We head onto the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska's vacationland. The Turnagin Arm is a large but shallow inlet dominated by high tides. Very interesting. Our goal is Seward, a major tourist stop for the inland passage cruise trade to Alaska. As we enter the city looking across the harbor , we can see one of these giant ships, which is so large it almost seems to tower over the city.After setting up camp, we have a nice dinner at the Resurrection Roadhouse restaurant in the Windsong Lodge. A visit to the Exit Glacier reveals a sad truth - glaciers are in drastic retreat here as they are all around the world. A marker near the parking lot reveals the extent of the glacier at the time the lot was built. Now it is a 2 mile walk to reach the base of the glacier. Global warming indeed.
The next day we have a leisurely walk about town and then head to the Kenai Fjords Tour Company to meet a teaching collegue of mine, CJ. He grew up in Seward, graduated from Luther college in Iowa and had just finished his first year teaching math and coaching basketball in Bluff Country. His summer job, since high school, has been as a deck hand on tour boats. We have time for a chat and then he presented us with 4 compliementary tickets, worth hundreds of dollars, for an afternoon glacier cruise with an on board salmon dinner. How neatIt's a beautiful 70 degree sunny day, but we are advised that temperatures on deck will be much chillier due to the ice cold water in Resurrection Bay. On board ,we have a table by a window on middle level. After a delicious dinner most people head out on the deck. Once the boat reaches speed though, most return inside due to the wind chill. We the hardy Minnesotans stick it out as we are dressed for it and used to it!
The visit to the Aialik Glacier is amazing as we watch it calve off ice bergs. The sea life is astounding with humpback whales, porpoises, rare Stellar sea lions and myriads of sea birds including our favorite, rows of puffins lined up along the cliffs. There is even a sea grotto, which is very remindful of a previous visit to the Isle Of Capri in the Mediterranean (minus about 50 degress in air temperature). Come on along!
Rare Stellar seals
Not being the most alert of wildlife photographers I did manage to catch the tail of a mighty 60 ton humpback whale.
Many restaurants in Alaska have posters of a Puffin with a red slash thru it - "No Puffin"
Was it Nelly the Loch Ness Monster visiting Alaska? Nope... just a school of passing porpoises.
What a day!
Next: On to Homer
Next: On to Homer