Day 5 - Monday, 10 September
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
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
Nearby we found a store with some interesting Russian nested
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
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
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
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
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
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.