6:00am I am up and dressed and now trying, futilely, to get Barbara out of bed and packing.  These vacations are full of fun and adventure, not rest!  I had some time to kill so I went for a walk to take some photos. 8:00am Bags are packed and sitting on the deck outside our room.  We were also required to be out of the room by now and are just hanging out in the sitting area of the lodge. 8:30am Breakfast.  Steel-cut oats or scrambled eggs. 9:24am We are hanging out by the restaurant and store waiting for our boat ride back to Seward.  We saw Hermit Thrush and a female with a slew of ducklings, Barrow’s Goldeneye. 10:00am Everyone is on board and we are about to head for Seward.  The boat is the Steller Sunrise with Tanya and Tammy. 10:24am Beautiful scenery on the way back to Seward. 10:45am Photo of the trail used for the race to the top and back on Mount Marathon.  So steep, racers often get hurt. 10:53am We are now in the Seward harbor and Justin talked Captain Tanya into looking around the harbor for the Sea Otters before docking.  She did a great job and we all got some close up photos of the Sea Otters. 11:10am We are now moored at the Seward Harbor.  Tanya, Tammy and Justin are moving all our luggage from the boat to the Magic Bus. 11:20am The docks here have large fish-cleaning stations built in.  They are on the top level and the tables have openings in them for the parts the fishermen don’t want.  The scraps fall below to an area enclosed in chicken wire.  There must have been some good fishing out there because the screened in area has a lot of fish guts. The reason I am documenting this is because I have photos of gulls at the bottom of the chutes pecking at and pulling fish parts through the screening. Fresh salmon…  Such a delicacy in the lower 48 and here they feed it to the gulls! 11:30am Barbara is all shopped out and we are waiting for the doors of Chinooks Restaurant to open for the day so we can head in and have lunch.  Gary, our Magic Bus driver is joining us for lunch. 12:30pm We just finished lunch:  Barbara had Smoked Scallop Mac and Cheese, and I had my one seafood meal this trip of Fish and Chips with Alaskan Cod.  Now we are waiting for the Magic Bus to take us to the Alaska SeaLife Center.  We all opted to skip dessert so that we could have more time to play at the SeaLife Center. Since this is a photography tour Justin tries to manage our time to maximize our ability to take pictures.  Our time in the SeaLife center includes a behind-the-scenes tour which takes about an hour.  That doesn’t leave much time for photography out front.  So by skipping dessert we will have enough time for the tour and photos. 12:41pm We are at the Alaska SeaLife Center and getting options, direction from Justin. I will let the photos speak for themselves in the SeaLife Center.  They do have some very interesting displays including a Seabird Habitat which includes an aviary over the top of a 21’ tall seawater tank.  Birds in the room include: Tufted Puffin, Horned Puffin, Rhinoceros Auklet, Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Black Oystercatcher, Red-legged Kittiwake, King Eider, Harlequin Duck, Long-tailed Duck and Smew. 1:30pm Most of us met up at the entrance to the Center and were met by Justin who introduced us to Kathleen, our guide on the behind-the-scene tour.  The tour was very informative. 2:30pm The tour is over and we are free to wander around the SeaLife Center until it is time to go. 3:30pm We are back on the bus. 3:37pm We are out of Seward and heading towards Anchorage.  This starts our Brooks Falls Adventure.  While we are riding Justin put out a lot of information about the Brown Bears that we will be seeing in Brooks Falls.  I’m not sure who is more excited about the bears….  The tourists or the guide!  Just for the record, the talk Justin gave about The Bears of Alaska lasted over 30 minutes. 4:26pm Summit Lake 5:20pm Bird Creek.  So popular with fisherpeople (politically correct version of fishermen???) that the state cut into a solid rock hillside to make dedicated parking for the fisherpeople.  Justin calls what happens there “Combat Fishing” because so many people cram into a little area of the creek that fights break out. The reason the fishing seems so competitive is that each fishing license holder can take 25 salmon for the year, plus more for other members in their household.  They catch them and freeze and have them all year. 5:40pm We are in Anchorage. 6:00pm We dropped off 4 people near a camera shop.  This is the only chance they will have to get anything they need before the end of the trip. After the camera store people got back on board we got a quick tour of the downtown area of Anchorage. One thing that did surprise me about Anchorage is the traffic.  We were driving around the city around 6pm on a Saturday.  High tourist time, beautiful weather, and very few cars were out on the streets.  When you look at the photos look for cars, there are some, but not many. 6:35pm We are in our room, #1107.  10:30pm We didn’t leave our room.  We just grazed on food we have collected or brought with us for dinner.  We had to repack again because they have pretty strict weight restrictions on the two flights it will take us to get to Brooks Falls.  We, again, are leaving our two main suitcases here and just bringing a duffel bag with us to Brooks. .
July 29, 2017: Day 11
“Leave only footprints, Take only memories’ (…and maybe some pictures)
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Alaska Vacation
July 19, 2017 to August 2, 2017 The Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari Barbara & John on Natural Habitat Adventures
July 29, 2017 Day 11
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