Sorry if I’m boring you already but back to my little Alaskan adventure! We did actually have a sea day on the first day of cruising, but I’ll tell you more about that later!
For our first port, we were headed to Sitka!
I’d booked myself on a tour that included a variety of wildlife highlights from the area. First on the agenda was the Alaskan Raptor centre. What an experience! They take in injured birds of prey, mostly bald eagles and rehabilitate them before releasing them back into the wild. They did have the odd case where they were unable to re-release the creature in which case they take care of them at the centre. We met Norwal the owl who was fighting fit again but because of his injury, he makes a lot of noise when flying, which would prevent him from hunting successfully in the wild so he became a resident! Then there was the kestrel who acted like a human and was found attempting get his food from a hot dog vendor, he had no hunting instincts bless him!
But by far the best part of being at the raptor centre was seeing one of the bald eagles being released back into the wild! There were some tears! Plenty of them!
I also took a walk on the wild side…
Up next was the fortress of the bear. I was able to see brown bears and black bears but unfortunately they weren’t in the wild. It seems in Alaska they have some kind of legislation which means if a cub is orphaned, they must be shot as they have no mother to teach them how to hunt. At fortress of the bear they are attempting to look after any orphaned cubs. While they will never be able to release them back into the wild, they do try and make life close to how it would be in the wild, with the bears having to hunt and forage for food.
Finally we went on a boat trip. There was apparently a guaranteed chance of wildlife on this trip, with a possibility of seeing orcas. We saw a raft of sea otters, some with babies on their chest, we saw wild bald eagles, we saw some lions having a bit of a barny (cute and everything but did we need to watch them for an hour?!?!!), we saw seals, and we even saw the salmon leaping.
Wildlife was in abundance!
BUT NO ORCAS!!!!!!
Not even a humpback 😦
So feeling slightly disappointed I headed back to the ship.
I also managed to try Salmon first time, couldn’t deny it was fresh, as I could see the salmon leaping as I was probably eating its cousin. But it wasn’t for me!
After another lovely meal where I started to make some good Canadian friends and Fernando was a little too good at keeping my wine glass filled up, it was time for a 70s night! We watched Marcus Terrell (apparently from some American reality show) and the Serenades belt out some 70s classics, before heading to a 70s disco, that wasn’t very 70s! They played about 4 seventies songs before having to “keep everyone happy”. So I had a little bit of a boogie, kicked it out to a bit of footloose (you know we’ve all done it) and then headed back to the cabin.
As I prepared for sleep that night, I was filled with mixed emotions. Excitement, fear, hope, worry, anticipation. Tomorrow it was time for Juneau, and the last of my whale watching trips. Would there be Orcas? Had I come all this way for nothing? Join me next time to find out…