May 17 Hoonah! Icy Strait Point
On a map, it’s a pretty short trip between Juneau and Icy Strait Point, but on a cruise ship, it takes a lot longer. Instead of going the shortest route, the ship headed south, puttered around an island and arrived at the dock after daybreak. I suppose there may be nautical reasons that's necessary, but it seemed like the ship was just biding its time. Unlike the entry to Juneau, the early morning birding was very light with the first hour yielding just one Marbled Murrelet and two gull “spuh”. Mary and I were the troopers, but even we didn’t bother to do a second hour. I headed for tea, and Mary went for a pre-breakfast nap, creating a whole new concept for the day. Rob showed up just as we were about to give up, and said he’d put in 20 minutes or so to see if things had changed. The hadn’t. At least the scenery was beautiful.
|Early morning en route to Icy Strait Point|
We have been incredibly lucky with the weather on this trip. There has been very little wind or rain, and the seas have been from glass calm to mild all the way across from Russia. As any pelagic birder will tell you, though, calm seas can make for boring birding, and we were there today.
|The dock at Icy Strait Point was one of the nicest we came across on this trip.|
|Dock crew tying up the ship|
|Shoreline walkway. Nice, but a long way to town!|
An early departure had us back on the route to Ketchikan, our last land stop before Vancouver.
I think the west coast of North America is turning out to be a bit of an anticlimactic end to the trip. None of us are expecting to see new species, but we are kind of hoping for another spectacle. There are possibilities ahead.