"Even a rainy day in Sitka is better than a good day at work!" both Denise (right) and Maureen (left) agreed on their first and only day here in town.
Denise and Maureen have been friends for 15 years. They both participate in the same women's group in Fort Collins, Colorado and love to travel. In the past, their adventures have taken them to India and Thailand. But, this summer, they set their sights on Alaska and they are already planning their return.
On their only day in Sitka, Denise and Maureen headed out on a Gallant Adventures wildlife tour with Paul Davis. Paul has lived in Sitka for about 15 years and enjoys leading wildlife tours on his boat around the islands of the Southeast.
As we headed out on the rainy Tuesday morning, Paul told Denise and Maureen he has only had one tour where his guests did not see any whales. Lucky for the two of them, they were not the second tour to have that unfortunate fate.
Humpback whale named Hook.
This is Hook. Paul named this humpback four years ago when he first saw it because of the hooked nature of its dorsal fin. The whale, Paul estimates, is more than 40 feet long and weighs about 35 tons. Captain Hook is actually an adult female whale.
Hook begins to dive.
And down she goes!
But, the wildlife tour didn't end there. Denise and Maureen had already seen grizzlies near Mt. McKinley on their driving tour up north, but they were pretty excited to come across this guy near Redoubt Bay as the salmon were coming in.
Caught this bear looking for salmon near Redoubt Bay.
The tour also included some sitings of otters,
A mom and pup on the left see another sea otter come up on the right.
Rhinoceros auklets have horns on the edges of their beaks and white feathers under their eyes.
and sea stars.
Purple and pink sea stars dot the tide lines of the islands.
Even as the rain poured down and the two jostled around on the bumpy sea, they both agreed, "A rainy day in Sitka is better than a good day at work!"