Harding Glacier, Alaska
Seals on the rocks of Resurrection Bay near Seward, Alaska
The excitement never ends in Alaska! Today was the day of our big boat tour of the Kenai Fjords National Park area. Mom took some sea-sickness medicine, as we’d be spending the entire day in the bay near Seward and on the open ocean.
We had a great time on the tour. Kaitlyn was excited to discover that they had a junior ranger program and a park ranger right on board the boat and she got started on the booklet right away. Before we’d even been sailing for 10 minutes we saw a bald eagle sitting on a pylon, was dad ever excited as he took some awesome photos.
A couple of minutes later we were tickled to see a sea otter floating on his back just outside our window. During our trip we got to see quite a few of these little guys – one of them was even napping while he did the back float.
We also saw quite a number of humpback whales feeding near the shore, some sea lions lying on rocks and a wide variety of sea birds. Our favorites of course were the puffins! The park ranger was very informative. We learned that puffins spend the first 3 years of their lives on the open sea as well as every winter after that. Although they can fly, it isn’t very graceful to watch. They have to flap like crazy to stay airborne. If they’ve had a large meal they just belly flop across the top of the waves never quite managing to lift off. That’s right! With the full tummies the puffins can’t fly – they have to wait until they’ve had a poop before they can fly again.
The boat took us over to see the Harding Glacier. We were all surprised by the baby blue color of the glacier ice and by the loud thunder noises the glacier made when the ice shifted and cracked.
After our glacier stop we headed out to the rougher seas. It was cold outside and Tasha and Kaitlyn headed out front to enjoy the bumpy waves with mom sitting close by to make sure that everyone was safe. The waves proved too much for Kaitlyn as she took a tumble. Mom and Kaitlyn headed back inside to enjoy the waves in the safer confines of the cabin. Tasha and dad stayed outside and rode the waves. What a ride!
The sea was quite rough so the captain changed our course a bit to avoid the open ocean. Judging from all the heads hanging from the edge of the boat it was a good call. Thankfully, mom’s wasn’t one of them.
On the ride home dad enjoyed an Alaska beer and mom had a Hot Otter (hot chocolate and peppermint Schnapps) as we arrived back at the dock we saw a harbor seal. Kaitlyn received her junior ranger badge and we thanked the crew for a great trip. We returned to our campsite as it was already evening. The girls beach combed and dad made a hotdog for mom (who was hungry despite the excellent meal we had aboard the ship – mom really didn’t want to be one of the hanging heads).