I really don’t like the 7:00 – 1:30 port stops. A number of places aren’t open that early and if we are doing something on our own, I am constantly checking my watch. I know it is only one hour less than a typical 8:00 – 3:30 but it seems shorter.
We ordered room service breakfast and it was delivered about 6:45. We docked at an industrial port that seemed to be the cannery. It smelled very strongly of fish. Turned my stomach. Unlike the other industrial ports, we were allowed to walk out of it if we wanted. Some people opted to do it but there was no clear map on how to get out of there or how far it was to the town.
There were some taxis at the port but the cars looked sketchy as did the drivers. I had thought about getting a taxi at the port and going to Fort Abercrombie but I would have to rely on a taxi to come back and pick us up. After seeing them, I just wasn’t ready to do it. Especially since my phone was giving the roaming warning again.
We decided to wait for the free shuttles to take us into town. They were not scheduled to get to the port until 8:30 because the shuttles were the town’s school busses and they had to take the children to school first. The first shuttle to arrive was the one that was only going to Wal-Mart. Interesting how many people got on it. I know the crew love Wal-Mart because they can get needed items but I have to wonder what the passengers needed.
We got on the first town shuttle. It arrived at the visitor center where a person was handing out maps with different trails – cultural, shopping, and nature. We decided to take the nature trail. I was surprised at how hilly the town was as we started out.
Kodiak Island is the second largest island in the United States (The Big Island of Hawaii being the first). It is equivalent to the size of Connecticut. There are 6000 people who live in the city limits and another 7000 that live in villages around the island. There is a strong Russian influence in the town. They also use windmill power for the majority of their power supply. You could see the number of windmills on the top of the mountains just whirring away.
We passed by the Baranov Museum and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. We continued across the Fred Zharoff Bridge to the North End Park. There was a sign there that outlined the trails in the park but they were not marked for distance. Could have been ½ mile or 5 miles. As we were debating walking them, a lady sitting on the bench said that the loop trail would not take more than 30 minutes or if we had longer, we could take the spur to the lake area.
So off we go into a very dense fir forest. I have to give it to Georgia. Their parks are well marked with signs and the trees have painted spots on them so you always know what path you are on. This trail, not so much. There were also little side trails that you didn’t know if it was a trail or just a shortcut that locals had made. Made the main trail hard to follow.
I wasn’t worried about coming up on a bear as the Kodiak bears live in the 1.3 million acres of the Refuge which is only accessible by plane or boat. I did start wondering about moose. We also hadn’t seen any other people on the trail. I started to get a little panicky especially when a couple of the paths seemed no wider than pig paths.
We did get back to the beginning of the trail and more people were coming into the park. Frankly, I was glad to leave it as it was a pretty dark dense park. Once out of the park, I was able to take some video of 2 bald eagles flying around.
We hiked back over the bridge and found the McDonalds. I wanted to use the free WIFI to check in. I was surprised that you could get a cup of coffee for one dollar. I know that is what is advertised but in Alaska everything is more expensive so I figured it would be $2. Chuck got coffee and I got a diet coke. They have a 30 minute time limit but nobody seemed to be checking. I was not the only one who had the idea to use the WIFI. It was pretty crowded but the WIFI worked well.
We then visited the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Naturally, its theme was Kodiak bears and salmon. Interesting exhibits.
Got back on the shuttle and rode back to the ship around noon. Had lunch in the Lido and then spent some time on the sea view deck enjoying the sunshine. Lots of people milling about it too.
We pulled away from the dock at 1:30. We’ve been able to pull away at the all aboard time at every port instead of having to wait the 30 minutes for stragglers. Seems everyone is cognizant of the time and we have no pier runners and the captain has not had to blow the warning horn. Big difference from the Carnival cruises that stop in Cozumel where there is always someone staggering in after the all aboard time.
I was feeling like I may be coming down with a head cold. I have a slight cough and was feeling very tired. Decided to lie down for “just a bit.” Chuck decided to go to the casino.
I didn’t wake up until 5:15. Got in the shower and was feeling better. Chuck came in and we decided that we would just eat dinner in the Lido. I wasn’t feeling very hungry and we just didn’t want the long wait time. I ended up with just a bowl of soup and some fruit, ice cream for dessert. We tried our hand at blackjack and my luck on the ship wasn’t any better than the last time at the casino. I was queen of the 16’s.
Also found out why the pool closed – it was leaking and needed to be resealed. Should be back open soon.
Chuck switched back to his regular game and I got my book and some hot tea from the Explorer’s Lounge. Read until time for the main show. He was a funny comedian named Frank King who interacted with the audience quite a bit. Afterwards, we went to the Ocean’s Bar to listen to and dance to music from the Ocean’s Trio. Wasn’t long before the “Pub Crawl” group came in and the place got crowded.
I called it a night and Chuck went back to the casino.
First time today we have had trouble with the laundry and it happened twice in one day. First time, I opened the bag this afternoon to put up our clothes and found a sweatshirt that was not ours. Then I realized that Chuck’s green button-down shirt was missing. Trip to Guest Services to turn in the sweatshirt and report our missing shirt. Got back to the room at 11:00 and we had our shirt but we also had a basket of clothes meant for another room. The number looked like ours except if you looked closely, the “5” was actually a “6”. Another trip to Guest Services to return the basket of laundry. Hope the room didn’t need the clothes for in the morning as I expect they won’t get them until then.
Tomorrow we cruise to Hubbard Glacier so I don’t plan to set the alarm. Tonight’s towel animal is a rabbit “with an attitude” (arms crossed as if he is a rapper). Funny.
Last note – When checking my phone with the WIFI, the sad news came in that my assistant and friend, Jeri Ann, passed away from her battle with cancer yesterday evening. She was a wonderful woman and I’m thankful I got to hold her hand and talk with her before I left. I don’t know that she heard me but I want to believe that she did. Her celebration of life ceremony will be Monday night. She was only 46.