Cruise to Alaska - Day Three - Ketchikan

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ketchikan measures their rainfall in FEET…they get up to 13 feet of rain some years. So the chances of our not getting wet sounded pretty slim. Well, the rain god smiled on us….it was in the upper 60’s to low 70’s and sunny all day.

We had set the alarm for 6 AM, allowing time for a good breakfast before leaving on our excursion at 7:25 AM. Stu was up even earlier snapping photos as we came into port. Once again we shared a breakfast table, looked like everyone was heading out early….probably because we were due to be back on board by 1:30 PM.

It was a short walk to the Lumberjack show and we perused the shops along the way. I had a few coupons I wanted to redeem before heading back to the ship.

The lumberjack show was a HUGE success….we shouted, cheered, booed and laughed for over an hour. What a great time. I couldn’t bear to delete many photos, they all bring to mind the great time we had. I can’t recommend it any more than that…these guys not only do their job well, they know how to entertain.

We had a little time before getting on the tour bus for the next park of our excursion - Totem Bight State Park. We saw a gal setting up her blacksmith area and a guy starting some chainsaw work on an eagle. I could have stayed and watched for much longer but we were holding up the bus. LOL

Our tour guide bus driver was a local, part native married to a full native. He was extremely knowledgeable about the local area, wildlife, Native lure and much more. We learned a lot.

We toured Totem Bight State Park followed by visiting a local trading store.

Then we visited a local Native artisan who was working on a 30 feet long totem. At $3000 a foot….you figure it out. She is learning the craft from local master carvers, even making her own tools (that is part of the apprenticeship).

Then we were on a short tour through the historic sections of downtown Ketchikan. We got to see the infamous Dolly’s, heard the stories about what the wives did to find out if they husband’s had been visiting the red light district on their way home, and much more. We got dropped off downtown and had our requisite stop at the Harley dealer and a local bar & grill (to get a free pint glass from the Alaska Brewery). A great day in all!

By 2 PM we were rolling out of the port and headed north once more. The weather was still gorgeous…we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We grabbed some lunch on the open deck and enjoyed chatting for an hour with two delightful women from Hawaii. They had been friends for years, the oldest now being 80 has decided to cruise more locally.

From there we headed out to the pool area to read but the wind quickly got the better of us. I headed up to the front viewing area to read and Stu headed back for his afternoon nap.

We had been warned that between 6-7 PM we would be in a good viewing area for whales. I came back to the room about 5:30 and was reading outside on our balcony. A sound alerted me and I got to see several dolphins jumping through the water right beside the ship. No time for the camera but I grabbed it since it was now 5:45 PM and the whale watch time was approaching.

The weather was getting quite cool with the wind and I bundled up to watch for whales. About half an hour later I was rewarded by seeing a water blow. I ran into the room, hollered WHALE to wake Stu and grabbed his camera that has a longer zoom than mine. We saw at least 3-4 more blows but couldn’t see the whales at the distance. We did snap a couple of shots and I will crop one close so you can see more than we did….LOL!

Dinner was with the same folks…our missing couple was still missing. That’s okay…the conversation was lively covering several topics including the whale and porpoise sightings.

A short stint in the casino earned Stu $10, drink in the lounge followed that and then it was off to bed. We were both tired and glad we had a relatively easy day coming when we port in Juneau tomorrow.

Check out all the photos in our SmugMug album. Sorry they are out of order...using multiple cameras (and camera phones) causes no end to problems when it comes to sorting...LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

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