Prince Rupert - Juneau Part 1
Now aboard the MV Mat... and back an hour just by stepping onboard! That means it was a 4:30 rather than the 5:30 am start, it could be a long day...
The weather has reverted to drizzle which is normal for this part of the world.
Yesterday was gloriously sunny and warm. It was the perfect day to take a trip aboard a RIB and watch Grizzly bears. The trip cost a lot, but 6 hrs of cruising at 35-40knts through islands and narrow channels and then close up viewing of mother bears and cubs. They are BIG! They were right down at the waters edge munching endlessly on the sawgrass that grows on the alluvial fans. We 1st saw a mother and single cub. They were wandering slowly along a fairly narrow stretch of grass munching all the time. The cub looked out of place because it had a pale head with black ears and eye patches... a panda! We moved on past the floating green Park Rangers hut nestled at the foot of a steep wooded slope that extended up behind to 1000 ft or more. Soon afterwards we spotted another mother with twin cubs and moved in close to watch and take photos and then another bear with twins appeared round the corner 3-400 yd further down. The two groups didn't seem to mind the others being close but they were working their way towards each other through the grass. We watched as one family swam across a small channel, the mother going first followed rather reluctantly by the cubs. The mum waited in the shallows for the cubs and gave each one a playful nip and bat and then spent a minute or so playing together. When the mum moved off the cubs ran out of the water and play fought foe a while before returning to munching grass. Apparently an adult will eat 70lb a day... That is a lot of grass, no wonder they are eating almost continuously.
We arrived back in Prince Rupert about 6pm and handed back our arctic wet weather suits before a fellow passenger (Bill) and I went for a beer in a seafront pub. Had a black beer which looks like Guinness but tasted much better!
Got back to the Pioneer Inn and spent some time downloading photos and emailing a few to Bill and then to two other travelers. Booked a taxi for the morning and went to my room at 10:30 and repacked, booked my first nights accommodation in Juneau at the International Hostel for $10 (Very cheap and only one chore required per day). Eventually to bed at 1am after rechecking my alarm!
Sitting in the forward viewing lounge now typing this. The sea is glassy and the drizzle has stopped for the moment. Time to wrap up and take a walk outside.
17:15 Alaska time.
1st leg of this trip was seven hours, from Prince Rupert to Ketchikan AK, self proclaimed 'salmon capital of the world'! Actually saw a lot of them swimming up river to a fish weir where they are diverted through a hatchery before being allowed to continue up stream. There are berths for 5 cruise liners right along the main street, massive things which disgorge a thousand or more passengers each!
We set off from Ketchikan at 7pm AK time and head into the night to Wrangle and Petersburg. We are promised a good display by humpbacks in the early morning after leaving Petersburg.
Sorry that there are no photos here but I am having trouble posting them from my iPad.... Apple and Google don't always seem to get along :-(
Photos can be found by copy and pasting the following link. More will be added as I progress.
Sent from my iPad