again at Homer, we boarded the Alaska Marine Highway's ocean-going ferry
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.
arrives at Homer
|Birding on the bow||Carolyn on deck|
out in the lounge
after our Aleutian jaunt, we explored the wild and beautiful Kenai Peninsula.
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|
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|