156/376 - Me on the Aleutian Ballad

Me on the Aleutian Ballad
“Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.”     ~Melba Colgrove
Some people were wondering if I really went on this trip. Here is proof positive. Can you tell I was having fun?

155/376 - Goin' Fishin'

Goin' Fishin'
“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.”     ~Herbert Hoover
Lucky guy.

154/376 - More Rope

More Rope
“A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free”      ~Nikos Kazantzakis
See what I mean about rope and knots?

153/376 - Rope and Knots

Rope and Knots
“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”     ~Seneca
On board a boat there are ropes and knots everywhere. They tend to be incredibly photogenic objects.

152/376 - Winner!

“The determination to win is the better part of winning.”     ~Daisaku Ikeda
He caught the Octopus! And I think this is his "circle of life" pose.

151/376 - Kid with a Shrimp

Kid with a shrimp
“There can never be any excuse for sacrificing our children’s futures to keep corporate tax loopholes and tax giveaways to millionaires. If we can’t put our children first, who can we put first? If we can’t put our kids first, what does it say about our nation?”     ~Senator John Kerry
They also brought up some shrimp and let people touch and watch them. This kid was very excited. I just wish I had a model release because I bet this picture could be sold! I've seen lots of shrimp in my time (I grew up close to Galveston) but never one so red.

150/376 - Wrestling an Octopus

Wrestling an Octopus
“It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired-you quit when the gorilla is tired.”     ~Robert Strauss
When they pulled up a crab pot shaped like a flying saucer this octopus fell out and into the pot throwing mechanism. One of the hosts (Kiwi?) decided to get it out and ended up wrestling with the darned thing. Apparently they don't give up easily.

149/376 - Anchor Chain

Anchor Chain on Aleutian Ballad
“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”     ~Robert M. Hutchins
I couldn't pass up some "artistic" shots while on my trip. This is the chain that holds the anchor for the Aleutian Ballad.

148/376 - Crab

Up Close with a Crab
“If we are going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.”     ~Judith Hayes
Way too cool crab caught on the Aleutian Ballad during my "Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour".

147/376 - More Eagles

Eagle in Ketchikan
“I've come to the frightening conclusioin that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.”~Dr. Haim Ginott
As the fishermen on the Aleutian Ballad were talking with the audience the captain (Derrick) was maneuvering the boat. As he got relatively close to an island the fishermen started throwing bait off the side of the boat and as they did this a flock of 30 to 40 bald eagles started circling around the side of the boat.

Eagles in Ketchikan

Everyone on the boat rushed over to the railing and started taking pictures. At one point I heard one guy cry in anguish, "I've exhausted my 2 gig card on my camera!"

Eagle in Ketchikan

At some point (we were there close to 15 or 20 minutes) I forced myself to stop taking pictures and look around with my eyes. I was nearly in tears. It was THAT cool! Throughout the week long trip we saw lots of flora but didn't end up seeing much in the way of fauna. This was one of those rare times and it was well worth the money.

146/376 - Fish on board the Aleutian Ballad

Fish Caught on Aleutian Ballad
“I'm so ugly - I worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big I'd get”     ~Rodney Dangerfield
This is a classic example of why you should take notes when put face to face with something you don't know anything about. In this case I have no clue what type of fish this is. I do know, however, it is ugly. The fishermen on the Aleutian Ballad caught this and several other fish while giving their demonstrations during my "Deadliest Catch" tour.

145/376 - Derrick

“Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.”     ~Ivern Ball
Ok, so when we decided to take our cruise we were given a list of possible excursions to take at each stop. Diane and I have watched "Deadliest Catch" for years and I found in Ketchikan the opportunity get on one of the boats used in years two and three of that show. Diane, of course, said she would happily wave at me from the dock and then go shopping. The picture above is of Derrick, the captain of the Aleutian Ballad.

I knew going in that we weren't going to see anything remotely resembling the weather and seas that the fishing vessels on Deadliest Catch encounter but the write up for the excursion made it intriguing. They said that over the course of 3 hours the audience would get an opportunity to hear about various fishing methods (crab and otherwise), observe caught critters put into an aquarium, visit with experienced crab fishers and all the while have the opportunity to observe marine wildlife off the side of the boat. I was "all in!"

I have to say that this was #2 on the list of coolest things I did on this cruise. Meeting the fishermen and learning of their lives, watching them actually work a couple of crab pots and taking some of the best pictures of the trip made this memorable. The next several pictures will give you an idea of how much fun I had.

144/376 - Leaving Sitka

Leaving Sitka
“I shut my eyes in order to see.”     ~Paul Gauguin
The entrance/exit to Sitka is lined with these islands and passageways. Watching the small boats and fishing vessels made it very picturesque. It was a shame that there was so much cloud cover that day. I've seen pictures of this area when the weather is clear and the mountains are stunning. Try clicking this link for an example. Or this one.

143/376 - Sophia

“If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone.”     ~John Maxwell
A nice little fishing boat I saw on our way out of Sitka Harbor.

142/376 - Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
“Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.”     ~Dwight David Eisenhower
Here is another of the Bald Eagles we saw at the Alaska Raptor Center.

141/376 - Hawk

"That's a dog boy! That's a dog!"     ~Foghorn Leghorn
One of my favorite comics is/was Foghorn Leghorn. This picture from the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka reminded me of that line.

140/376 - Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon
“A wise falcon hides his talons”     ~Proverb
This is a peregrine falcon being kept at the Alaska Raptor Center. As I mentioned in the last post, this organization would put your money to good use. We were very impressed with their program. More is coming.

139/376 - Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle IV
“Never forget me, because if I thought you would, I'd never leave.”     ~A. A. Milne
Here are some pictures of Bald Eagles at the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka. This appears to be one of the best raptor centers in the nation. Where possible they help birds recover and reintegrate into the wild. They have a flight training center, an education theater plus space to keep those birds who can not be let loose due to injury.

Bald Eagle II

We specifically wanted to go to this center when we heard about it and it was the highlight of our day. Seeing the eagles and other raptors was awe inspiring. If you have a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket and you'd like to support this type of organization please click on the link above and make a contribution. We're considering getting our classes to support them.

Bald Eagle

138/376 - Sitka Totem

Totem Pole in Sitka
“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh”     ~A. A. Milne
Apparently Sitka and Ketchikan vie to be the totem capitol of Alaska. This is one I saw at the entrance to the National Park in Sitka. This kind of thing is one of the few down sides to cruises. We had a grand total of 8 hours in Sitka and even though it is small (population 9,000) there was nowhere near enough time to truly explore this town. They have a national cemetery that looked gorgeous. We barely walked through the park on our way to the Raptor center and could have spent hours there. I saw many "excursions" to see whales and other animals but didn't have time to enjoy them. And the list goes on. I guess this means we really do have to return so we can see more!

137/376 - Flowers in Sitka

Sitka Flowers
“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”
Amusingly the colors in these flowers really attracted me.

136/376 - St. Michael's

St. Michaels Cathedral in Sitka
“Architecture is the work of nations”     ~John Ruskin
St. Micheal's Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox Church built between 1844 and 1848. It 1966 it caught fire but before the building could be destroyed the locals saved nearly all of the art work and artifacts. Bishop Innocent of the Diocese of Alaska resided in Sitka and was also a woodworker, linguist and historian.

The church building is still in use and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It also is the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church in the U.S.

135/376 - Sitka Harbor

Sitka Harbor
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.”     ~William Shedd
On the day after Glacier Bay we arrived in Sitka, Alaska. This little town of about 9,000 (fourth largest in Alaska) is very quaint and holds a lot of historical significance. At one time it was the capitol of Alaska and before that it was settled by the Russians after running the Tlingit natives off.

We did a lot of walking that day and really enjoyed the Raptor Center.