We are again without WiFi, apparently due to interference with the satellite signal, quite why is not explained but we have a free morning as our trip today is in the afternoon.  We go up to the observation lounge and can watch activity around the port, Jackie is knitting and I am listening to some podcasts, downloaded when we did have some connectivity!

Whilst eating breakfast we note once again that there is a TV crew seeking to interview passengers going ashore, everywhere we have been in Japan has been covered in the local news as demonstration that tourists are back in town!  And I get the feeling that some of these places do not see much in the way of cruise ships normally anyway.

We find our coach on the dockside and we had off to the marshlands to see the once believed extinct Japanese crane.  It was believed extinct until the 1920’s when a duck hunter came back from a hunt and complained that he could not shoot any ducks due to the large number of cranes.  A conservation programme is now in place and one of the oldest cranes (39) has in the last few days given birth and we were able to see mother and offspring.  Crane numbers are now being managed.  Brown bears are also growing numbers with spring hunting now banned as that is the time when they are most vulnerable – being half asleep from hibernation.

Returning to Kushiro town we go to the fish market.  Unlike the Tokyo market I visited many years ago this is a retail market although there is a huge variety of fish and molluscs with some still alive in tanks awaiting selection for someone’s dinner.  Also in the market are vegetables and one cheese stall.  Given all the food on board we cannot eat at the market although the guide shows us how it can be done!

Back aboard we are required to visit the Japanese immigration team and we are cleared to leave Japan.  A little later we are set free from our moorings and we head out into the Pacific Ocean and with our stop in Russia removed from the itinerary our next destination is Dutch Harbor on the very tip of Alaska.

For dinner we are booked into Chartreuse with recipes embedded in French cuisine but with some slight twists.  Four courses and too much wine!  Back in our suite we find the film “Belfast” which gave a child’s eye view of the start of the Troubles in 1969.  I will admit that I was distracted by the inconsistencies; the road block at the end of the street when it suited the story and then removed completely when it did not match the narrative.  And TVs young King Arthur from a few years ago is a baddie as a protestant enforcer!

We lose an hour tonight as we are on 23 hour days for a while!