|On leaving Kushiro we traveled northeast through the North Pacific towards the Aleutian Islands. It is a six day sail to reach our real destination of Kodiak Island, Alaska. On the way we cross the International Dateline at 180 degrees of longitude. This presents a problem of time on board ship as we are eight hours behind local time in Kodiak and in order to correct this, every day for six days at 2pm the clocks are put forward one hour. Oh, and just in case this does not confuse our time enough, Wednesday 6th May, 2015, is repeated again so we have two Wednesdays! We are feeling the jet-lag at sea!
The seas for this part of the trip are pleasant even though we have sailed north of the Aleutian Islands into the Bering Sea for a couple days for calmer seas. At 4c the weather is a lot colder than when we left Japan and only a few people are deck walking. There is lots of time for reading, daily trivia and lectures on everything from Honda’s influence on the everyday life in Southeast Asia to what’s in the seas to Chinese in Vancouver.
Our first stop after all those sea days is Kodiak Island, Alaska. The weather has gotten a lot cooler. Kodiak island is the second largest island in North America and the third largest fishing port. Kodiak is the largest of cities on the Island known for the Kodiak bears. Tourists here seek the great outdoors to hunt (deer and mountain goats) and fish (salmon and halibut). Not for us of course.
We walked about a mile to find WIFI and coffee which turned out great for us as a lady stopped us and asked if we would like a tour of Kodiak town. She took us out to Fort Abercrombie State Park which has hiking paths that provide panoramic scenic views of nearby islands. This park was an old military base during WW2 (looking for the Japanese) and there are remnants of the old buildings. From the park she took us to a high spot overlooking the harbour and town where we could see our ship anchored out in the harbour. We could also see the beautiful rolling hills of the Island. She dropped us off at the Alutiq Museum to see some local cultural artifacts which were very nicely done. There really wasn't much in the "downtown" to speak of but thanks to a friendly school teacher called Margaret we had an enjoyable day.