Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Sitka is our first port of call -- a small fishing town that used to be called New Archangel (Novoarkhangelsk) when the Russians controlled Alaska. There's a totem pole park, and a raptor center!

I got a teensy bit nervous that they were just going to drop a rope ladder down and expect us to climb down (I could have done it, but it would have made me feel comfortable) but no, in fact, this was a very orderly exit and not scary at all. The perspective of this photo is just weird, that's all.

There was another cruise ship in port with us, which may be what this photo shows. Truthfully, I don't remember every photo. (I didn't take them all, which is part of the problem.)


Outdoor sculpture in Sitka! (We had fun imagining how Mimi would have felt about this whale.)

I told you it was a fishing village.

The guys, providing scale for the totem pole. (Hub 1.0 is 6'4" if you are triangulating...)

And now for some fish. These are salmon -- and no, I don't know if they were coho, chinook, sockeye, or chum -- swimming upstream to spawn. We watched this a long time before it occurred to us that the reason they don't seem to go very far is that they're already "there," i.e., they've reached their spot and are just spawning. At which point they die, so you can kind of understand their lack of eagerness to get on with the job.

These are almost certainly the same fish as in the picture above and the pictures below. We should have taken a movie; it would have been like these photos with maybe a tiny bit of side-to-side fluctuation.

Ah, no -- I lie. This has to be a different spot in the stream, so different fish.

We have spared you photos of all the totem poles. Hub 1.0 did go into the gift shop (mysteriously, you had to pay to get into the exhibit and you couldn't go into the gift shop without paying) to get his sister a book explaining what the figures on the totem poles meant. That allowed Starman and me to sit quietly and watch fish leap out of the water. Way, way cool, and I am very sorry I don't have any pictures of that.

On to the Raptor Rehabilitation Center. When birds of prey are injured, they come to this place, which is set up to allow them to heal without contact with humans. Very cool. Some birds can't recover and be released into the wild, so they become ambassadors, even going to schools.

There's an owl in there, I promise.

There was an interactive feature on the wall outside, so now you can see how big our wingspans are.




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