Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 16 -- Sitka, Alaska

Today we learned a new term. “Tender.” Our ship docked in the Sitka Sound and they used our lifeboats (called Tenders) to transport us to shore. In the pictures, they are the orange and white boats. It was definitely a new experience, and it did not make getting back and forth from the ship very easy. That’s the only time we have been “tendered” to shore and we hope it is the last. The ship in the distance behind the “Welcome to Sitka” sign was our ship, so you can see how far away from shore we were. Sitka bills itself as the Russian American Capital. It was in Sitka where the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the USA took place. The Russian flag was lowered and the USA flag raised. In Sitka, we toured the city (it has 14 miles of paved roads, so that didn’t take long), visited a native cultural center where they were making native crafts, toured the Raptor Center, which is a rehabilitation center for wounded or injured birds of prey, went into St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church, and saw a Russian Dance performance. The Raptors Center was very interesting. They had lots of bald eagles, since Alaska has about 50% of the bald eagle population. The eagle you see with the man is Sheetka. Unfortunately, she could not be released into the wild so she was recruited to help the volunteers at the center teach. (Note the poster behind them. They had T-Shirts with that photo and it said “I Am Smiling!”)

1 comment:

Scott Weible said...

Wow, that eagle is pretty cool. I would have liked to see it up that close!