Haines, AK June 27, 2018

On the third day of our cruise we arrived at our first port city, Haines, pop 1,715.  IMG_20180627_141244DSC_0913IMG_20180627_071535-EFFECTSDSC_0930

Incorporated as a city in 1910, this area has one the largest congregations of bald eagles in the world which feed on salmon in the nearby Chilkat River. And, we saw many!  Every November Haines has an Alaska Bald Eagle Festival. Fort Seward, the site of the first permanent Army post in Alaska, was built in Haines in 1903. IMG_2507DSC_0803

Fishing is done year round in Haines with cod, crab and shrimp,as well as salmon in the summer and halibut year round.

Located in southeast Alaska and the northernmost point of the Alaska panhandle, Haines is one of the few towns in this part of Alaska which is connected by both a highway system and a seaport.

Our main activity while in Haines was a whale watching excursion on a catamaran named Fjordland.  DSCN6510

We saw a couple whales in the distance, as well as sea otters and sea lions. IMG_2598DSC_0783rIMG_20180627_194958

The sea lions were the most entertaining. IMG_2512IMG_2524DSCN6453DSCN6466IMG_2551IMG_2556

The highlight was seeing the beautiful Davidson Glacier. IMG_2626

The ride out was very rough and rocky and I was very glad I had taken Dramamine. Bill and Beth took some great pictures. I don’t know how they managed to get them with the boat rocking so much. I spent a lot of time in my seat because I could hardly stand much less walk around and I didn’t want to get sick. Beth loves lighthouses and was happy to see the Eldred Rock Lighthouse, a picturesque octagonal lighthouse constructed in 1906.  The property is now for sale. IMG_2616IMG_2619

We saw seals near the lighthouse island. DSC_0878

When we returned from our excursion we did take a free shuttle bus around the town with a very friendly and helpful driver. Only one cruise ship visits every week and the town shows their appreciation by providing this free service. We were told that the bus is paid for with tourist port fees. We did stop in a couple small gift shops in town. Haines has a Hammer Museum with a collection of over 1,600 hammers but we didn’t have time to visit. DSC_0914DSC_0926DSCN6531

When we returned to our ship they were in the process of having their monthly crew drill where they employ the lifeboats. Really interesting to watch. IMG_20180627_110600IMG_20180627_110650IMG_20180627_110605

Many thanks again to Beth for some of the pictures and for the great sea lion video where you can actually hear the sounds the sea lions made. See/select the below video:

Bald Eagle Trivia:

  • Bald eagles can fly up to 30 mph DSC_0792IMG_2611
  • They can dive through the air up to 100 mph
  • A bald eagle can spot a fish up to a mile away
  • It is illegal to possess a bald eagle feather unless you are a Native American

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