Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 3 -- Misty Fjord

Our first excursion away from the cruise ship was to Misty Fjord. We left Ketchikan on a "high speed catamaran" which I'll call a boat. It was a very nice boat -- two levels, with inside and outside viewing areas. Misty Fjord National Monument can only be accessed via sea plane or boat. It might be one of the most beautiful parts of our cruise -- if not, it ranks right up there.

It is located (as is much of Southeast Alaska) in the Tongass National Forest -- the largest Temperate rainforest in the world. As we cruised through the landscape, we saw breathtaking beauty. I've included a few pictures for you, but, sadly, I had my camera set on a setting that opened the shutter too small, so it stayed open too long, and about half of my pictures are blurry. I can't show you the puffins we saw or most of my images of New Eddystone Rock -- a 237 foot tall column of basalt that is the reminents of a volcanic vent. (Someday maybe I'll write a post about the irony of calling it "New" when it's 5 million years old).

We saw places in Misty Fjord that were created by glaciers. Think of a large punchbowl with high cliff sides. As we cruised, cliffs rose high above the water, with waterfalls and beautiful plant life.

We also saw eagles nest and bald eagles -- the first time I had ever seen one in the wild. They are majestic.

The Fjord was once the home of an group of Native Americans who left pictographs on the walls of the cliffs. The narrator pointed one out as we cruised over to the cliff to see it. It was very much overshadowed by the bald eagle perched above it.



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