Friday, July 8, 2011

7/8/10 ~ A Whale of a Day

July 8, 2010 was one of the more memorable days in Alaska. Here is my post from our Alaska trip blog last year~

We woke early this morning to head down to the harbor. We had an 8am departure on the Kenai Fjords Tour. Last night we were unsure if we were even going to go since they were issuing weather warnings. That’s that the seas are high and that the boat might not be able to make it around the cape to see everything. If it turns back early then we get a partial refund. We had the option to get a full refund if we decided not to go. Since it had stopped raining and it looked clearer out in the bay, we decided to go. The water was rough and the weather never cleared so we didn’t get to go all the way out to the glaciers, but we did see quite a bit of sealife. One of the first sightings was a California Humpback Whale. It was amazing! It even got pretty close to the boat at one point and Dori got a good view of it. Not long after that we saw 2 humpbacks swimming together. They seemed to be showing off for the boat and we got some incredible shots. We also saw seals, sea lions, otters, puffins, bald eagles and lots of interesting birds. There were some Dall Porpoises at one point, but we didn’t see them. One of the crew members said that sometimes there are not any whale sightings, so we felt pretty lucky. Maybe he was just saying that…IDK. We were thrilled with what we saw and were fine with the cruise getting done early. I took a (less-drowsy formula) Dramamine before starting out and I never felt sick. I always get motion sick and the boat was really rolling at times. I think being outside in the (brisk) wind was very helpful. Just before lunch time all the guys were filling ill, but they took a Dramamine and had lunch. They felt so much better after that.

After the tour we went up to see the Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park. Once again Dori earned a junior ranger badge. She should have had 3 by now, but we never went back to the ranger station in Talkeetna. We bought her a National Parks Passport book and she is enjoying getting her stamps from each park. We had about a 2 mile hike round trip (with some pretty steep parts) to the edge of the glacier. There are year markings along the way which show where the glacier used to be. It’s receded a lot!