Day 15 Rainforest Sanctuary Walk, Totems & Eagles

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May 20th 2019
Published: May 22nd 2019
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Day 15



Rain Forest Sanctuary Walk, Totems & Eagles.

Up at a reasonable time that allowed us to have a leisurely breakfast and watch us dock in Ketchikan. It is amazing the skill level the people steering the ship have. As we were moving toward the dock I noticed that there was 2 other cruise ships already docked and we were going to go in behind them. The first was the Golden Princess, then the Norwegian Joy. As we came closer I noticed that the dock had a slight bend in it and another ship the Island Princess also docked. The interesting thing is that we were docking in between ship 2 and ship 3. There wasn’t any room for error in doing this as you could not over run your space. With perfect precision we docked in the small space left for us. The town again looked very tourist orientated, but you could see the homes of the locals who live here. Again it was perfect weather with an expected top of 17C maybe not quite but lovely walking temperature. The pickup time was at 11.20 so we took our time to go down. We boarded a bus for a 25 minute drive. The driver Steve was very entertaining telling us about Ketchikan. Ketchikan was the first Alaskan city and now is the 4th largest city in Alaska. The primary industry is the hospital and then followed by tourism. It is amazing the number of younger people who travel up here to Alaska for the tourist season and then go back to their own state to resume their normal lives. Ketchikan only has 4 inches of soil so the only way that new trees grow is from the trunks of those that have fallen down. The rainforest walk was at Herring Cove. We were taken on a guided tour of the rain forest by a lovely young lady Savana, she was quite entertaining. She explained that Ketchikan is an island and that everything needs to be brought in by barge, even new cars etc. Savana explained that there was a possibility of seeing a Black Bear on our walk, there was evidence of them being active as there was bear droppings on the walkway. We were standing at the grassy wetlands on the raised boardwalk when she stopped mid-sentence, as she had received a message that a Black bear had been seen heading our way and to keep an eye out for it. Within a minute she noticed the bear come out onto the grassy wet lands. We all moved a little closer slowly while we all took photos and videos of the bear eating the grass. This grass is like Gatorade to a Black Bear it gives them energy. Savana described that the bears are quite lazy at this time of year and will sit down in the grassy patch and just grab claws of grass and feed themselves. Wow what a cruise Glaciers, otters, whales, bears and bald eagles soaring above! We stopped for about 10 minutes watching the bear then onto the Raptor Centre where we saw the Bald Eagle up close and personal. We also saw a Red Tailed Hawk, and a Snowy Owl. All had been hurt and were rescued, and due to being nursed back to health by humans they would no longer be able to survive and fend for themselves in the wild. We watched a man carving a totem pole for the centre who had just finished his 8 year apprenticeship! The cost to have a totem Pole carved for you starts at $1000 per foot and can increase anywhere up to $10,000 per foot. We were allowed to walk around the historic Herring Bay Lumber Shed and see the type of machinery that the used many years ago. It was interesting as they have rebuilt the shed but replaced all of the existing machinery. On the way to the gift shop we saw 2 rain deer that had such cute faces and one had only one antler as the females drop them every year once their young have grown old enough to look after themselves. We head back into town and had a walk around and then back on board. In the afternoon the dining room does a tea so we decided to check it out and found that it was similar to a high tea. So we enjoyed that. We decided to grab a few snacks from the Lido market to have a farewell to Ketchikan celebration on our balcony. We had Ice cream, Cheese, Bread and coffee. A quick facetime chat with Karly and then we noticed that the clouds were coming in and the streets below looked as though it had been raining. The high moisture content in the air made everything wet and cold so we decided to head inside. We had dinner and then relaxed in the room. We decided to lie on the bed and watch the scenery. I woke up at 12.30 and it was dark.

Additional photos below
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10th June 2019

Wildlife bonanza
You are so lucky to see a black bear in the wild without it being a speck in the distance! When we have seen bears they have been far, far away!

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