Cruising to Alaska on Rhapsody of the Seas – August 18, 2009 – Ketchikan

Ketchikan - 8-18-2009 4-53-46 PM.JPG In spite of having trouble going to sleep, Jackie and I managed to sleep soundly into the morning.  If there’s any advantage to having an inside cabin (aside from price) it’s that it stays quite dark in the morning.  There’s no pesky sunlight disturbing sound sleep.  We awoke to the sound of the captain’s announcing that we would soon dock in Ketchikan and that the weather forecast called for very good, sunny weather.
Because of the schedule change, after months of thinking about and researching our cruise we ended up in Ketchikan without a clue as to what to do.  I’d seen tons of information on the area but ignored it because we were going to Skagway instead.  The downtown looks a lot like Juneau with tons of nice shops intended to draw the cruise ship passengers.  The harbor is also very picturesque.  Since we were clueless as to what we might like to do in Ketchikan we went to the welcome center and picked up a walking map of the city.  From there we, and a thousand or so fellow cruisers, set off on a personal tour of the town.  Included in the tour was the city library which made Jackie quite happy.  Then, we set off following a beautiful mountain stream that was filled with salmon.  At one point there’s section of rushing, falling water.  I managed to get a photo of some of the salmon leaping out of the water to swim up stream.

Just a bit farther on is a fish hatchery operated by Native Americans.  We paid $13 each to tour the facility and to visit the totem museum just across the stream.   The tour was sort of interesting as we saw tanks of the small salmon at various stages of development.  At one point we saw workers killing and filleting fish for food.  One fellow was in the water where the returning salmon were being corralled.  Using a big net he scooped up several of the 3 foot and longer fish.  He culled out some and the rest he hit with a club so the fish could be passed on for processing.  I had to smile when I thought of some suburban momma with her suburban kids finding out the hard facts of how food ends up on the table.   The totem museum was interesting and had lots of information about the history of the totems as well as some samples well over 100 years old.

Continuing the tour, we passed a small grocery store and bought a few desired items, including some powdered coffee creamer that I like better than the little liquid creamers on the ship.  Frankly, I was disappointed in the ship’s coffee.  It’s was way too strong for me.  In fact, I heard someone else say the same thing.  By doubling up on the creamer I managed to tame the coffee down to where it was almost drinkable!

Then, we found an internet café and I used my laptop to get on the internet.   I mostly wanted to upload photos of our trip for family and friends.  I also checked out my email.
After a return to the ship to drop off the laptop and to have lunch, we returned to the nearby shops.  I sat and people watched while Jackie did some shopping.  It wasn’t long though, before we were ready to return to Rhapsody for a couple of hours of downtime before departure.  I took a short nap and Jackie read.  Then, as the ship departed Ketchikan, I processed the photos from the day.

For supper we ate in the main dining room and I enjoyed one of the finest meals I’ve ever eaten.  A shrimp cocktail, followed by New York strip steak with portabella mushroom and some wonderful shrimp, topped off by a very good banana-almond-cream dessert.    I don’t make a big deal out of food, but this meal was absolutely terrific.

By the time we finished the meal the ship was beginning to do its rock and roll thing again.  I could only hope it was temporary and not an indication of what to expect from Wednesday’s day at sea as we made our way to Victoria, B.C.

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