
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