Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, 091613 Ketchikan

091613 Ketchikan

Neets Bay bear watching.  Twelve adults and one child signed up for the high-speed boat trip to Neets Bay to watch bears in the wild eating salmon.  The day started off very cloudy and misty, but as we got going, it cleared up.  The captain of the boat was Captain Mike, and the tour guide was Bailey, a girl who had just graduated from high school last year.  She turned out to be interesting.  Her dad works for the U.S. Forest Service, and last year he had been offered the chance to be transferred to Alaska from Ohio.  He asked his wife and five children what they should do, and they agreed to the transfer.  Bailey is the oldest, and she finished high school last year.  The others are still in school.  This summer, she got the job with Captain Mike, and he taught her what to say on the boat to explain what customers were seeing. 

The boat ride to Neets Bay was about 45 minutes at high speed.  Once there, the captain watched for bears and then took the boat as near to them as possible to let passengers observe them.  For a while, it appeared that we would not see any bears, but after a time, one bear did emerge from the dense forest to walk along the water’s edge in search of salmon.  Unfortunately, we were too far from the bear to get a very close look, but I did take photos.  We also saw sea lions and seals, which also eat the salmon.  Later at the end of the time in Neets Bay, we went by a small island that was filled with sea lions and a nearby, second island that was filled with seals. 

The temperature was about 45 degrees, and I was very pleased that I had dressed warmly, with heavy undershirt, heavy shirt, sweater, and jacket, along with gloves.  I needed all those clothes, and I was still cold on the way back from Neets Bay.  On the way back to the ship, we encountered a shower, which is not unexpected in Ketchikan; the average annual rainfall in Ketchikan is 14 FEET. We were lucky that it did not rain while we were out looking for bears. 

After arriving back in town, I went for a brief walk in Ketchikan, which is very neat, and is all set up for cruise passengers, with the same jewelry shops and gift shops found in the Caribbean.  Many of these shops are owned by the cruise companies. 

No comments: