With a morning of exceptional weather and sunshine, we started our excursions ashore early in the small coastal port of Haines. Surrounded by glacier-carved granite mountains, hikers — many clad in shorts and t-shirts — went to the top of Mount Riley to view the Lynn Canal and Taiya Inlet. Bicyclers set out and were lucky enough to see a coastal brown bear sow with her cubs; rafters floated down a river surrounded by trees dotted with bald eagles.
During the still-radiant afternoon, a few guests partook in flyfishing in the Chilkat River where they learned casting from the experts. Using the catch-and-release method, both pink and sockeye salmon were seen.
We traveled along the coast to Battery Point, where we enjoyed a serene forest hike through the Sitka spruce and hemlock. Luckily the Devil’s club was not too close to the well-maintained Forest Service trail. The end of the hike brought us to Kelgaya Point where a few guests took off their boots to dip their feet in the bay. The warm sunshine even allowed one to take a plunge.
Those ashore who opted for a town visit were entertained by a stop at the famous Hammer Museum. Here they found a floor-to-ceiling collection of hammers for any occasion; from ship-building hammers to a doctor’s knee reflex hammer, they had it all.