Following on from the last blog we reached Seward. We arrived late afternoon so decided to check into the hotel and have a little explore. Our hotel was close to the fishing port. We had a wander around and then headed along a beautiful coastal path towards the town. once again the views were amazing. We spotted a bald eagle soaring above us. The town was only just opening up after the winter hibernation, many of the shops were being restocked and painted. We decided to stop for a beer at a local bar. Martin had a Guinness and I had a cider. They came in jam jars and cost $17.00, Can you believe it $17.00 for two halves! needless to say we only had one!
The next morning it was time for the whale watching, we were both looking forward to this but I was a little anxious due to suffering with sea sickness. I was prepared with Swells motion sickness tablets. When we booked in I asked if the sea was rough and they said not too bad, maybe a little rougher in the Bay of Alaska but the rest of the cruise was sheltered by Resurrection Bay. As the boat left its docking the Captain almost immediately pointed out a Bald Eagle just sat on a post. We actually got quite close to it. it stayed a little while and then took flight. The Captain was so informative about the cruise and he had a great eye for spotting the different creatures. Next was a family of sea otters, one of them was a curious of us as we was of him. He just lay on his back circling the boat. I have to say he was adorable. Eventually he swam away. I have to say I was impressed that the Captain didn't chase after any of the animals, if they engaged great if not we left them be. Further along we spotted Mountain goats, unfortunately just too far away for my camera to photo.
As we sailed past a rock formation we spotted the distinctive mist from a blow hole. Wow in the distance in front of us was a whale. How the Captain distinguished it was a Humpback Whale from that distance I had no idea, but sure enough as we got closer you could see the hump. the whale was close to the land eating krill and plankton. It was like a game, we waited for him to surface and hopefully see him or his fluke but most of the time we saw his fin and the arch of his back, the one time he did show his fluke neither martin or I captured it. After a short time the captain said it was time to move on and leave him be. As we sailed away I looked back and sure enough he surfaced again and shown his fluke! Next we had to cross the Bay of Alaska, the part I was dreading the most. It was so cold, a real bitter wind, we decided to go inside the cabin, I was ok while we were moving, I couldn't really feel the swell but then the Captain stopped the boat and was so excited, he had spotted a puffin, the first he'd seen of the season. The swell was rocking the boat, I had to rush outside, I did see the puffin but was trying my best to look at the horizon! The boat set off again thankfully so I was ok, next we saw a colony of Stellar sealions just resting on some rocks. We then set sail back to the harbour. On the way back we spotted a couple of Dall's Porpoises. We both agreed that the cruise was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it anybody travelling to Seward.
The Next morning we left Seward. The plan was to do a 4 Mile hike to Exit Glacier. We set off only to find the road closed and no access to the pass. So we set off to Homer which was 168 miles away. We were expecting amazing views but to be honest on this side of Alaska was nowhere near as pretty. There had been a massive forest fire that went on for miles and miles. It was clearly warmer on this side of the mountains as most of the snow had melted so it was clear to see. When we arrived at Homer it was clearly early in the season here too. Many of the little shops and cafes were still closed. We found a little restaurant for lunch and Martin had Clam chowder, he had wanted to try it and I had a halibut sandwich. Halibut is locally caught in Alaska so is available everywhere. I had wanted to try it and it was delicious. We were supposed to stay in Homer but decided to head back to Anchorage so we wouldn't have such a long drive the next morning before our flight back to Vancouver. The weather changed again, we had rain and snow. I had read that you can have all seasons in one in Alaska and we can confirm its true.
The next day we headed back to the Airport time to collect the bikes in Vancouver.....