Location: Icy Strait Point (Hoonah, Alaska)
Today we made port in Icy Strait Point near Hoonah, Alaska. Much like Labadee, Haiti or Cococay, Bahamas, this is an artificial cruise ship stop complete with a “world’s largest zip line” adjacent to the pier. But unlike the other two, it is not exclusive to Royal Caribbean and is owned by Huna Totem Corp, the local native Alaskan corporation. All of the excursions were through that company, and most were (expensive) repeats of similar excursions we’ve seen or done earlier in the trip. As a result, we took the “day off”, by sleeping in and exploring the local area at our own leisure.
We explored the cruise stop a little bit during midday. They had a pretty decent museum nearby which discussed the history of SE Alaska fishing, canning, gold rushes, and general information on Alaskan flora and fauna. There was a lot of good stuff there and it would have been quite useful to known earlier in the trip, rather than coming near the very end.
After the museum, we went out on the nearby nature trail. It was about a half mile loop that went through a evergreen rainforest and along the shoreline. The trees in the forest were very tall and dense that it was quite dark walking the path.
There were lots of bald eagles in the trees along the coastline. We finally got some decent eagle shots. But still not the desired cluster of eagles pictures, we’ll try again tomorrow.
On the way back to the ship we got to see a sea lion stalk and ultimately eat a salmon. The newly build pier made taking this and some eagle shots much easier.
Tonight was the second formal night of the cruise. We each had two lobsters.
Tomorrow we make port in Ketchikan. We don’t have any tours booked yet. Most of what was being offered was a more expensive version of things we’ve already done this trip. We’ll get off the boat early tomorrow and try to book something locally that looks interesting.
Today’s weather: High 57, Low 43, Cloudy
Sunrise: 4:09am, Sunset 9:52pm
Total pinnipeds seen: 2
Total eagles seen: 7
Total Steps 8,738 (Rachel)