KETCHIKAN, ALASKA, USAMay 29 in the United States
5.30 am alarm and a quick breakfast in the Lido as we docked at the quaint, first frontier, little town of Ketchikan. Ketchikan is known for its rain and it didn't disappoint. Our bus collected us for our trip and we saw bald eagles in the fields en route not a major wild life spot in these parts as there are as many bald eagles as people! We were greeted by our friendly kayak hosts, kitted up and used the rest rooms which were 'rural' with a curtain for a door. The kayak centre was in a rural spot and we were only a small group and it was good to get away from the cruise crowds and sample the delights of rural Alaska. We had a fast zodiac boat ride to the beach were our kayaks were waiting for us. More kitting up and a briefing from our guides Billy and Terry and we were on the water. It was both tranquil and scenic, there was one harbour seal spotted, more eagles and a star fish. We paddled around the remote Tatoosh isands, the water became a little more choppy when we were on the open sea side in the final section of the trip. We had some dry weather but the rain started again as we beached the kayaks and we were very glad of the shelter, home made cookies and hot chococlate. The rain didn't ease as we boarded the zodiac in fact it turned to hail and we were all pretty wet and cold by the time we got back. We boarded the bus and were pleased to be somewhere warm and dry. Once back at the ship we had a quick change of clothes and headed out to 'do' Ketchikan.
In town first thing on the list was a warm cup of coffee then we started our tour of the town. We visited the compact Whale Park with its Knox Brothers clock and Chief Kyan Totem Pole (Ketchikan is the town with the most totem poles in Alaska), we saw St John's Episcopal Church, Creek Street which was once the rowdy, red light district of town and is home to Dolly's House, Dolly was the town's most successful madam! We of course did a little retail therapy but stayed out of all the diamond and jewels establishments!
The ship set off around 3 pm, the weather was good so we sat on our balcony to enjoy the scenery and so some wild life spotting, we saw a group of 4 either seals or porpoises. We then went to a entertaining talk called Dreamers, Schemers and Stampeders which highlighted some of the colourful characters who lived here especially in the gold rush era.
We dined with a couple from San Francisco and two girls from Toronto who were very amusing and entertaining.Read more