We had almost a full day in Sitka, and our big outing was a Nature Sighting Cruise – Bears, Whales, and Sea Otters, one or more guaranteed (I guess they have a contract with Dr. Doolittle or something). And yes, we got off a boat and got right back on another. Go figure.
Sitka was a pleasant little fishing town, surrounded by a network of islands and channels. We navigated through quite a few of those channels in search of said otters, bears and whales. Turns out we saw everything but bears.
And we saw eagles – all the eagles you can imagine. Turns out the bald eagle is pretty much the pigeon of Alaska – they’re everywhere. If we see one in the lower 48, it’s front page news. Here it’s mundane. But for us Californians, every one was a thrill.
The sea otters were pretty cool. They were clustered up in a small colony, all floating around on their backs and apparently enjoying the day. Many of them were females with pups (also called kits) clinging to them, giving them an odd look from a distance. I don’t think my pictures of them do justice, but here’s one as an example. The light wasn’t great so everything is a little monochrome.
Sitka’s population doubled or tripled with a couple of cruise ships in port, so the town had a very small, quiet feel to it. Kind of place where everybody knows everybody. We walked the length and breadth of it in about 15 minutes then decided to retire to our cabin, heading off for the next stop.