|Monday, 18 July 2005 16:00|
Today the ship docked in Ketchikan, Alaska by 6:00AM (Alaska time, which is another hour earlier than BC) and the sky was overcast with the temperature at about 14C. Here in Ketchikan the average rainfall is in the vicinity of 160 inches per year so when the sun broke through the clouds later in the day, we considered ourselves very lucky. Ketchikan is a picturesque town, (exactly what I pictured a town in Alaska to look like) with a population of approximately 10,000. We were scheduled to go on a "Back Country Jet Boat" tour at 7:30 AM so we were up in enough time to shower, dress and have breakfast before we met up with the tour operator on shore at our designated time.
After a half hour narrated bus ride to Salmon Falls Resort, outside of town, we were shuttled to a dock where we boarded a comfortable, warm jet boat for an informative tour of the marine area. We were taken to several spots where we viewed bald eagles, deer, jumping salmon, seals basking on the rocks and even a black mother bear with her cub, hunkering along the shore. The water was mirror like and the visibility was excellent allowing us to really enjoy our excursion comfortably. When we returned to shore there were two eagles perched in the trees overlooking Salmon Falls seemingly waiting for the perfect photo opportunity.
We were shuttled back to our ship in time to enjoy a leisurely lunch before trekking around the town to see what shopping possibilities were in store for us. Helen and Mary had been there all morning and we came across them, both exhausted, just as we were preparing to go ashore. There were the usual jewellery stores found at most ports in fact, many of the store clerks we spoke to, were from the Caribbean and California and came here to work for the summer. We poked around, admiring the diamonds, gold and gems until our final boarding time of 2:30 in order to set sail for Juneau at the scheduled time of 3:00. Though I would not want to live here, it was a great experience and I can certainly see why it attracts an abundance of tourists.