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There they are and they were everywhere up and down the beach at Fox Island. Jellies large and larger, stranded on shore and floating in the water. They were there when we arrived and still there when we departed a couple of days later.
Overcast skies followed us as we ventured from our overnight stay in Anchorage to the harbor at Seward and then onto to Fox Island in the middle of the Kenai Fjords National Park. Our route took us past Turnagain Arm, where Captain Cook traveled in 1778 and part of the larger Cook Inlet. While there, we spied several beluga whales on the water's surface during a stop over. You can see a few visitors watching below.
From there it was onto Seward and it's harbor to catch a boat to Fox Island, where we would relax and explore the nearby fjords. Our journey into Seward also took us past the Turnagain Arm Pit Barbecue (no I did not make that up) and this mural at the edge of town.
Cool overcast weather meant we were bundled up for our trip by boat to Fox Island. The harbor in Seward presented this interesting vista with the docks and boats framed against the area's mountains. What you cannot see in this image is a large cruise ship docked and the massive cargo handling equipment further up the harbor.
We did not ride on a boat like the one below, although it does paint a picture of a life lived on the Alaskan waters. Neither did we see any humpback whales like the one celebrated in the metal outline that sits outside the National Parks office in Seward. They were uncharacteristically not in the harbor.
Our short boat excursion to the island was not without wildlife sightings, however. This elderly otter (his white face gives away his relative age) floated quietly past us as we headed out. While there is nothing to hint at his size in the image, our guide estimated his length at between six and seven feet. Not a small creature at all.
The island we visited was remote, accessible only by boat and hosting maybe a dozen cabins. We were the last visitors for the season.
The weather cleared when we arrived and stayed nice long enough for us to kayak in the calm waters. Evenings included dinner in a lodge that sported a million dollar view of of Resurrection Bay and the adjacent fjords.
Rain and cooler temperatures were the order of our last day there. A trip was also planned by boat into the National Park, with the hope of spotting whales. Some wind added to the adventure as high waves and possibly higher waves were included in the trip.
I opted out and had a leisurely morning on land while my intrepid wife ventured forth on the small 'Minnow-like' boat pictured below. And, yes, I did hum the tune to Gilligan's Island as the adventurous hiked down the beach through the wind and rain to board the ship.
No one appreciated my humor and when the boat returned early, I headed out in the rain with an umbrella to meet Frances. She was soaked but beaming. While the trip was a rough one in tempestuous seas, it was rewarding as well. A large pod of Orcas had been spotted midpoint in the trip.
The next morning we headed back to Seward in the 'Minnow' in overcast skies. Our next stop is the Alaska Sealife Center before an overnight in Anchorage. Then, we are on to King Salmon, our launching spot for Katmai National Park and more grizzly bears than you can imagine.
Here is a preview of what lies ahead.
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The venture moola blog comes to you from Atlanta, Georgia. Find it at readjanus.com. Copyright Clinton Richardson.
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