Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting to Hallo Bay Bear Viewing Camp, Katmai Island

Tues July 17, 2012 – We woke up this morning, excited to be heading to Hallo Bay on Katmai island to spend the next three days watching and photographing Brown bears.

We arrived at the Hallo Bay office in Homer, bright and early, about 7:15 am, and were transported to a little airfield where we would catch a bush plane to Katmai. We were told that we could have 2 carry-on bags, totaling no more than 50 lbs. We pack light and do not need much….so no problem. DSC07404

When I saw the small 4 person (including the pilot) plane….I will confess to being a bit nervous. OK….a lot nervous……but I was willing to give it a go!


We climbed in the plane…..Fred riding shoulder to shoulder next to me and one other passenger in the front next to the pilot. We were given earphones to be able to talk with one another and to block out the engine noise.


Once we were in the air, I was so busy looking out the window,  I forgot to be nervous. This is the Homer Spit, a narrow stip of sand, where we were camped.


It was an  unusually beautiful and clear day, and we were able to see the awesome beauty of the Kenai area as we flew over.


Mt Redoubt and Mt Spurr….two of the four active volcanoes that we could see. The pilot was pointing out things as we flew over.


The flight lasted just about an hour, and was smooth and easy…..No problems….didn’t even get queasy!


This plane, unlike a float plane that lands in the water, landed on the beach. Flights were timed for the low tide, when they have a nice wide strip of hard packed sand. Hallo Bay charters the bush flights in and out as needed….usually 3 times a week….to bring visitors and/or supplies.


Our excitement was just beginning….as we were unloading, I snapped this photo of a bear strolling along the beach just beyond the plane.

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