Monday, September 1, 2008



Woke this morning in Ketchikan. We docked at 6:34 am and by noon it was 16C with Showers
Five other big cruise ships are at port also. The little town if full of tourists! The town is full of tourist shops, but I'm on a mission!! I've got to find the shuttle to WalMart and the Radio Shack store. These following pictures are borrowed! I forgot to mention, I thought for a second only... about interrupting Captain Jan Smit at his welcome speech last night to see if he'd ask everyone about a Panasonic battery charger, but Tom linked his arm in mine and wouldn't let go! Nah...I wouldn't have been that bold!! Must have been the champagne!

So, off we go, and find the shuttle. A whole lot of crew got on with us and the driver was Eskimo looking and very grouchy!! Off we drove, for miles and miles and I was worried, we were being hijacked! However, we eventually passed a Radio Shack but it was onward to Walmart. I was in that store and to the electronics department and back out before that same shuttle took off. Sadly, they didn't have that kind of charger!! Woe is me!!! I asked the grouchy driver would stop for just second at Radio Shack and he wouldn't!! I felt like taking back my dollar tip right out of his jar on the dashboard!! Mean man!! I was the only one that put a tip in!! So, back on the long drive back into Ketchikan.

Alaskans call Ketchikan the "First City", not because of it's size or population but because in the days before air travel, it was always the first Alaskan port of call for northbound steamship passengers. Because of it's imposing mountains range that nearly reaches the shore, there was little place to build, so the enterprising pioneers added "land" by sinking sturdy pilings and building piers on top of them. So, many homes and restaurants still sit on stilts in the harbour!

Ketchikan was once known as the 'canned' salmon capital of the world. What rings the cash registers now is the tourists! Beginning in the 1990's, Ketchikan transformed itself from just calling it self the Capital of Salmon Fishing to a cruise ship capital with as many as 10 ships a day at port!! Many of the stores along the port are owned by the cruise ships as well!! They say if you stay in Ketchikan longer the an hour, chances are it will rain at least once! It was raining the day we first arrived, however coming back on our return trip we had sunshine.
But more when I tell you about that return trip.
Ketchikan is also called the wettest community in N. America with 156"-162" of rainfall. This was also once a thriving red light district. Prostitution became illegal in 1954. In it's hey-day, it had 30 brothels and became known as the only place in Alaska where the fishermen and the fish went upstream to spawn. Dolly's Place, a famous madams house is here, but we didn't get to see it.
The above picture is fish!!! Salmon! Everywhere in the waters! Teaming with them! We stood on the ship and watched them thrashing around.

Spiffy men's wear!! Must get really cold in the winter here!!

We stop and look at a few places then Tom's leg is beginning to trouble him, so we go back to ship. It's pouring rain by then. We find Lucky and give him the gifts for his family we brought him and have a good long visit in our room chatting about his promotion and his family. He's a really nice guy! He offered his camera to use while on the cruise, but the camera shop guy saw me when we came aboard and he is taking me personally to the camera store in Juneau tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm still asking the odd person I meet if they have the same kind of charger with no luck, Sooo.. I'm giving up!!!

Later we go to the Library and I look down at my hand and my ring is gone!!! I'm in a panic!! My mind backtracks to when I took it off yesterday to try on rings. I remember putting it in my pocket. Also remember having that sweater on and off, dropping it, picking it from the ground, upside down, this way and that!! I'm almost crying as I reach the room, then, can't find my key but Lucky is standing there and I tell him my problem, so he opens the door and comes back into the room with me, while I look for the sweater. Oh my's still in the pocket. Lucky gives me a hug and tells me he's worried about me and am I like this all the time!!! hahahahah. Meaning "panic mode!" Or maybe "screwball mode!"

On the way back to the Library, I decide to take a walk around the promenade deck to get some air, and meet a bunch of crew, watching fish, so I watch with them. One asks if I was on the Zaandam before, and I tell him it was when going to Hawaii. He thought he knew me! Then he remembered.....but, what does he remember? Just me and my friendliness, or my craziness? When we first got on the ship, one crew member looked and said "LINDA!" I recognized him as the guy who dolled out very stingily, the mints after dinner and I'd flirt as best this old broad can flirt and ask for more!! I bet he was thinking "Oh no....order more mints!!

My stomach now tells me it's 12:05, so I collect Tom who is looking out the Library window at the snow on the mountains and the many, many water planes that seem to be taking off and landing constantly. They fly so close to the window that I can plainly see the young pilots. I think to myself, that maybe if I made a big sign and held it to the window about a Panasonic charger....nope....I'm going to give up!!! Then I spot a boat that is called The Pacific Dentist. I'm wondering if they have a dentist that goes around and fixes natives teeth that are in little cabins along the way, but as it gets closer, I see it's called The Pacific Destiny...not Dentist! Oh my!!

So off we go for lunch. We are due to sail away at 2:30 pm. After we sail away, Linda and I decide to go play bingo for a $100,000 jackpot. It wasn't cheap to play! $35 to play 6 games. We decide to split the cost and the jackpot and plan on what fun it would be to return to Tom and Ken with our windfall!! Ha!! We should have saved our money. A guy from Ontario won twice, but you had to have a full card within so many numbers called to win the jackpot. The prizes fell drastically with the more numbers called! So, Linda went off to do laundry, and we planned on meeting for the lobster, formal dinner at the Rotterdam for dinner.

We had a great window seat and a table for 6. The area we passed through was lovely and reminded me of Northern Ontario. Made me ill not to be taking pictures!! But I was going to stop fretting about it. The sea was like glass, just beautiful. Another couple who also became friends throughout the cruise, was Jack and Carol. Linda was sitting beside her, and she asked what kind of camera Carol had. I wasn't even listening!! All of a sudden, Linda and Ken cheer, and for heaven sake, Carol pulls out my very same camera. Grabs the battery out of it , and races to her room to get it charged so I'd have it after the evening show!! Wow!!! Amazing!!!! Terrific!!

So, we settle down, gaze out the window, commenting on the scenery, when all of a sudden right in front of our window and very close to the ship a huge big whale makes a dive into the air, does a flip and his huge tail disappears from sight. It was incredible!! Everyone yelled and got excited about seeing the whale and everyone in the dining room runs over to our side of the ship. Now, I'm worried we may tip over!! Everyone laughs!! What a dip stick!!

Carol gives me her room number and tells me I can use the charger anytime, however they are getting off before Anchorage and going on a land trip also. At least I'll have some pictures along the way.

The evening show was a magician! Not great, and needs to update his act. He's still pulling rabbits out of a hat!! Not impressed!!

So, we say goodnight to Ken and Linda and head to bed. No funny dreams tonight, but I do dream of some guy trying to pick me up and me telling him, I'm married. Gosh, even faithful in my dreams!! About 4 am, Toms hand reaches above his head, our hands touch each other and our fingers twine around each others. Instantly the phone rings!! Geeze, what's going on!! In that instant, so many thoughts go racing through your head and none of them are good ones!!

The voice on the other end asks if we are okay. Eh? Yeah!! Why we ask! Apparently our hands touched the emergency button on the headboard. This is a handicapped room, remember!. So, we tell them we are sorry and hang up, then we get into a laughing fit over it! Yup, we do have fun!!

Tomorrow we are in Juneau...home of McCains new running mate, however we didn't know that at the time, although all you could get on CNN was the political news.

Anyway, I'm tired of typing and going to clear up my notes and mess and go have a nap.

More tomorrow.....when I tell you about Day 4.

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West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! In love with a wonderful husband!! A Capreol Girl from 1959-1975, Belleville 1975-1985


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