Alaska Cruise
July 2014

to Inside Passage   to Juneau


Tuesday, July 15
Weather: Sunny, Hi 72

7:00 AMArrive in Ketchikan
7-11:30hiking/Creek Street/etc
(okay, so more like 9-11:30)
11:30 AM-2 PMBack Country Zodiac Expedition (2.5 hr)
3:00 PMDepart Ketchikan
(and Traditional Indonesian Tea)

Fitbit stats:
To bed: 12:48 am, Got up: 8:02 am (6:17 asleep)
Steps: 14,428 (6.77 miles)
Floors: 32

Locals joke that Ketchikan only has about 5 sunny days a year... and we were there on one of them! Spent the morning hiking around Ketchikan -- Creek Street and around past the Totem Heritage Center and along Ketchikan Creek. On the way back I climbed the stairs at Edmond Street to a lookout point with a nice view of the town and harbor.

Creek Street

Ketchikan Creek

Edmond Street

Then we went on our Zodiac excursion. Our guide, Andy, was a local with some nice stories about growing up in Ketchikan. For instance, in 8th grade, all students are required to complete a survival challenge where they are dropped off in small groups on one of two nearby islands with only the items they can each fit in a coffee can. They must survive for 3 days without assistance in order to proceed to high school.

These are old dock posts. They are so tall because the tide here is huge. The floating docks slide up and down the posts as the tide changes. If you tie your boat to something that doesn't adjust, the boat will either be drowned or end up hanging above the water when the tide changes.

We came upon a bald eagle sitting in a tree. The eagle has learned that Zodiac tours = free meal. Our guide whistled and threw a frozen fish into the water and the eagle came down and scooped it up. The photo of the eagle about to grab the fish was sheer luck.

fishing boat


Our guide collected a piece of bull kelp from the water to show us. It is edible. Also, the stalk is hollow and can become a musical instrument in the right hands. (Our guide could also play the trumpet.)
I have two videos posted on youtube of our guide playing the "bull kelp horn". They are here: Bull Kelp Jazz and Bull Kelp Horn.

We passed some seals lying on a rocky beach but didn't get close enough for me to get better photos of them.

Then we passed the Saxman Native Village with its display of totem poles.

I drove the Zodiac on the way back to the docks and had some fun jumping it back and forth over the wake of the boats in front of us.

The ship left Ketchikan at 3pm, which is also when they had their traditional Indonesian tea in the dining room. That was interesting, as the majority of staff on the boat is Indonesian and they dressed in Indonesian garb and served Indonesian tea and snacks (kue) -- sweet rice balls and rice-flour cakes.

My first attempt at a panorama = fail.

After dinner, we passed through a narrow strait between Ketchikan and Juneau.

Then enjoyed a pretty sunset.


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