Sitka

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Tracy Arm

 

Alaska
Day 5 - Monday, 10 September 2001

We were at the south end of Olga Strait when we made it up on deck about 6:30 AM. The first two photos today were taken as we passed the Lisianski Peninsula (Baranof Island).


Sail boats in Sitka harbor

Breakfast was served as the ship moved down Western Channel toward our dock in Sitka where we arrived about 8 AM. A small bus took us to St. Michael's Cathedral. It was originally built in 1844-48 and rebuilt after it burned in 1966. Fortunately the original icons and Sitka Madonna were saved. Picture taking is forbidden inside the church and they charge a $25 fine if you take one!

Nearby we found a store with some interesting Russian nested dolls.

Alaska Raptor Center

Back on the bus we headed for the Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center. This was a highlight of the week for Jim since he got to go beak to beak with a live bald eagle. While cruising we saw many eagles but never close enough to get a good photo.


Bald Eagle at the Alaska Raptor Center

We spent the better part of an hour at the Raptor Center wandering around getting close-up looks at eagles, owls, hawks and other raptors in various stages of recovery. Injured raptors are brought here from all over the western states, not just Alaska. Some of them will never be released to the wild again.

Sitka National Historical Park

It was a short drive from the Raptor Center to Sitka National Historical Park. The park was established in 1910 to commemorate the 1804 Battle of Sitka when the Tlingit Indians tried to eject the Russians.

The park was a very nice place to spend an hour or so. We walked through the beautiful trees. Paused on a bridge over the Indian River where dying salmon were everywhere. There are many totem poles along the paths in the park.


Jim went eye to eye with one of the figures on a totem pole at the park.

Amazingly little Sitka has two colleges, two libraries, and three museums.

Our little bus took us back into town. After wandering around the shops for a while we started our walk back to the boat. Along the way we saw a particularly interesting house and stopped by the harbor where a seaplane, boat and many birds were floating in the water.

The ship pulled away from Sitka about 1:30 PM and sailed for Tracy Arm. We headed north up through the Olga and Neva Straits, then eastbound in Peril Strait. Someone spotted whales when we off the northern tip of Baranof Island. We took our best whale pictures here.


Lining up to watch for whales


Whales!

We continued southbound in Chatham Strait to Frederick Strait then northbound in Stevens Passage that took us to Tracy Arm. Bedtime came as we rounded the southern end of Admiralty Island.

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