Aleutian Ferry and Kenai Peninsula

        Deserting Horny again at Homer, we boarded the Alaska Marine Highway's ocean-going ferry MV Tustamena ("Trusty Tusty") for a six-day round trip down the Aleutians to Dutch Harbor, with stops at Kodiak Island and a string of isolated, mainly Aleut, fishing villages.  This was the most eagerly awaited leg of our expedition because of the many alcids (puffins, murres, auklets, murrelets) that occur only in these waters, and we spent many cold but rewarding hours scanning the surface from the bow deck.
Trusty Tusty 
arrives at Homer 
Birding on the bow  Carolyn on deck
out in the lounge
Tusty dining Bald Eagle, 
Dutch Harbor
Cold Bay Chignik Charlie watchers, 
Chignik bakery


        Before and after our Aleutian jaunt, we explored the wild and beautiful Kenai Peninsula. While Charlie fought off the flu encamped on Homer Spit, Carolyn celebrated her birthday with friends and caught two big halibut from a party boat.  On the west side we saw spawning salmon at Soldotna and beluga whales at the mouth of Kenai River.  Although Alaskans' annual salmon stampede was in full swing along major highways and streams, wilderness solitude was easy to find on the backroads of the Kenai Wildlife Refuge and around the remote village of Hope.
Carolyn hooks a halibut Spawning salmon
Salmon stampede, Kenai River Russian Orthodox Church, Kenai


        At Seward, on the eastern side, we had a fabulous day cruise among the glaciers, exotic birds, whales, and sea otters of Kenai Fjords National Park.
Resurrection Bay, Seward Sea Otter and Tufted Puffins
Nesting Common Murres Holgate Glacier