Posts Tagged ‘puffins’

Day 75

August 13, 2010 3 comments

Location: Seward, AK

Got the site updated at Seward’s lovely Sea Bass cafe this morning, and then around 11AM I made my way to the harbor where my tour boat was docked.  I found that I had a table to myself on the inside of the boat, so it was nice to have that as a home base for my bag and I wouldn’t have to be outside the whole time, especially if it got cold.  The captain introduced himself, discussed the usual safety measures, and I took a look at the wildlife pamphlet on the table.  There were a lot of animals we could likely see out in Resurrection Bay and the Gulf of Alaska, such as orca and humpback whales, sea lions, puffins, and porpoises.  I was especially looking forward to seeing whales, as I had never see one before.

At noon we headed out of the harbor for the five hour wildlife tour of Kenai Fjords.  Great scenery from the get go.

Alaskan Flag

Wasn’t too long before we got our first glimpse of wildlife – an eagle:

white seal near the bottom of this picture

The boat took us around some coves and there were some more great views to witness.

As we continued on, we were seeing wildlife every way we turned, albeit mostly birds.

little puffins

a comorant

Hundreds (thousands?) of Kittiwakes

Soon we came upon some islands with sea lions. 

And then we spotted more puffins.  I learned from the pamphlet that puffins often gorge themselves so much that they have trouble flying. I found one trying to take off:

After this, I kept hearing reports about humpback whales.  There was a park ranger on the boat with a microphone, and she’d announce if there was a water spout spotted.  Whenever I looked out at the water, I saw nothing, and sure enough as soon as I got back inside the boat, she’d announce a water spout was seen once again.  And then I began to get some feelings of nausea, as the boat would be moving, then slow down, and the process would repeat.

In any case, during the five hours I caught a glimpse of one humpback’s tail (I think), way off in the distance.  Bummer.  Spotted a sea otter on the way back to shore, though (but only thanks to my zoom lens): 

And then it was time to get back to harbor.  The five hour tour went by fast.  Overall, it was a nice ride, with good scenery, but I was a bit disappointed with the lack of sea animals.  Oh well, can’t be lucky every day.

Heading back to Seward

I then met up with Megan and her friend James, and we had a great meal of halibut and salmon, plus corn on the cob.  So delicious.  Thanks to those two for preparing a great dinner.

James, Megan, and the dogs

James just drove up to Alaska from Dallas in June, and he came through Alberta, which will be my route back to the Lower 48.  I’m very anxious to drive through the Canadian Rockies, especially after seeing the pictures from his journey.

Went back and crashed at Megan’s for my final night in Seward.  On Friday morning I’ll climb one of the nearby mountains with James, and then I’ll head back north along the Seward Highway towards Palmer where Megan’s sister, Susan, lives.  That will be one of my last major stops before I work my way east, back towards Canada.

Thanks to my new friends in Seward for a great time.