Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seward – Kenai Fjords boat Tour – Marine Mammals and More

We arrived in Seward, AK on Sun evening Aug. 15th. We set up camp in a Municipal campground just outside of town (actually right across from the Army Resort at Seward). The campground was wooded and the sites were more private, though, being just right off the road, it got a bit of traffic noise. We had been having rain on and off all day, but by evening it had slacked off and Fred and I headed into town to look around a bit, while Becky worked on her computer. We stopped in at ‘Brown & Hawkins’, the oldest retail store in Alaska. They had Patagonia, North Face, and other ‘techno-gear’, so we had a great time browsing.


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We also enjoyed the street murals, which seem to be all the rage. These were drawn by local artists and filled in “paint by number” style by local groups.


This is a quilt hanging in the Kenai Fjords NP Visitors center.

Monday , we took the Kenai Fjords NP boat tour, an 8.5 hr tour leaving at 10 am and arriving back at 6:30 pm. The weather was wet and blustery, with temps in the 50’s. The fog had lifted, however, so we were hopeful that we would have a good trip.   


The water and the rocks were beautiful.


As we headed out of Resurrection Bay and into more open water, the waves picked up. We had relatively calm seas, yet the boat still ‘rocked and rolled’ a bit.Becky and I took some Bonine, and tried out the acupressure wrist bands that the Captain had suggested. The combination worked….we both managed to enjoy the trip without giving it the old “heave ho”.

We saw quite a bit of marine life. Whenever the Captain spotted something, he would slow the boat and we would all run out to the side so we could get a look (and a photo).. Then, back inside where we were dry and warm.

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Sea Otters spend about 90 percent of their life just floating on their backs and “hanging out” – not too shabby………They were hunted almost to extinction for their fur, which is the densest in the animal kingdom. In just 1 square inch, a sea otter has more fur than on Jade (a German Shepherd)!


Harbor seals lounging about on the rocks.


Whale watching consists of waiting, looking and frantic photography when one sees “the blow”

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This is a humpback whale, a baleen whale which comes to the plankton rich (note the very green color) waters off Alaska to feed June – Sept. In the Winter, they return to the Hawaiian Islands or Baja California (pretty smart) where they give birth. They will not eat this whole time, until they return to the Alaskan waters the following June.


Steller Sea Lions are the largest member of the eared seal family. 

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NOT a marine mammal- We saw this Black Bear just strolling up the beach. What I did not get a picture of was the group of tents, and the woman who was standing just at the point of this beach on the right of the bear, blissfully enjoying the view and completely UNAWARE of the bear. Fortunately, the other people in the camp saw our boat with all of us pointing……and alerted her.

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Our tour included dinner at Fox island, the Kenai Fjords resort. We enjoyed an all you can eat Salmon buffet with 1/2 lb of Alaskan King Crab legs………...delicious! After dinner, we headed back into the Seward Harbor, with the rain still drizzling and the wind blowing like crazy. We stopped by the library to use the internet, then on to our camper, where our little propane heater sure has gotten some use. We have been staying nice and warm and cozy in the camper.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an awesome tour! I want to know how those Stellar Sea Lions got clear up on that tall rock. Maybe at high tide? And they've been lounging around ever since?