The Best of Ketchikan by Sea

by Carl
(Edmond, OK, USA)

Pink Moss

Pink Moss

A couple of years ago my wife and I went on a 25th anniversary cruise to Alaska. It was a great cruise and we had a wonderful time. One of the first experiences we had in Alaska was to take a boat trip down the George Inlet in Ketchikan to look for wildlife. Here's the story.

When we first looked at the shore excursions the first one we circled was The Best of Ketchikan by Land or Sea. The description for the sea portion said: “Explore the coastline of glacier-carved George Inlet while the onboard naturalist explains the natural history of southeast Alaska’s forests and ocean. Look for eagles, seals, porpoises and other wildlife while the captain maneuvers for the best possible views.” Let's see, naturalists, seals, eagles, porpoises and other wildlife... We were so ready. We were pumped. We were primed.

Hey, was that a whale? NO?

We were waiting with breathless anticipation as our waterjet-powered vessel came up to speed. This was a very nice waterjet-powered vessel. It was comfortable and seemed fairly new. It accelerated nicely, and quickly we were rocketing down George Inlet. We were looking for eagles, seals, porpoises, whales, bears, salmon and other wildlife. We were looking hard searching the trees, searching the water, searching the shores… What we found, what we found was…

What we found was are you ready for this? Can you believe it? We've traveled 10,000 miles, we've paid 10 bazillion dollars, we’ve spent 4 ardous days toiling away to get here, we’ve endured being crammed into a very small seat in a primitive death tube with 150 other lost souls, we had to put up with lost luggage, hours in customs, prime rib with gravy, fish murdering…

And what did we see?

What is the first thing on the agenda?

The first thing this suped up hot rod of a boat shows us is PINK MOSS.


PINK (stinkin) MOSS.

How great is that?

I know that all of you hope the first wildlife you see in Alaska is the PINK MOSS. Not bears, not salmon, not even eagles, but PINK MOSS.

Our waterjet-powered vessel took us to a little cove area where Joan, our naturalist, showed us a small patch of PINK MOSS. This very small patch of PINK (stinkin) MOSS. We stayed around almost 10 minutes letting both sides of the boat take pictures of the PINK MOSS.

The thing I found the most impressive is that someone actually found this patch of PINK MOSS. It was in the middle of nowhere, on the waterline, and almost microscopic.


Yep, this overpriced boat ride is getting of to a great start.

Did you see that? Was that a whale?


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Dec 03, 2008
I'm still giggling!
by: Anonymous

This is funny Carl... I'm still laughing, but that's because it's the kind of story all travelers have even it if isn't pink moss!
And shows that travel isn't always what you expect.... it can be frustrating at times. On our recent trip to Madagascar we'd get those lemurs in the clear, get them in the telephoto, then just as we took the picture, the darn little critters would move.... and we'd get pictures of of lemur butts!
At least it was a bit more than pink moss! Now I'd like to see pink moss... of course I'd like to see some wildlife too.... But it is WILD life and we always take our chances seeing them eh? Gotta have a sense of humor about it if you don't though. Thanks for sharing.... She said giggling still! Judy

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