20-22 June 2014
15-19 June 2014
Cloudy and a comfortable 50° as we dock in Kake on Kupreanof Island. The island, named for the governor of Russian America, may have been visited by Sir Francis Drake in 1579, but it’s greatest fame comes from resident Tlingits being bombarded by the US Army in 1869. The 52×20 mile island is now home to 600 residents and the world’s tallest totem pole at 128′ (built to celebrate the centennial of US purchase of Alaska). Talked with a carver and a weaver; locals are sparse but friendly; saw many eagles, a black bear cub, and numerous ramshackle houses. The low islands in the bay are where they bury their dead. Today, Father’s Day, this island isn’t any livelier.
10-14 June 2014
What has 100 jewelry stores, five large passenger ships, and 10,000 pedestrians crammed into six small blocks? Ketchikan, Alaska. Unless you want to purchase a diamond or a fur coat, watch a duck tour boat drive down the street, or pose in front of its iconic welcome sign, it is best to find a historic bar and order an Alaskan beer then get out of town ASAP. This is exactly what I did. I cursed the miserably crowded streets, enjoyed the ambiance and beer at the historic Gilmore Hotel, then boarded the Baranof Dream to better destinations.