Soggy and sick in Sitka
That’s how you could describe the population of our ship right now.
The first piece of news this morning was that we had arrived in Sitka. It reminds me a lot of some of the coastal fishing towns in the Canadian Maritimes. The terrain is quite reminiscent of the Canadian Shield in eastern Manitoba: all rocks and coniferous trees and lichen.
Unfortunately, the second piece of news this morning was that gastrointestinal illness is circulating on the ship, among both guests and crew. So they’ve completely prohibited anyone from serving their own food. Not only are there people at the buffet to serve you, cafeteria-style, but it’s to the point that you have to ask your waiter to salt your food for you.
So far, nobody in our group has shown any symptoms, and I hope that continues.
Anyway, our boat is too big to dock in Sitka, so we had to use tender boats. Basically, they use the lifeboats to ferry people back and forth between the ship and the mainland all day. Each boat holds about 80 people, so it’s reasonably efficient.
Once on land, there’s honestly not a lot to do. There are a few gift shops, but it’s not nearly as touristy as Juneau was, which is both good and bad. There’s a Russian cathedral that a lot of people visit (Sitka used to be a Russian town, like a lot of Alaska was before the US bought it), but I didn’t go. Instead, I wandered around town, basically until my shoes had soaked through.
See, in Juneau we kept getting told how lucky we were to have a sunny day. Locals said it had rained every day for over a month; someone on the ship’s crew said it was the nicest weather he’d seen in Alaska in the three years he’d been working on crisis ships. Well, today it basically rained all day. Yeah, it stopped occasionally, but that was just a break before it started up again.
So, I bought some fudge, I had lunch in a pub, and now I’m blogging in the library just before going back on the boat to have tea and dry out my shoes. I took some pictures, but not a lot, because of the rain. Which is a shame, because in its own dilapidated way, it’s a pretty little town. Buildings with the paint peeling off them with a mountain in the background can be quite nice, even dripping wet.
Tonight we set sail for Ketchikan, our final Alaskan stop. If I recall correctly, we’re only there for a few hours…then Victoria, Seattle, and home.