The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Seward, AK by Ocean

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Seward, AK is a special little place.  I showed you a bit of the town in this POST.  Here’s a glimpse into the mountain-lined Resurrection Bay.  Since this trip I’ve been back a couple of times. I’ll focus on this trip, for now.

As a tourist (unless you have ties to someone local with a boat who can safely take you out and point out the wildlife) hopping on a guided boat tour is the best way to get out into the water to see the sights.

I booked a tour on Kenai Fjords Tours. They were professional, prompt, the boat was clean, the narration was thorough and entertaining.  A bit over four hours long, it started to feel a bit too long a the end but only because I got a little green.  I get sea-sick in big swell and rough water.  Inside the bay I was fine. The whale sightings went gang-busters and the Captain took us out the mouth of the bay where the water was fairly big.  While looking at/for whales it rocked a lot. I chose to move to the back of the boat the best spot to move to if seasick. I never threw up.  In fact, I did not get nauseated but I could tell I was toeing the line so precautions I took.  Disaster diverted.

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Seward’s tucked under Mountains which hem in the Harding Icefield.  Over 1100 square miles in size (which includes descending glaciers) It’s the largest fully contained in the US.  Over 400″ of snow fall on it per year.  Most glaciers are remote and hard to reach. One, the EXIT glacier is just out-of-town, can be hiked to, and boasts a nice little park.  (More on that in a future post.)

The day was perfect, clear and crisp.

We headed out of the small boat harbor and into the bay.

Oh how I love harbors!  (Esp. the rusty crusty ones)

Spotted sea otters:

Approached Fox Island and its ghost forest-covered spit:

All the dead trees seen are remnants from the 1964 quake. Salt water permeated the ground, killing off the trees.  Dried out skeletons now remain.

Passed through Eldorado Narrows (so named from the amount of gold which left Seward by ship for the lower 48.)

The rock lining the bay is volcanic in origin.  It looked swirly and bulbous under its jacket of snow:

A mini Half-Dome in the upper center?

Stellar Sea Lions hanging out. Note the nature of the rock. I believe it’s called Pillow-Lava?

Once we exited the bay and entered Prince William Sound the whales materialized.  I’d seen spouts a few times in Northern CA but never like this.

A Grey Whale tail!

A whole pods’ spouts:

And the grand finale, BEAR GLACIER, creeping off the Harding Icefield. It is not a Tidewater Glacier, meaning it does not reach the ocean.

Also saw a Fin Whale, a grey whale cow and calf pair, many Bald Eagles, Porpoise, a coastal Mtn. Goat, and that’s all I can remember right now.  What a beautiful day!

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