Alaska – Deadliest Ketch-ikan

Alaska – Deadliest Ketch-ikan

Ketchikan Alaska is “revered” for its near-constant rain. So, we weren’t surprised when we arrived around 10am to find complete overcast and a sky that portended precipitation.  It was indeed raining, but not so much that British Columbian residents would really think it required, say, an umbrella.  We (well Scott) had a singular mission to get some “quality internet time” (we are  too cheap to pay for it onboard). Kathy insisted that we first tour  the excellent Southeast Alaska Discovery museum run by the National Park Service, and take a walk down Creek Street, formerly the bordello row, now shops (nominally interesting).  Scott became increasingly anxious, like an addict in bad need of a fix. After a circuitous and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find WiFi at the local library, we finally found it for the price of a cappuccino at a coffee shop near the ship. But it wasn’t particularly reliable or fast (the capp’ was good though…). After about 45 minutes of fighting with it (and accomplishing little)  Scott was thoroughly disgusted. Anyway, it was time to leave for our afternoon excursion.

The Deadliest Catch and the Wettest Day:  Our last tour is apparently *the* most popular tour in Alaska. It’s called the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Tour   and is, you guessed it, given by… ex-Bering Sea fishermen. It featured a retrofitted version of the Aleutian Ballad, a crab fishing boat featured in Season II of the hit TV show “Deadliest Catch”. A  For those of you that follow the show, the Aleutian Ballad caught a 60 foot “rogue wave” that flipped the boat on its side (it eventually righted itself). Apparently this episode is THE most requested out of all the seasons and episodes of Deadly Catch. Check out the clip on Youtube .  First exercise was to pull in long line of hooks, baited and left out on a previous tour. Various fish landed on board, and we set off to feed them to some fabulous bald eagles on the nearby Native American island. And then rain started. And escalated. Rapidly.  Suddenly it’s coming down in sheets and about 25 degrees from vertical. Kathy finds a less-intense spot in the covered lower level, while Scott, in either a foolish, overly-optimistic, or resigned-to-his-fate move, hunkered down and hoped for a break. It didn’t come. Jacket plus pants and shoes completely soaked, then crew came by with oversized rain jackets, but too late. Scott sloshed when he walked. The eagle show was drowned out.Turns out eagles don’t like flying in driving sideways rain – who knew? We moved on to stories presented by real fishermen who were on some of the “Deadliest Catch” boats including the converted one we were on.  We saw demonstrations including line fishing, catching spot prawns, seine netting salmon, and snow crab & king-crab catching. The show finished with a 30lb octopus that had been caught earlier trying to munch on the crab catch; they hold onto it for a couple of days before releasing it. The pictures will guide you to the content of the show, but won’t do justice to the “feel like you’re part of it” experience of the tour. Despite the torrent, we really did quite enjoy the tour, our last on this cruise. As we sailed out of Ketchikan, the sun came out, it warmed up, and we enjoyed a sunset cocktail on our deck. Right alongside was a coast guard zodiac, with a mounted automatic weapon, perhaps guarding us from errant Somalian pirates….

Enjoy some more shots of Ketchikan and the Alaskan Ballad below…

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