We walked down to the harbor from our hotel, checked in for our Kenai Fjords cruise, and went to a nearby bakery for oatmeal and coffee. We had some time to kill before the boat left, so we shopped. I fell in love with Helly Hansen, and bought a bag I’m still using for my overnight gear every day.
We had assigned seats on the boat, and were paired with an Indian couple from San Francisco who were fascinating. Right as we left the harbor, we had our first wildlife encounter: otters gettin’ it on in the water.
sea otter lovin’
sexy in raingear
The ship took us out of Resurrection Bay and into the Gulf of Alaska. We’d taken Dramamine because of the many warnings to do so, but I felt we probably didn’t need it. It wasn’t rough at all, just very damp and cold. In the gulf, we saw whales!
We then headed into Aialik Bay to see the glaciers. The water was an amazing color, more like what we’d seen in the Caribbean. I didn’t expect that in Alaska.
three-hole point (supposedly the most-photographed item in alaska)
Seeing glaciers up close was nothing short of mindblowing. We were still a half-mile away from it, but it seemed like we were right up close. It’s just a gigantic, blue wall of ice, and it thunders. I couldn’t believe it. Something else I didn’t expect? That we’d actually see it calve. It happened several times while we sat there watching; once it sent huge splashed up in the air and rocked the boat quite a bit.
holgate glacier calving
The water was full of ice chunks from other pieces breaking off, too. Some of them looked like little icebergs floating around.
We left Aialik Bay and headed out to the Chiswell Islands, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. To me, this meant one thing: PUFFINS. I’d seen them floating around in the water, but hadn’t seen them up close yet.
We hung out watching the puffins for a while, then went around to another island to see seal lions. They’re pretty much just like my cats: lazy and noisy.
gulf of alaska
We had dinner on the way back, and spent a lot of time chatting with our tablemates. On the trip, we’d seen a ton of wildlife: baleen whales, humpback whales, porpoises, puffins, cormorants, bald eagles, a black bear, sea lions, harbor seals, and otters. Honestly, the puffins affected me more than the whales. I just like them a lot.
We got back to Seward Harbor around 7:30pm, and the sun was still shining. We walked back to the hotel, then downtown, and decided on Christo’s Palace for dinner. We had pizza and a couple blue glacier martinis, which turned out to be very strong. I giggled the whole way back to the hotel.