Our second port of call was Sitka, Alaska. It was also our favorite. Sitka is a town of about 20,000 and is situated in an absolutely gorgeous location.
Getting to Sitka involved leaving the ship and boarding one of those little boats to the left. It's bigger than it looks. I'm guessing that it is around 40' long and seats 50 - 60 people. The trip to shore only takes about five minutes.
Our first stop in Sitka was the raptor center. Raptors are birds of prey. This facility cares for birds that have been injured and nurses them back to health, then releases them back into the wild. There are a few birds that have suffered injuries severe enough that they cannot be released, and have become permanent residents. The eagle above is one example. They are just a magnificent animal. Here's a little factoid. Everything about an eagle revolves around food. They do not fly for fun. If an eagle is in the air, it is hunting. If I lived in Sitka, I would definitely volunteer to work here.
Our next stop was the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Performing Arts Center. It's pronounced just like it's spelled...I think. The structure is a replica of a tribal council house. The dancers ranged in age from 4-40. One thing I have noticed is the similarity of Indian art work. The bold colors and graphics seem to be common to tribes from South America, to Mexico, to the Plains Indians and into Alaska. I love these graphics.
Finally we made a stop at the Sitka National Forest to view a few totem poles. We did not have nearly enough time to explore the walking trails. We got back into town a little after noon and still have a couple of hours to look around town. We found a local restaurant and had the most amazing lunch. My wife ordered fish and chips, which was fresh Halibut. That fish was swimming in the bay earlier in the morning. I had a BLT/Avocado with grilled Salmon! There is NO comparison to the salmon at your local market. This was just the best. We boarded the ship around 2:30 p.m. and set sail for Ketchikan. See you tomorrow.