The MMT Blog / Captain’s Blog of President Obama’s Cruise: Captain Josh

On September 1st, 2015, Major Marine Tours was honored to take President Barack Obama on a cruise in Resurrection Bay. The President was visiting Seward to witness first-hand how climate change is affecting Alaska’s glaciers. Three Major Marine Tours Captains were asked to captain the President’s cruise on our vessel the Viewfinder. Here is the account from Captain Nicole of her experience serving as Captain for the President of the United States. 

Two weeks ago I was approached by my operations manager, Colby Lawrence, and the owner of Major Marine Tours, Tom Tougas, and was asked if I would be interested in taking the President of the United States on a tour of Resurrection bay. I was speechless and of course the words I was looking for were, “I would be honored”.

As the days passed and the weather remained beautiful and sunny it really looked like things were falling into place. Fast forward to Tuesday, September 1st, and Captain Nicole Lawrence, Captain Gary Kirshman, and myself were on our vessel the Viewfinder getting ready for not just another trip around the bay.

After we moved the vessel to a secure dock we waited anxiously for the arrival of our commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama. As we spotted his motorcade approaching the secure parking lot I truly felt a sense of pride to be selected among two of my colleagues to be the President’s Captains.  After a short speech on the dock the President boarded our vessel the Viewfinder and within moments I was looking him in the eye and shaking his hand.

President Obama on Major Marine Tours cruise

After some short introductions we fired up the engines and drove out of the harbor but not before a quick Presidential photo-op of one of our local harbor sea otters.  The President was so excited to see it swimming next to our boat before we untied. As we left the Seward Small Boat Harbor we had a flotilla of Coast Guard Vessels including the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang, a few gun-mounted zodiacs, and of course a vessel loaded with press.  As we headed south through Resurrection bay the wind was with us and the evening sun was warm on the bow making it very comfortable for “The Man”.  He remained on the bow for the first hour and a half of our 3 hour cruise.  He truly seemed to be taking a much deserved breath of our fresh Alaskan air and taking in the sights of Thumb Cove, Emerald Cove, and the Beautiful Bear Glacier.

President Obama on Major Marine Tours cruise

Along our tour we spotted some Dall’s porpoise, humpback whale, and our endangered Steller sea lions, all of which have been photographed thousands of times throughout the season but I never felt so excited about finding them as I did on this particular occasion.  After docking the boat at seven o’clock in the evening we had the opportunity to speak with the President again and give thanks for his service. Seeing the President walk off the back of the boat and get into his vehicle I knew that I would never walk on to the Viewfinder and start up her engines without thinking of that three hour tour around Resurrection Bay. Thank you President Barack Obama.

-Proud Captain of Major Marine Tours, Joshua Jackson