Posts Tagged ‘Alaska Marine Highway’

On Location: SE Alaska!

Map of route through Inside Passage, British Columbia and Southeast Alaska

Updated August 4, 2012 Follow along on a photo journey through Southeast Alaska via the Alaska Marine Highway System.  Our three week adventure begins in Bellingham, Washington, cruises through the Inside Passage of coastal British Columbia, then continues north with stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Glacier Bay, Juneau, Tracy Arm and Sitka.  See whale, otter, […]

Best Sights and Restaurants of Southeast Alaska

Fishing wharfs, Sitka, Alaska

Here are my favorite sights and restaurants in Southeast Alaska, along with a few tips for getting around when traveling via the Alaska Marine Highway System without a car. Favorite Sights in Southeast Alaska #1  Glacier Bay National Park While Tracy Arm (see #2 below) probably has an edge over Glacier Bay on visually stunning […]

Southeast Alaska Day 23 – Alaska Raptor Center

Two injured bald eagles, Alaska Raptor Center, Sitka, Alaska

July 21, 2012 Today we toured the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka, Alaska.  The Center takes in injured raptors from across North America for rehabilitation and, where possible, release into the wild. For $12, visitors see a short introductory video, get a peek into the medical room, look through one-way glass windows into their “flight […]

Southeast Alaska Day 22 – Sitka’s Sunset Secret

Fishing wharfs, Sitka, Alaska

July 20, 2012 Hard to believe, but we had our third spectacular sunset in a row in Sitka.  I’m beginning to think that Sitka has been keeping some kind of secret here. Here are a few shots from Sitka’s busy fishing harbor.  In 2009, Sitka ranked 9th world-wide in fishery harvest value selling 107,504,477 pounds […]

Southeast Alaska Day 21 – Sitka

Virgin Mother of God, painting, St Michaels Cathedral, Sitka, Alaska

July 19, 2012 Today we toured through Sitka, Alaska, first visiting the Russian Orthodox St. Michael’s Cathedral located right smack in the middle of Lincoln Street.  It was interesting to learn about Orthdox Christianity, such as its split with what became the Catholic church after the Orthodox rejected the idea of centralizing power with the […]

Southeast Alaska Day 20 – Sitka National Historical Park

Totem pole, Sitka National Historic Park, Sitka, Alaska

July 18, 2012 Motoring along at top speeds just a little over 40 miles per hour, the catamaran Fairweather whisked us from Juneau to Sitka in just over four hours.  This is one of Alaska Marine Highway System’s newest, fastest and most maneuverable car ferry, perfect for navigating the narrow waters of Peril, Neva and […]

Southeast Alaska Day 19 – Wow! Tracy Arm!

Harbor seals on iceberg, Tracy Arm, Alaska

July 17, 2012   Imagine a 30+ mile long Yosemite Valley flooded with 600 feet of water with 6000 foot peaks rising straight up out of the water.  Imagine more Yosemite Valleys breaking out along the length of this first one, each with 8000 foot peaks rising above the valley floor.  Imagine all this Yosemite […]

Southeast Alaska Day 18 – Alaska State Museum

Seal decoy helmet, Alaska State Museum, Juneau, Alaska

July 16, 2012 The Alaska State Museum in downtown Juneau provides world-class exhibits on the culture of early northern Native Americans, settlement of Alaska by Russians and the subsequent sale of the territory to the United States, and Alaska’s role in fighting the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. For me, the […]

Southeast Alaska Day 17 – More Mendenhall

Photographer at Mendenhall Lake, Juneau, Alaska

July 15, 2012 Today I returned to Mendenhall Lake with the family.  We hiked out to Nugget Falls as well as the salmon and bear viewing trails near the parking lot.  Still a bit too early for salmon and bear, but Nugget Falls was flowing at full steam.   Continue to Day 18 – Alaska […]

Southeast Alaska Day 16 – Mendenhall Glacier Evening Walk

Iceberg "berg-bit" on Mendenhall Lake, Juneau, Alaska

July 14, 2012 We are back in Juneau on a late afternoon flight from Glacier Bay National Park. After dinner, groceries and settling in at the Beach House B&B, I take a late evening stroll out to photograph Nugget Falls at bits of icebergs (AKA “berg-bits”) on Mendenhall Glacier.  I got some nice shots of […]

Southeast Alaska Day 15 – Wildlife of Glacier Bay

Sea otter, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

July 13, 2012 Today we toured Glacier Bay on the catamaran operated by Glacier Bay Lodge & Tours.  Though it was cold and drippy, and Friday the thirteenth, luck was with us from a wildlife point of view. The tour ran all the way up Glacier Bay to the head of Tarr Inlet, where the […]

Southeast Alaska Day 14 – Mount Roberts Tramway and Arrival in Glacier Bay

Forest Loop Trail, Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

July 12, 2012 Today we shelled out $72.50 for two adults and a child to ride the Mount Roberts Tramway up the side of Mount Roberts.  We are definitely back in the “Alaska Tourist Zone” again with all the high-priced gift shops, jewelry stores and spendy attractions that surround the cruise ship docks.  Our time […]

Southeast Alaska Day 13 – Whales in Frederick Sound

Tail of humpback whale in Frederick Sound, Southeast Alaska

July 11, 2012 The day was spent on the eight-hour ferry sailing between Petersburg and Juneau, Alaska.  The route included Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage, both key summer grounds for humpback whales migrating back and forth between Southeast Alaska and Hawaii. And sure enough, we saw over a dozen humpbacks scattered about in both bodies […]

Southeast Alaska Day 12 – More Petersburg

Seaplane and seaplane hanger, Petersburg, Alaska

July 10, 2012 More harbor scene photographs around Petersburg, Alaska.           Continue to Day 13 – Whales in Frederick Sound

Southeast Alaska Day 11 – Petersburg

Viking ship Valhalla, Petersburg, Alaska

July 9, 2012 Another day of rain, light enough in the morning, but heavy enough in the afternoon to discourage wandering from the hotel. Petersburg was first settled a couple thousand years ago as a Tlingit fish camp.  But it earned the name Petersburg and the nickname “Alaska’s Little Norway” when Norwegian Peter Buschmann built […]

Southeast Alaska Day 10 – Mount Dewey and Sailing to Petersburg

Wharf, Petersburg, Alaska

July 8, 2012 “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” — John Muir, naturalist, explorer, writer These are the words that […]

Southeast Alaska Day 9 – Anan Creek Bears

Black bear, AnAn Creek Bear Observatory, Tongass National Forest, Alaska

July 7, 2012 It rained nearly the whole day, but I hardly noticed.  We were surrounded by bears, both black and brown, and somehow rain just wasn’t relevant. Breakaway Adventures packed 12 of us into their landing craft style boat The Motivator for the one hour trip around the east side of Wrangell Island to […]

Southeast Alaska Day 8 – Petroglyph Beach

Petroglyph on Petroglyph Beach, Wrangell, Alaska

July 6, 2012 One of Wrangell’s highlights is a visit to Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park, about a mile north of town.  Dozens of petroglyphs are scattered on boulders, making this the highest known concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast Alaska. Most of the rock art here depicts faces, circles, spirals and animals.  Nobody knows their […]

Southeast Alaska Day 7 – Sailing to Wrangell

Moody skies over Clarence Strait, Alaska's Inside Passage

July 5, 2012 Today was occupied with catching up on the laundry, and then sailing for Wrangell. The winds and seas were calm, and about half of the 8 hour sailing was sunny.  People lazed about in the sun, occasionally adjusting the direction of their lounge chairs as the ship changed course relative to the […]

Southeast Alaska Day 6 – 4th of July Ketchikan Style

Native American dancers performing in Ketchikan's Fourth of July parade

July 4, 2012 Independent bookseller Parnassus Books made for a nice place to hang out while waiting for the parade to start.  Purchased the beautiful photo book  Misty Fjords, by Chip Porter, and enjoyed a delicious slice of the store owner’s homemade apple pie, one of four flavors to choose from. Hundreds of people lined […]

Southeast Alaska Day 5 – Totem Bight State Historical Park

Thunderer's Pole, Totem Bight State Historical Park, Ketchikan, Alaska

July 3, 2012 Totem Bight State Historical Park makes for a fascinating half-day excursion from downtown Ketchikan, Alaska.  Started in 1938, the Civilian Conservation Corps hired local Native carvers to duplicate original totem poles that were eroding away in abandoned villages.  New poles were carved right next to the originals, which were brought in from […]

Southeast Alaska Day 4 – Ketchikan

Creek Street, Ketchikan, Alaska

July 2, 2012 Funny thing about this town:  once the cruise ships leave in the late afternoon, the town (or at least this part of the town) practically shuts down.  That means eating dinner at the same few restaurants that remain open.  My recommendation for a Ketchikan dinner:  Annabelle’s Restaurant.  Favorite meal (for second night […]

Southeast Alaska Day 2 – Cruising

Edge of Land, Johnstone Strait, British Columbia, Canada

June 30, 2012   Today was spent just cruising northwest.  Nothing too spectacular, but plenty to see along the way.  At breakfast, we passed right next to a pod of about 50 porpoises surfacing in tight rings, likely feeding.  The scene reminds me of a Planet Earth episode, with David Attenborough saying “Working together, the […]