We cruised into port at Ketchikan at about 7:00 am. What a beautiful town! Again it has a temperate rain forest climate so they get an incredible amount of rain. One tour guide told us it rains an average of 350 days/year with a total accumulation of over fifteen FEET of water. That is a lot of rain! We were really blessed with our weather on our day there. It was just a perfect day–70 degrees, sunny and no humidity. We took some time to walk around town and then jumped on our Duck Boat tour for the day. This tour drove us around town and told us quite a bit about the history and current conditions there. They have lost 75% of their canneries and therefore jobs and residents in the past 20 years. Fortunately, tourism has taken up that gap and given residents a way to make a living. Ketchikan is known as the salmon capital of the world and in late July/early August the river and creek are totally crammed with salmon swimming upstream to spawn. They tell us that there are so many salmon in this creek that people can actually walk across from shore to shore on top of the fish without going into the water. I find that hard to believe but from looking at the pictures, I guess it is possible! Our Duck Boat then drove us down the boat ramp and out into the bay where we were able to take a closer look at the many different types of fishing boats. The view from the bay looking up in the town was just beautiful.
We had a few hours left after the Duck Boat tour so we decided to take another tour bus that went out to Eagle Point and Bear Valley and then back to the totem village at Saxman. We didn’t see any bears, although we did see quit a bit of bear skat (poop) on the ground near the creek. We did see an amazing number of Bald Eagles. At one stop, they throw Herring into the water and the eagles came in DROVES to get their share. It was pretty amazing to see them all swooping down and around each other to snatch the fish out of the water.
After all of our touring, it was time to leave this beautiful town and head on north. We were gathered up on the outside deck on the very back of the boat near the top and I got a major thrill–I saw a whale cow and calf breeching not far from us. The naturalist was out of deck and I got his attention and showed him where they were and he said they were Humpback Whale. Not very long after that, we saw at least 4-5 traveling together. Unfortunately, they didn’t get very high out of the water and show their tails. Hopefully we will get a better view on our whale-watching trip in Juneau. After the excitement of the whale sightings, we went back to playing euchre with the family. We ate at the buffet on the Liddo Deck tonight rather than the dining room where we have eaten our other meals. I went through the create-your-own salad line while Casey did a create-your-own-pasta and Larry had a steak and potatoe. The food is really very good!
After another round of losing at team trivia, I decided to come back to my room and sit on my balcony for awhile to watch the world go by. The temperature sure did drop quickly when the sun got lower in the sky but it is still a beautiful evening to sit out there and enjoy the passing scenery!