OCEAN RAFT ADVENTURE AND A WILDLIFE QUEST IN SITKA
My cold has struck with a vengeance and we have two shore excursions planned today. Our first was a RIB boat ride where we suited up in flotation suits which are the ugliest fashion statement ever devised. We were also issued balaclavas and gloves to complete the look. There were only two other passengers from the ship with us which made us wonder, "What had we gotten ourselves into?" We cruised along the town of Sitka and explored different bays before heading out to the thrilling part of the ride on the ocean. We didn't see much wildlife - only a few heads poking out of the water which our driver said were sea lions and one otter. Oh, and we did see some harbour seals on a rock.
It was a rush to get back and ready for our second shore excursion. On this one, we were on a catamaran with quite a few other people. As we headed out, we first saw Steller Sea Lions lazing on a buoy. As we got further out, whales were spotted. We had wonderful views of these magnificent humpbacks as they surfaced over and over again - then the ultimate moment, a full breech. This is rare here as they usually do it on their mating grounds in Hawaii. We must have seen at leave two dozen individuals fishing. Apparently, the ones in the Sitka area do not bubble feed. They have to be taught to do this so one in the pod has to know how to do it in order to teach the others. I saw a Pelagic Cormorant and a Common Murre.
On both trips, of course, we saw the ubiquitous bald eagle.
Back at the ship, I headed for bed. We had dinner in the room.