Here’s my wonky attempt at showing you the view from our balcony this morning. We were all set to have a seafood feast at Ketchikan this morning, so we elected to have Ruby bring breakfast to our cabin this morning.

Having a butler is turning out to be quite handy.

While we were waiting with many others for our tour to be called, I started talking to an English woman called Suze. This is her 18th Silver Seas cruise.

Can you imagine?

She says she likes to go on 3 or 4 cruises a year, plus she tries to fit in a land tour. She’s been doing this all her life. She’s in her mid 70’s now and a knee replacement is trying its best to slow her down, but she’s having none of it.

“I’m booked to the end of 2027,” she said. “After that, I’ll probably slow down a bit.”

Oof. I thought I was pretty swish, booking myself to the end of September 2025. Clearly, I’ll have to lift my game!

Ketchikan usually has a population of around 9,000, but in summer the cruise ships hit town. The Silver Muse has around 500 passengers, which seems big to me. But 4 other cruise ships were docking at Ketchikan this morning – this monster has over 5,000 passengers!

It looks like a wall! This town was crowded…

Ketchikan has a lot of these huge steps that have been here so long – before the actual streets were built – that they also have street names. This one is Elliot street.

Imagine hauling your groceries all the way up here?

The fishing village was down a long, steep walk to the dock.

Look at how sparkling this water is. There’s a 20-foot difference between the tides.

It was a 25-minute boat ride to where the feast was going to be held. We saw some stunning scenery.

A lot of shrimp (prawn) hunting goes on here. One of the unwritten laws is that if you are fishing, you’re hungry and you need to eat something, you can pull up someone else’s shrimp pit and have a feed. You have to re-bait it and put it back, along with a 6-pack of beer as a thank-you.

We also saw this Bald Eagle swoop down to get a fish that our guide threw into the water. This happened 3 times and I was able to see them all. The way the eagle stretches out his white legs to grab the fish just before he hits the water was something to see.

It was spectacular!

The guide said that for every mile of coastline there’s a pair of eagles.

This is the view from the dock as we walked up from our boat.

They also farm oysters here. They don’t grow in Alaska naturally. The oyster farmers have to bring them in as ‘seedlings’ or very young oysters. The water is so cold for them here, so they grow large and fatty, which some people prefer.

There are quite a few chainsaw sculptures here at the lodge This was the first one.

The story is that a guy visited the fishing shack and asked if they had any timber that he could use to make some art. They said, “We have a few trees out the back!”

In exchange for his art, he was able to come and fish whenever he wanted.

There were people in the restaurant, so we went on a ‘nature walk’ behind the buildings. This was code for a short boardwalk.

The ground was a quagmire. The guide said that there were deer here, but I couldn’t see how they’d be able to walk.

Moss hung from nearly every tree. I wondered if the trees wanted to shake their branches free of the encroaching weight of it.

This tree is the 4th biggest Red Cedar in the world. It’s on the fishing lodge’s 5 acres, so they officially own it.

A hummingbird buzzed Megan’s face. I’m so envious. I still haven’t seen one.

I don’t see why Americans are so patriotic.

I think that you can feel love for your country without needing to make a huge display of it.

More taxidermy.

He was over a handwashing station, which I was glad to use later on.

We were told that this was a “Southern Style” feast, which meant nothing to me.

I should’ve taken more notice of the tablecloth of newspapers.

Yep. She just tipped out the whole lot in the middle of the table. Megan found my reaction very funny. I leapt back and said, “Jesus!”

I soon grabbed the crab-claw cutters and got stuck in.

Everything was fresh and delicious.

There wasn’t much left by the time we finished. We talked to one of the workers and she said that she often takes the leftovers home.

“We get a bit sick of crab claws, mussels and shrimp, but the neighbours love us if we make a big seafood bake and ask them around to help us eat it!”

OK, so the guide was right and I was wrong.

Here’s a deer.

I’ve seen many a movie where the actors loll around on these benches screwed to the roof. I had to have a go.

It was surprisingly comfortable. I wonder if I could do this on MY verandah?

We sped back to the dock. Megan, not the best traveller, sat at the back with her eyes on the horizon.

I sat at the front and enjoyed every bump. But seriously, it seemed like a bit of a risk. Pump everyone full of seafood and warm chocolate-ship cookies and then give them a rollercoaster ride back?

We had a very funny, very camp driver on the way back to Ketchikan. He was halfway through an Indigenous legend about how the world began when suddenly we all yelled, “BEAR!”

He slammed on the brakes as a teenage bear ran out on the road, made as if to double-back, then changed his mind and ran across the road to disappear in the foliage. It happened so fast that no one had a chance to grab a photo.

“Hmmm, lucky I stopped,” said the driver. That bear was lucky that he didn’t end up sprawled all over the windscreen.

Ok, I bought a souvenir here. It’s a small piece of white quartz with some gold running through it.

It’s a useful souvenir because I could wear it every day and it’ll go with anything. I stand by my shopping choices.

The mountains hug this town. It’s so odd to think that behind these buildings are bears and wolves.

Every single thing the people here need to support life comes in via barge.

Even babushka dolls. There’s a shop full of them. I took this photo for Scott since it reminded me of when we went shopping for them in Lincoln.

Imagine living over this tunnel?

As we walked closer to the dock, I liked the house on the top of the hill, but I also liked the trio of blue hats so close together.

Got them all in the one shot!

You’ve got to be careful of the wildlife here.

Our tender boat to get back to the Silver Muse took ages to dock.

“it’s because he’s being watched by the captain!” said someone.

I looked to my right and sure enough, our captain was there. He eventually had had enough, grabbed a rope and helped the guy on the dock bring the tender in.

We dressed up a bit and went for dinner at the same restaurant I went to the night before. It was only a ‘smart, elegant’ night on the calendar.

Now that we’re in the inside passage, Megan has her equilibrium back and we’re ready for more. Someone said to us that there are more animal sightings the further North we go, so that’ll be exciting.

Dad joke of the day: