Ketchikan – Alaska Cruise 2017 – Part 2

This post documents our September 14, 2017, visit to Ketchikan, Alaska, a long-delayed continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise. Current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a gallery at the end of each post and a SmugMug gallery HERE(link). Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. Note that the SmugMug gallery will eventually contain all the photos from Ketchikan; those from this post (Part 2) and those from previous Ketchikan posts.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. If there’s a panorama, I’ll link the full-size files but be warned . . . they’re typically huge. Huger than people have ever seen before. Don’t click on those links unless you’re enjoying a biggly Interweb connection. Also, if you have biggly Interweb but you’re reading this on a phone — which is sad — VERY SAD — I wouldn’t bother with the full-size photos because they are HUGE; huger than anyone else’s huge photos. 

Ketchikan welcome sign

September 14, 2017, had me shoot around 350 photos (201 P900 photos, 99 D7000 photos, and 147 Note II photos, but most of the Note II photos were three-shot HDR series, so probably around 50 photos) and about 20 videos.  Of those photos, the ones I think are of interest are posted below.

I should probably do a brief introduction . . . 

First off, here’s the Princess Patter(link) for the 14th of September of 2017. 

Here’s a map of the whole area . . . Juneau is roughly in the middle of nowhere . . . and it’s 350 miles from there to get to Ketchikan via a combination of car and ferry travel. Click the picture below for a much larger version (2.2MB).

This is the Ketchikan Port Guide(link) (note: the file is 4MB) describing the attractions of the area and what little other information a visitor might find useful along with a rudimentary map.

Right, that be enough background stuff to bore even the staunchest readers to tears. Many — I’m sure — have already tuned out and left. 

As before, most of these photos are from the Nikon P900 and the Samsung Note II. There are five D7000 photos in this post. Keep that in mind in case you’re considering whether using a point-and-shoot camera suffices to document your travels. Still, I’ll caution that while the P900 photos are sufficient for documenting travel sights, they are less-than-optimal for pixel-peeping and I suspect prints from these files would be limited to nothing larger than an 8×10 (if even).

~ ~ ~ ~ here we go ~ ~ ~ ~

As mentioned in the first post (LINK), we’d been to Ketchikan before and many of the sights were documented back in 2012 in these POSTS(link). Meaning, I’m sharing mostly random photos as we meandered around the place. The 2012 posts are worth reading because they include a great airplane excursion. On this trip, no excursions for us.

With that lengthy introduction, let me pick up where I left off . . . 

So, as we walked about, we were surprised to see the following sight . . .

For them not familiar with them things, they be so-called duck boats. Originally surplus WW II amphibious vehicles, I assume (hope) these are newer and more modern versions.

The reason we were surprised is because of the Table Rock Lake duck boat accident that killed 17 people (LINK). As I looked at the smiling faces peering out at me through the holey plexiglass, I wondered how many of them were aware of the history of them things.

I admit to liking the idea of the vehicle — any amphibious vehicle — since way before I became an engineer and decided they were a bad idea. I mean, I thought I’d like THIS(link) and I’d have a use for it.

I remember one such vehicle being showcased in the opening credits of a zany (think Monthy Python wannabes) Saturday mornings TV show. I wish I could remember it (believe me, I spent an hour trying to find it) because I wanted to link it. Anyway, at one point in the credits, the characters would ride around these ATVs and drive into ponds with them. I want to say the title was something like The Goonies, but that’s a movie. I then thought it was The Goodies, but they were more adult — as in grown-up — humor and in England (although they had a brief stint on PBS, I think).

Anyway, those amphibious ATVs look like a whole lot of fun but are impractical from an everyday use point of view . . . unless you live near a swamp.

Anyway, moving on . . . we walked around a bit more, and walked by the other ships and circled back to the center and where the Coral Princess was moored, walking along the pier and the other ships . . .

. . . and then decided we had been without food long enough and returned to the comfort of the ship’s buffet and International Cafe.

After a sufficient amount of food had been consumed, I returned to the task of snapping photos. Well, we were supposed to walk a number of times around the promenade deck, but since I kept wanting to stop and snap photos, I told Melisa to go ahead and I casually strolled as she put in her walking miles for the day (why I gained weight and she didn’t).

What did I photograph? Well, what can you see from a ship moored in a harbor? Well, you can see the Blue Sea . . .

And you can see a big ferry heading down to Bellingham. It shadowed us most of the way but split away when we went to Vancouver.

And, more planes landing and taking off. You have to excuse the poor quality of the videos. I mean, the quality is OK, but the cinematography only so-so.

One of the things I don’t like about the P900 is that it’s difficult taking movies at the longer zooms. Let me explain (even though nobody cares) . . . the best way to take movies is using the viewfinder because you can see exactly what you’re shooting . . . but not if you’re zooming and tracking objects because the viewfinder view is minuscule. In that case, you need to use the back screen, but then you’re faced with controlling a front-heavy camera while holding it away and in front of you. It takes practice, and since I don’t shoot a whole lot of movies, this is what you get . . .

This next plane (N-number N9LB(link) . . . that’s right; you can check stats about the plane if you know the N-number) was landing and just about as it was about to touch down, a big-ole ship got in the way.

I got luckier with this plane (N87597(link)) because not only did it land, but set a bunch of seagulls flying.

Of course, it doesn’t take long to improve a bit when filming stuff. This next plane (a Cessna with a pod) wasn’t a bad capture. Oh, yeah . . . here’s its info: N1043F(link).

Of course, it wasn’t just landings (sorry, no N-number for this one) . . .

But, it wasn’t just planes that were trying to take off . . .

I wish I could convey just how fast this guy was traveling . . . wait . . . oh, yeah; here you go. This was the same guy on the return trip from wherever he was going.

But, here’s one more plane; N1249K(link) . . .

For the record, three of those planes were owned by commercial interests, and one appeared to be privately owned.

Remember the big ferry in the earlier photo? . . . well, this next photo was taken right after that shot. Yes, it’s a bit out of sequence because the movies were shot in between these photos.

Anyway, that’s the Kennicott (LINK) heading to Bellingham, WA. People with a long memory might remember that Bellingham was one of the places we considered when we planned moving away from Michigan.  You can read an early piece of (attempted) humor writing HERE(link). Fair warning, as I say at the end of that post, “I was 11% 23% younger than I am now, and that’s like 60% 92% younger in writer years.  Don’t know what it would be in dog years.”

We eventually settled in Colorado, and there are two similarly-veined posts that I foisted on friends and family explaining how that came about. For them foolish enough to want to read them, those posts are HERE(link) and HERE(link). Again, I must warn people of the truth of things. Namely, I’m pretty clever (the guy in the mirror tells me so nearly every day), but you’d never know it from reading those early attempts at humor.

. . . I wandered off-course again, didn’t I? Where was I? Oh, yeah, the Kennicott. Here’s another photo of it as it went past the Coral Princess.

You know what’s coming, right?

sigh . . . another example of the P900 zoom?”

Well, gorsh durn, you done guessed it! Here’s a closer look at the people at the front portion of the ship.

I mean, OK, it’s not a fantastic photo, but — for instance — it’s certainly good enough to recognize any of the people in a murder case. Not that, you know, any of them people are murderers . . . that I know of. Anyway, I then took a few more photos . . .

I’m not giving you the link to the N-number . . . you can look it up yourself.

What’s with that boat, you ask? Well, it’s yet another example of the P900’s zoom. The above photo is taken with the D7000 at 200mm zoom, whereas these next ones are with the P900.

And, yes, they were waving back at me after I waved at them.

Anyway, the day was getting on, and most of the souvenir shoppers were back on board, and the ship was preparing to leave. Perfect opportunity to snap a few photos of the waterfront, now nearly devoid of tourists.

Here are a few shots from the Note II . . .

Yes . . . here comes the P900 photos from the same spot . . .

Ok, you got me . . . the last three are from a different spot. I moved to a more central location and took a panorama shot with the P900 (in addition to the last three photos in the gallery). I’m not too pleased with how the P900 takes panoramas because it expects a 180º shot.

If you want to see the full-size version without going to SmugMug, click on THIS(link). Don’t worry; it’s only 1MB, 4460×833 pixels. The thing is, the P900 controls the size and quality of the photo when shooting panoramas, so it’s not at the full resolution the camera is capable of.

Here are some more shots of the waterfront . . .

Did you see the last photo in that gallery . . . yes, I’m zooming in.

. . . that’s right . . . someone left a bottle of Sprite (or Mountain Dew) on the roof. And here are a few more zoomed-in shots.  A kid operating heavy equipment . . .

. . . and some other human interaction . . .

I mentioned before the camera is a snooper’s dream.

For instance, not only can I spy on the diners eating at Dwyer’s . . .

. . . but it’s good enough to read the history of the place on the outside walls . . .

If you have trouble reading it, remember that it’s a downsampled image that — although still legible — is not as clear and legible as the original in SmugMug.

And then, the ship pulled away from the dock . . . time to leave and say goodbye to Ketchikan.

Just time enough for another photo of a ship . . .

. . . and we race from the sunset and into the night . . .

In doing this post, I realized something tragic . . . you see, right after this cruise is when my Samsung Note II gave up the ghost. As best as I can figure, the internal storage got corrupted and there was no way to “revive” the little machine. Essentially, it’s brain was gone and there was no more light in the attic.

I knew I lost some files, but since I was pretty diligent at backing up stuff, not much was lost . . . or so I thought. The problem is that the Note II (like the Note 8) had a tragic (and annoying) flaw . . . videos were saved in the internal memory, not the external memory card.

Yes . . . I just realized all of the videos of the cruise were lost because the phone failed before I did my monthly backup. What does that mean? Well, not much, really. In the overall scheme of things, it’s insignificant . . . but remember I showed a photo of the balloons in the previous post and called it foreshadowing? Well, I had said that because that evening, at the balloon drop, I had videod the ceremonies, the balloon drop, the dancing . . . and, it’s all gone. In fact, all the videos shot on the Note II during the Alaska cruise (a fair amount of videos) are gone.

Obviously, I didn’t miss them because I only now noticed, and only because I knew the balloon drop was filmed on the Note II. But, now that I remember, there were lots of videos from each of the stops.

Bummer that. I mean, bummer for you readers since I still have my memories. But, I promise this: as soon as they figure out how to download memories from our brains, I’ll be posting them. And — bonus — probably greatly enhanced and embellished memories; a big win for readers. But, until then, photos will have to do. But, here’s the thing . . . I don’t see the photos either. It’s like one whole day was lost.

Oh, well. There are probably only a few people who even bother looking at the totality of these posts, and the majority will never miss them. Realistically, no one will miss them. And, if they do, there are plenty of videos online . . . in fact, here’s one from the Coral princess a week after our cruise . . . HERE(link).

And with that, we call the Ketchikan 2017 visit done.

Here’s a gallery of the above photos. . .

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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