Sitka

William Freeman
On our August visit to Sitka, I was pleased to find that it had the "Alaska" weather I'd been denied in Juneau and Ketchikan (it was up to 85 in the afternoon in both ports). It was cold and drizzly in Sitka. We took the short trip to the Silver Bay Salmon Hatchery and we agreed it was the best excursion of all in the Alaskan ports. The boat has either a warm cabin with hot chocolate and cookies or the wind-swept top deck from which the views of the narrow bay and the surrounding mountains is magnificent. The hatchery is at the end of the channel and was a fascinating place to see the entire process of raising salmon for return to the sea. The water was alive with the jumping fish and the mountains were full of bald eagles that looped and soared overhead. The ship's guide was a fisheries biologist, the daughter of the operator of the hatchery. After our return, we had more than enough time to poke around Sitka. It was a very successful port visit. Dress warmly and bring a poncho against the rain and binoculars for the eagles.

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