A very short 2 hour hop into Sitka. I don't really like being in a marina when so many beautiful spots out in nature are available. To pay to be in a dock seem antithetical to the purpose, but sometimes there are things to see in a city (other than power, water and a grocery store) and I had heard so much about Sitka I was excited to venture out and see it.
We were told by fellow travelers that there were four attractions to see:
the fortress of the bears.
the raptor rehabilitation center
the totem pole park
the Baranof castle state historical site.
Over the following days we accomplished them all.
The fortress of the bears is a rehab site for bears that have been orphaned or injured and in need of some attention. The bears are in what appears to be a converted sewage treatment plant that has places for the bears to swim and walk around. There were brown and black bears there.
We were certainly able to get close up pictures but it was kinda like shooting fish in a barrel. After seeing the bears the wild in nature it was a bit of a disappointment. I think the exhibit was mostly oriented around cruise ship passengers that had no chance to see wildlife close up as we have done. It was nice.
The raptor rehab center was a bit better as the place was purpose built to rehab mostly eagles but also variety of other birds of prey. The were careful to not have much human interaction and allow the birds to be free to fly in very large enclosures. Their focus is to take wounded birds and heal them so they can be released into the wild again. It was a nice place and I enjoyed the visit.
By the way -- both of those pictures are courtesy Matt as I forgot my camera that day.
Next the Totem pole park. I liked this walk and looking at the totem poles. There is a lot of Russian and Native American History including the interactions between the two and I found that very interesting. The totem poles are besutiful and well maintained. It was a couple of hours walking through the park and reading plaques.
Finally we hiked up the hill to see the Baranof Castle Historical Site. It was interesting except there was no castle or many remains. It was a site at the hill overlooking the harbor with several plaques that talked about the history of Sitka. I liked it but there was not much to photograph.
There were many other nice things to see and do in Sitka and we did them. The ice cream store in the pharmacy was awesome. I have not had a Dusty Road Sundae since I worked at Farrells Ice Cream parlor. We walked the town for three days and did not get bored. The Farmers market was our last stop and we provisioned great fresh vegetables and mushrooms.
One nice part of the visit to Sitka was meeting up with Laura and Kevin from slow boat. We had a couple of happy hours and morning lattes and got to know them a bit. They are very experienced in cruising Alaska, super fun people and they helped up to create an agenda for the next couple of weeks cruising south back towards Ketchikan. It turned out to be awesome to have this local knowledge as you will see.
Time: 1 h 43 m ( 12:08 to 13:51 ) Distance: 9.47 nm
Fuel: 1.35 Gallons Fuel Rate: 0.79 GPH Fuel Economy: 7.01 NM/G
Avg Speed: 4.40 kn Max Speed: 8.05 kn
Engine Runtime Start: 2788.35 Hours Runtime End: 2790.05 Hours Fuel: 1.35 Gallons Fuel Rate: 0.79 GPH Fuel Rate Max: 2.93 GPH Avg RPM: 971.27 Max RPM: 1259.75 Avg Oil Pressure: 46.44 Low Oil Pressure: 31.91 Avg Temperature: 181.53 Max Temperature: 192.20