After breakfast, I went to see about where (in town) we could find some cough drops & cough syrup for mom. She had this nagging cough that was just hanging on. The nice gent at the service desk told me to do what they (the staff) do and catch the free shuttle to Walmart. While that is exactly what we planned, the nice gent failed to explain that there is an exclusive shuttle that goes directly to Walmart and back to the ship. (We discovered this little fact after our day was over.) SO, we hopped on the free shuttle for the cruise shippers to head into Ketchikan. As we passed Walmart (and waved goodbye) I thought ‘surely we can figure out how to get back.’
Once off the free shuttle inyo town, we learn that there’s a free Ketchikan shuttle that makes a loop around town and we can take that to Safeway. Ok – that will work. It was 8:30 a.m. so most of the tourist / souvenir shops were still closed. We hopped on the bus and enjoyed the ride. Cool surprise – we stopped at a Ketchikan museum, The Totem Heritage Center. The driver apparently takes a 10 minute break there so I hopped out and took a bunch of pix of the totems. Sweet!
We made it to Safeway and headed in to get supplies. DAMN – stuff is expensive! I know, we all hear how it’s very expensive in Alaska, but the truth just smacks you right in the head! Cough syrup was about $25 for a bottle. NOT a gallon, just normal size. The photo below shows $9.99 for a 5lb bag of apples or oranges. Glad we’re just visiting!
So we head back out at the bus stop where the free shuttle will pick us up and take us back to where we catch the bus back to the ship. (I’m not sure if you’re aware, but my sense of direction and distance can occasionally be slightly “off” to say the least.) As we are standing waiting, I’m looking at this building about a block or so away and say to mom, “I think that’s the building right by where we catch the bus to the ship.” We have a little discussion and agree – sure, we can walk. GOD BLESS MY MOTHER. It was obviously NOT the building by the bus stop we needed. About 2 miles later, we made it there. I told her she could be mad at me, and she probably was because her knee was killing her, but she took it all in stride.
Back at the dock, we stopped in the gigantic warehouse that had been turned into a market for the cruise shippers. Little did we know then, it was some of the best shopping for prices and variety that we would have all trip. I am grateful because that is where I bought my jacket: fleece lined, water proof, hooded and warm for ONLY $30! I don’t think I could have bought it for that price, that nice, at home. SCORE and I really needed it (much to my chagrin). Quick lunch and head to the bus for our tour.
We went out to learn about crab fishing in the Bearing Sea on the Aleutian Ballad. For anyone who has watched “The Deadliest Catch” this is the infamous ship which was overtaken by a freak 60 foot swell and almost sunk. It was caught on film and has been the most requested / watched clip of the show ever. (here’s the clip) The crew on the ship was very cool and educational. The ship sailed out to sea near the Metlakatla Indian Reservation where the crew was allowed to feed the Bald Eagles. It was soooo cool – they just swarmed the boat when we got to their feeding area.
They showed us the crab traps (huge!), a trap they use to catch octopi who steal their catch, the various fishing lines and how things worked. A very special moment was when we got to put a message to dad on a tag and it will be put on the main crab trap (with lots of other memorial messages). Now let me tell you, crab fishing ain’t for the faint of heart. And you better know what (the F) you’re doing or just plan to perish. I got some great photos and this link talks a lot more about the boat and how the tour came to be. While I was shivering pretty much the whole time, it was a very interesting experience and worth the cold.
Straight back from the Ballad to the cruise ship (our tour was late) and we got back to our cabin so I could warm up! Dinner was again fabulous and the highlight of our evening was the show that night. Rob West from the UK did a tribute to Frankie Valli. One of our favs! We enjoyed and headed to bed for a big day again tomorrow.