Seward, Boat Cruise

Rose Tuesday morning nice and early – had to be ready at the Boat Dock at 7:45am so we made it in good time and grabbed a takeaway coffee.

The boat was only small but powerful and our Captain was another lady – Callie and there were two other guests – Walt & Rae.  We saw all sorts of wonderful creatures, including sea otters, puffins and mountain goats – and we went to the face of the Holgate Glacier, we had a nice warm drink while photographing the Glacier and watching the glacier calving (small bits falling off).

On our return to Seward we saw Orca – Yippey Dooooooo – I have never seen an Orca and we saw a whole family – they are near on impossible to photograph but I did get a couple the youtube will have pictures.

It was warm and the seas were calm, like glass most of the time.  We had a wonderful day, back on land by 2pm and loved every minute of it.  Would really recommend a trip like this and this company (Seward Sea Excursions) were excellent.  Spoke to them a few times as we thought we might be delayed with the fires in Stirling but they were very patient and understanding.

Afterwards, we went into Seward town for a coffee and found a lovely old church converted to a gallery and coffee shop!! Wandered the streets and planned to go back to the Ocean Aquarium for a look and back up the main street (4th street) and found ice cream!!

Home for some more wonderful Sockeye Salmon (thank you Dianne and Ross).

Woke during the night and could smell the Stirling Highway fire (the one that held us up the other day), before daylight – Bert had the same concerns as I did. We were on a peninsula with only one road out, the air was thick with smoke and our eyes were burning.  No need to be here and if the area started burning we were stuck!  After fueling the truck and a coffee shack coffee, we packed up and headed to Anchorage.

Disappointed we had only 2 nights in Seward when we planned 5 nights but we did get our sea tour in.

Drove 2 hours to Anchorage and returned to the same RV park and the air is clear and we can see the sky and much more pleasant for us both.

One part of the highway travels close to the Cook Inlet for quite a few miles just before getting in Anchorage and we saw Beluga Whales – white whales – they were cruising the waters edge!! Another first, beautiful elegant creatures just taking their time…  Bert did get some photos at a distance.

We have 2 nights here, and a spare day somewhere before heading onto Glacier View and Valdez.

 

Homer to Seward – Forest Fire – Road closed

We headed off at a leisurely pace up the Sterling Highway, arrived in Soldotna by 11 am and drove straight through as our favourite Cinnamon shop is closed on Sunday’s – The Moose is Loose.

Traffic stopped about 10 miles north of Sterling! No movement at all. Then the odd car or RV came towards us, no idea what’s happening and no internet or phone coverage.

We move slowly for the next 4 hours to be eventually told the Forest Fire up ahead has crossed the highway and the road is now closed and won’t reopen overnight. Someone said the power lines are down.

We turn and head back to the RV Park we stayed in last week, they gave us a 20% as we were turned back by the fire, very nice, Spoke to the RV Park in Seward also who changed our arrival at late notice.

Edit: effective Monday morning 7:00am, the road is still closed, from the traffic website – will watch for updates and see if we can get thru… current plan

1. Get fuel for car

2. Get coffee

3. Stop at Fred Meyers supermarket and grab a few groceries

4. Hope the Road opens and we can continue….

Halibut Cove – Peaceful and Serene Hideaway

Can we top yesterday’s trip to Seldovia!!  No way, well I can’t say it was better than yesterday but it was wonderful nonetheless, and different.

Lazy start to the day, the “Danny J” doesn’t leave until 12 noon from Homer Spit so we can take our time!  You would think so, we got down on the Spit for a coffee and check in then it was time to board for the trip.  https://www.thesaltry.com/danny-j-ferry

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The Danny J, thank you to  “www.dannyj.org”

We had a wonderful trip across the Kachemak Bay to Gull Island and a talk about the gulls, kittiwakes and puffins that live there during the summer.   Elsa is the Captain today and her crew is a lovely lady Eliza.  Both have strong family ties to Halibut Cove.

We had booked for lunch at the “Saltry Restaurant”, and met the owners as we were having our lunch and heard the story of how they got a “houseboat” secured to the cliffs edge back in the 1980’s and the life they live in Halibut Cove in the Summer and go to Hawaii in the Alaska Winter… Sounds idyllic!!

Lunch was not the usual huge size meals, it was lovely over a glass of Rose.  We wandered the boardwalks after lunch and looked in the Gallery.  The Gallery is on stilted supports like all the homes and businesses – there is a huge tidal change here – sometimes as much as 18 feet twice a day.

Had a lovely coffee in the shade and wandered back for our 4pm departure and return to Homer Spit.

Halibut Cove is a private community of families where some live all year and others relocate for the severe winters, but they support each other and a few professional people also live there (doctors and lawyers).

 

For more details and pictures, watch our video’s,

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0Z7mOZONVWMR7Fy_tTxUPg/

 

 

Seldovia, Alaska (Remote & stunning)

We had a Rainbow Tours trip booked for today on the “Discovery”, this  was recommended to us by our Kiwi friends Ross and Dianne.  Big thank you to them for this brilliant idea.

It was a clear and bright morning in Homer with very little wind around, so we drove down and parked on the Homer Spit, $5 all day is not expensive. Had a coffee and sorted out the cameras, got our boarding passes for the boat and wandered down – literally.. It was an extremely low tide today -1.5 feet! and we were told it would be a high tide of over 17 feet when we return later in the day, still a little hard to understand the huge change, this is leaving.

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The captain of the boat was Victoria who had an English Accent but had been in Alaska for 20+ years and 2 very nice girls worked onboard as well, once has a Bachelors in Marine Biology and the other is in college in Montana doing Forestry Management.

Seldovia is a pretty harbour town on a secluded and safe harbour and working town, there is a stunning “Historical Boardwalk” that is breathtaking and people still live on the stilted buildings over the river, this is to keep them out of the extremely high tides.  A must see day out.

We saw everything!!, well not really, we did see Puffins – these birds have eluded us in UK and Iceland for many years and they will be heading off from here within a few weeks, also.

We saw Humpback whales, sea offers asleep on the water, groups of sea otters all rafted together and loads of seagulls of every feathered variety!

Came back and hung out in the Kachemak Bay for about 1 hour watching a group of Humpback Whales surface and show off.

Arrived back at the Homer Spit around 6:30pm, very tired and worn out from a day on the water.

We will be doing a YouTube video in the next day or so with a lot more information and pictures.  Subscribing to the Youtube channel has now been made simpler – there is a “Wander and Move” logo on the bottom right of every video – click on this to subscribe!!

Homer – Day 1

We have had a great day in Homer today.   We arrived yesterday afternoon and found this wonderful view from our trailer site – right out across the Kachemak Bay to the Glaciers.  Some of the towns we visit have wonderful names and Kachemak Bay is one of them, “Kachemak” is “Smokey Bay” which supposedly is from an Aleut word describing the smoldering coal seams that used to fill the bay with smoke.

We can see 4 glaciers in one view!! Amazing.  This water is the top of the North Pacific Ocean – so somewhere South and West of here is Australia, and not a lot in between to run into..

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We went down the Visitors Information Centre in Homer and met a lovely lady that gave us all the information on the area and loads of brochures, we caught the Trolley Bus and headed off around the town.  In Homer there is a huge spit of land that juts out into the Kachemak Bay.

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It has loads of shops, coffee shops and seafood restaurants as well as full working harbour and ferries that run in the Alaska Water Highway (up and down the Alaska Coastline all summer). This is one of the major transport routes for the Alaskan people and the tourists, save the long drive through Canada and passport controls etc.

We continued on the Trolley Bus back to town and then home.  We both bought “alaskan joggers” today, or in real terms Gumboots.  We have had a wonderful run of fine and warm weather but this will end soon enough and with our travels now heading south after we leave here and onto Seward, Valdez – back into Canada – we will be seeing the end of this wonderful weather, and our current tans will start to fade.  The gumboots are going to be well needed.

Homer is a pretty town and we have some boat tours arranged for the next few days, watch for videos – coming soon on both trips and also Homer township and spit.

 

 

 

 

Bears & Float Plan Adventure, Alaska (video released)

We had a wonderful day out with Talon Air and some lovely folk from Florida.  We boarded our float plan at 12:15pm, there was us, the Florida folk (Gloria and Randy, who are also full time Rv’ers) and 2 young couples heading out for some fishing.

Flew over the Cook Inlet, and we could see the water changing colour with the glacial grey water mixing with the oceans salt water and the patterns were fantastic.

Flew up and over the mountains, and we landed on Crescent Lake in the Lake Clark National Park, taxi’d to the shoreline and unloaded everyone stuff.  Our guide was Ben, just for 4 of us in a boat.  They fetched the boats and we headed off bear searching – the weather was remarkable – about 80F/25C, bright blue skies and still – no breeze at all.  We don’t seem to sunburn here like at home, we do tan but not the stinging red sunburn we are both used to – particularly after a day on the water.

Saw Bears – both Grizzly and Black, some of the most wonderful scenery I have ever seen or could image, met some wonderful people and generally had a spectacular day out and were totally exhausted when we got home.

Check out the video:

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This area has many Russian names, as it was only about 140 years ago  on:   March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million.  

The land size of Alaska is 663,300 square miles – so the price was $10.85 per square mile of land.

We were told by a tour guide that 1/5 of all High School students enlist in one of the US Armed Forces from Alaska, this is not the highest % in the USA states but it is a lot for such a low population state.

Soldotna and Kenai townships have everything you could need as a traveller, no need to stock up – there is 2-3 large supermarket, plus Walmart and Home Depot here.  I was expecting to have small “ma and pa corner stores” only and are quite surprised by the infrastructure in the area.

thanks for watching the video and reading our blogs, we are having a great time making them and finding interesting subjects in the areas (some areas are so interesting we don’t need to look too hard).

 

Alaska Plans – August 2019

We have 3 more weeks in Alaska and have some real wild country ahead of us.

On the map below, we are currently in Kenai and mid next week move to Homer (a), then Seward (b), and we have recently changed the next step.

We were going to Whittier for the ferry but have changed our mind and are now driving to Glacier View (c) for 2 nights and around to Valdez. Why did we change our mind: to get the ferry we would have to be on the road by 6am, drive the tunnel and check in for the ferry – it doesn’t arrive till 7pm and then go and set up at the RV park – sitting on the ferry for 7 hours and it was $$ so we decided to drive around and see the glaciers from the Glenn Highway instead.

Then to Valdez (d) and Tok (e) – then we exit from the USA back into Canada for our return trip down the Cassiar Highway, through Prince George, Whistler and into Vancouver – for late September.