Kenai Fjords National Park Boat Tour, part two: The animals!!!

In our last post, I talked about a boat tour that we took across Resurrection Bay and into the Gulf of Alaska and Kenai Fjords National Park.

In today’s post, I want to share pictures of the animals that we saw from the deck of the boat.  The region is extremely rich in wildlife: ten marine mammals live in these pristine waters, and dozens of species of birds nest along the coast.  While we didn’t see all of the wildlife the area has to offer, it’s astounding how much we did spot in just an eight-hour boat trip:

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Seward, Alaska: Kenai Fjords National Park Boat Tour (part one)

Glacial ice floating in the Holgate Arm

People from all over the world come to Seward to explore Alaska’s waters on a tour boat.  Last week, we joined the crowd.

Yes, it’s touristy, but such attractions are often popular for a reason (because they’re awesome), and a boat excursion out of Seward is no exception.

It’s got glaciers.

It’s got pristine waters.

It’s got virgin forest and rocky islands and wildlife galore.

So even though we consider ourselves Alaskans now, we’re still wide-eyed newcomers on the inside, and we felt no shame in going for a boat ride with a bunch of tourists.

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Seward, Alaska: Humpbacks feeding in Resurrection Bay

Plus a sea otter wonders what the fuss is about

Darn them and their front-row seats (Just joking! Please take us with you. Please…)

 

While not the largest animal on earth (that distinction goes to the blue whale), humpbacks are no petite creatures; they’re 50-60 feet in length, which is longer than your average school bus.  So when these tractor-trailer-sized mammals stick their enormous heads out of the water, they’re pretty easy to spot.  These pictures were taken a few days ago, when we watched two whales (or maybe more; it’s hard to tell) feeding in Resurrection Bay.

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Happy Earth Day! A few photos from our beautiful home

Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

To celebrate Earth Day, here are a few of our favorite pictures from our time in Alaska and from the road trip that brought us here.  These photos plainly illustrate just how quirky, fragile, and beautiful our planet is:

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10 things we can do to help endangered sea lions (and the rest of the creatures that live in the sea)

Alaska’s Steller sea lions

Warning: This post contains sad and disturbing photos of injured and deceased sea animals.

In January I wrote a post about the adorable Steller sea lions of Resurrection Bay.  Unfortunately, they’re endangered.

It was only when I started learning about sea lions for the blog that I discovered this fact, and after some debate I decided that I should share the sad side of my sea lion research with you.  So here goes:

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Seward, Alaska: Our starving eagles

“Three more!” I cried, pointing to the birds perched in the tree.

Driving through a neighborhood near the waterfront, we were witnessing something unexpected—a large convocation of eagles.  They were sitting atop telephone poles, perched on satellite dishes and rooftops, and even—as we saw when we turned the corner—blocking traffic in the street.

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Another wildlife weekend in Seward, Alaska: more moose, eagles, and a humpback whale!

We drove to Anchorage yesterday for our monthly pilgrimage to Costco, and on the way we saw eight moose!  (We also saw three more around Seward today, but who’s counting…)

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Seward, Alaska: 10 facts about Steller sea lions

Photos and facts about this beautiful, fun sea creature, plus a comparison between sea lions and seals

Resurrection Bay is home to all manner of sea life, and every time we walk the waterfront trail, we see something, whether it’s eagles or otters or the occasional harbor seal.  A few weeks ago it was a gathering of eight Steller sea lions, which hung out in the same spot near shore for at least 20 minutes, socializing and vocalizing as sea lions are inclined to do.
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Seward snapshot: A few of our resident bald eagles

Merry Christmas!  Our gift to you… bald eagles in a snow storm, taken on Christmas Eve.

Remember the juvenile eagle that dive-bombed us?  The one that I talked about in our last post?  Well, these may be his (or her) parents.  We have since discovered that there are at least four adult bald eagles living in Seward, plus the two juveniles.

What a sight they are.

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day!

Dale and Cheri