One of the great benefits of this trip was that I learned a lot about Alaskan history. The history of Sitka is especially intriguing, to me anyway. I invite you to check out Sitka.com and Sitka Photos.
It was fortunate for us that we didn’t have any planned excursions on this day. I say that because it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and relaxing days during the whole vacation. It was sort of a short day because we had to be back on the ship before 4:00pm. But we got off at 8:00am and tried to make the most of what we could find.
Because Sitka is a “tender” port (instead of a dock port), we had to be shuttled back and forth on these “tenders”. I don’t know why they call them tenders. It’s a boat, people. Just call it a boat. My dictionary defines tender, in a nautical sense, as “leaning or readily inclined to roll in response to the wind.” It doesn’t sound like something I’d want to ride in. Whatever. It did make it more interesting though and everything turned out alright; no leaning or rolling.
The first thing we did was find a coffee shop where we could connect to the Internet and update friends on our status. I uploaded a bunch of pics to Facebook and Karen updated her blog. After dropping off our computers, back on the ship, we went back ashore and walked along a beach at low tide.
The area where we were walking around is called Merrill Rock, a national historic park in Sitka. E.W. Merrill was a photographer and the park’s first official custodian. The big coin-looking plaque reads: “Elbridge W. Merrill. Who dedicated his life and artistic attainments toward picturing the scenic beauties surrounding Sitka, Alaska, 1932″
Lysichiton americanus. Commonly referred to as Western Skunk Cabbage or yellow skunk cabbage. A resident of the area called it bear laxative because apparently bears eat it to clean the pipes after a long winter’s nap.