13 August – Sitka, Alaska

Rain rain rain….we really should have read the words “temperate rain forest” and actually understood them!  We left Prince Rupert on the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry on Sunday, pitched our tent on deck, and enjoyed the journey north through the Inside Passage to Sitka.  

Camping on deck on the MS Taku

We pitched our tent in the rainy darkness at Starrigavan Campsite, hoping that the local sow Black Bear and her two cubs were fast asleep somewhere far away….two very wet days later and we have treated ourselves to a night at the Sitka Hotel.

It is a lovely little town all the same – it has a rich Native Tlingit, Russian and American history, all of which have left their marks.  It is busy with cruise ship passengers by day, but in the late afternoon, when the rain clears and the crowds go, it is a very pleasant place.  Last night we met “Irish Dave”, a Kilkenny man who is a fisherman here.  Not quite the Deadliest Catch, but not far off!  He let Cathal “ring the bell” in the Pioneer Bar – this signifies that the bell ringer has had a great catch at sea and buys the bar a round of drinks!  Dave picked up the tab…thanks for that!

Sitka is a town where gun-toting is quite normal.  The sales assistant at the outdoor store had a gun at his belt, and a lady told us she wouldn’t even go picking berries without bringing a gun!  Locals here still hunt for some of their food, it is deer-hunting season at the moment, so venison will be on everyone’s menu.  We saw a musical display of Tlingit culture yesterday, in a replica of an old community house, with a big fire pit in the centre.  Cathal commented on the similiarity to Siberian culture.


Tomorrow we travel to Juneau, the Alaskan Capital, a little further north  This is our jump-off point for getting to Glacier Bay.  On the 16th, we are heading off into Queen Inlet in Glacier Bay for 5 days seakayaking.  There will be no get out clause there if it is wet!!

Sailing out of Prince Rupert

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1 Response to “13 August – Sitka, Alaska”


  1. 1 Monica snf Jim August 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    hi guys
    glad to see you are nearing the end of your trip cos you will soon run out of room on your website!!! only kidding!

    where are the pics of alan?? looking forward to the next installment but even more to seeing you very soon in LONDON BABY!!

    take care

    M xxx


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