ORCA BEACH RIB ADVENTURE AND NATURE WALK
We are travelling through the largest temperate rain forest in the world, Tongass, and the weather is what you'd imagine. Clouds are omnipresent, rain never more than a few drops away, temperatures are cool - a good day is 68 degrees - but mostly it is cooler. We have been fortunate so far not to be caught in a downpour. Norma swears it's her amber beads bringing us good luck. The scenery is lovely and my pictures don't do it justice. On the sea day, we saw Pacific white-bellied or white-sided dolphins and humpback whales breaching.
We managed to do everything we wanted to on the sea day - art class, foot analysis (we could spend $200US on a plastic insert for our shoes to correct our problems!), and a tour of one of the large suites. The highlight was dinner where I finally met another birder. He is giving the lectures about Alaska on board ship. I hope to see him on deck where we can compare gulls to our hearts content but haven't done so yet.
I spent a miserable night - I am sure I got food poisoning from a canapé I shouldn't
have eaten. Enough said.
I avoided breakfast and we set out for our RIB Adventure. On our 15-minute boat ride we saw salmon jumping, and a couple of bald eagles. The nature walk through the rainforest was informative and a good workout ending with a snack of smoked salmon and cheese and crackers around a camp fire. I nibbled a bit. On our return boat trip, we saw a massive eagle's nest (estimated to weigh two tons) and an eagle parent with two fledglings. The adult was tearing apart a salmon while the youngsters whined and begged for food. The adults don't feed them at this stage to encourage them to fend for themselves.
Back on board ship, we ate a bit of lunch, went to art class, and collapsed into bed for a nap (I was exhausted) and slept until 8:00. That gave us just a half hour to get ready for dinner but we managed. We were back here and in bed by 10:30 and so are up at 5:30 this morning writing this blog while Norma is out tracking down a coffee.
Today we are on our birding shore excursion and have dinner at one of the specialty restaurants tonight.