Day 21: Ketchikan Day 2

A rainy day in Ketchikan with a short tour downtown with a rented vehicle (see below) for Max & Chloe, a walking tour of a lovely park where there are a few totem poles and an eagle hatchery that you can tour except that it is “Closed until further notice”. And then a sweet afternoon nap with the rain drumming on the roof of the RV, but, still, the nice view of the harbor out the front window…

Max & Chloe's new mode of transportation.

Max & Chloe’s new mode of transportation.

No body of water should be left un dunked.

No body of water should be left un dunked.

Fresh fish cafeteria style.  The line to order was 20 deep...

Fresh fish cafeteria style. The line to order was 20 deep…

Interesting totems.

Interesting totems.

"I can't believe they're making me ride back here with all these groceries..."

“I can’t believe they’re making me ride back here with all these groceries…”

 

 

Day 20: Ketchikan day 1

A day of checking out downtown Ketchikan– and then taking “The Deadliest Catch” tour…

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A view of Ketchikan marina.

A view of Ketchikan marina.

 

Creek Street, downtown Ketchikan.

Creek Street, downtown Ketchikan.

 

 

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The Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour

(Known as “The Deadliest Catch” tour…

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I never would have done this tour, thinking the “Deadliest Catch” hook was a tip-off that it would be hokey and touristy– but was convinced by a neighbor at our campground who had done it last year. I’m so glad I did. It was great, run by guys who had actually fished these seas for fifteen, twenty, twenty five years. They knew what they were talking about and made it lively and interesting.

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These guys would go for 36 hours straight, get three hours sleep, and then do 36 more. On a good trip they could make $100,000 as their share after expenses.

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They would burn 6,000 to 8,000 calories per shift, and they would keep heaps of peanut butter and jelly sandwichs within reach to try (usually unsuccessfully) to keep up with the calorie burn.

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This man fished these seas for 23 years. He is from Washington State and originally wanted to be a professional golfer, but signed on for a crabbing trip and never looked back.

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If you’re in Alaska, you’re going to see eagles…

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This guy is worth $10 to $12 on the open market. Fill up the boat and you can make some money. Or, at least, you used to be able to, prior to the “quota system” that, in typical government fashion has generated a host of unintended consequences, one of which is to place much of the industry into the hands of huge, non-American multinationals, and to make a lot of people who never set foot on a boat very rich through the inheritance of their family’s quota, which then they lease.

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This is Derrick Ray who appeared on “The Deadliest Catch” during the second season, taking over after the tragic death of Phil Harris. In the show he was portrayed as a hard-ass who ratted on some crew members for doing drugs. He didn’t say anything about it, but one of the other guides went on at length about how the show edited the footage and the whole story– the real story– was sacrificed to the drama they were trying to create. Ray seemed like a very decent guy during our tour. He is holding a “circle hook” which, when they were convinced to try it– and reluctantly did– increased the trips’ yeild by over 50%.

Clover Pass "resort".  Our campground.

Clover Pass “resort”. Our campground.

The beast parked for the night at our campground.

Home again to our campsite after a long day.

 

 

 

Day 19: Prince Rupert, BC to Ketchikan, AK by Ferry

Miles today:  97 (by ferry, six hours) / Total miles: 4869Day 19

Many in the queue have been through this before, being full time RV-ers who spend half of each year in Alaska,  and have remarkable patience for the process.

Lining up three hours early for the 3pm ferry to Ketchikan. Many in the queue have been through this before, being full time RV-ers who spend half of each year in Alaska, and have remarkable patience for the process.

Finally pulling away from the dock in Prince Rupert.

Finally pulling away from the dock in Prince Rupert.

The Alaska Marine Highway is the only state run all-water MARINE "highway" in the country.

The Alaska Marine Highway is the only state run all-water MARINE “highway” in the country.

Approaching Ketchikan harbor.

Approaching Ketchikan harbor.

 

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Our campsite is a bit ramshackle-- but made up for by being right ont the edge of the channel.  We are parked in our spot for the next for days, and this is our view out the front window.

Our campsite is a bit ramshackle– but made up for by being right ont the edge of the channel. We are parked in our spot for the next for days, and this is our view out the front window.