5:48am I am showered and dressed and Barbara is almost there. 6:50am We were the first ones to breakfast.  A very nice buffet style meal with many options.  We had barely started to eat when Milton showed up and joined us.  Not much later Howard joined us also. We finished breakfast and made it to the room with time to spare and got our bags out about 6:35.  We have to meet the rest of the group in the lobby by 7:15. We are still finding it difficult to sleep with it never really getting dark at night.  We are just not used to it. 7:17am We are on the bus about ready to head out. 8:22am We are heading for Tern Lake.  We stopped at restrooms by Dave’s Creek, very near Tern Lake first.  We saw a female duck with 3 ducklings. 8:38am We have stopped at Tern Lake (Tern like the bird).  We have seen: female Northern Shoveler with 19 ducklings, Glaucous-winged Gulls, Mew Gulls, Tundra Swans cob (male) female (pen) with cygnet (baby), Black-billed Magpie, Arctic Terns, Common Loon. 8:55am We are back on the bus and Justin is going over some of the wildlife (Harbor Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Harbor Porpoise, Dall’s Porpoise, Killer Whales, Sea Otters, Humpback Whale, Mew Gulls, Glaucous-winged Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemot, Tufted Puffin, Horned Puffin, Marbled Murrelet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Parakeet Auklet, Double-crested Cormorant, Red-faced Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Sooty Shearwater, Bald Eagles, Black Oystercatcher, Northwestern Crow & Common Raven) we have a chance to see while on Fox Island, part of the Kenai Peninsula. We are passing thru Moose Pass.  Cute story…  they keep voting down the permit for a gas station because they don’t want to hear jokes about Moose Pass Gas. 9:37am We are off the bus in the town of Seward.  Barbara is souvenir shopping and I am looking for some Sea Otters that hang out in the harbor.  They are used to people so they are easy to photograph. 11:00am We are back at the meeting point, the same place we were dropped off.  I walked the harbor.  And I do mean I walked the harbor… except I didn’t walk off the docks and around to the other end of town… which is where I heard the Sea Otters were actually hanging out.  Figures. We have started a que (line) for the Nunatak.  It is a tourist ship that goes from here to Fox Island for lunch and then continues on to a tour of the Kenai Peninsula.  When we get off the ship on Fox Island we will head to the lodge and begin our stay on the island. While on the dock and waiting for the ship’s crew to let us on board a few Sea Otters start to drift by.  We got some photos but the angle and reflections made it difficult to get a good image. 11:20am We are on the Nunatak and Justin led us to the benches on the upper deck at the stern for the best views and somewhat out of the wind. Justin points out Mount Marathon where every July 4th they have a race to the top and back down.  People fall and get hurt every year.  It is a very steep climb.  The record is just under 45 minutes up and down.  Would take me hours to get to the top! 11:50am The Nunatak is underway… and so are we towards our next adventure. 11:58am We are passing the Alaska SeaLife Center, which we will visit after our stay on Fox Island. Waterfall.  The river flowing  down the mountain used to flood Seward until they diverted a portion of the river.  The waterfall is the part that was diverted. 12:04pm First sighting of Fox Island, our home for the next few days. 12:25pm Our first wildlife of our Fox Island excursion.  We see a Harbor Seal and a Horned Puffin before the ship gets to dock. 12:44pm Pigeon Guillemot. 12:50pm The ship is moored at the dock on Fox Island. Our luggage was brought directly to our rooms while we headed directly to the lodge for lunch.  We are staying at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. 2:30pm We just finished lunch and are in our room at Fox Island.  Lunch started with an iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing, fresh dill and everything bagel topping and pickled onions and cherry tomatoes.  The meal was a soup of chicken broth with large chunks of chicken and peas, flour dumplings topped with a soft boiled egg.  Dessert was a watermelon and berry sorbet. The place is very nice.  Everything is natural wood.  Well maintained and clean.  The bed is a little tall, to the point that I think you actually need a ladder, but they provide a step to help you up. We are about to head out and go kayaking. 3:10pm We are getting outfitted for our kayaking tour.  PFD, spray skirt, paddle and a tandem kayak. 3:44pm We see a Dall’s Porpoise. 3:51pm We paddle along a cliff face with a small colony of Horned Puffins. 4:04pm Black-legged Kittiwakes on the water and more Horned Puffins. 4:29pm A Bald Eagle’s nest. 4:34pm Next we see a lone Sea Otter floating on its back. 5:15pm We are in the cove headed to shore. 5:30pm We are back from our paddle. 8:00pm We are just back from dinner.  Barbara had Halibut  with rice pilaf, I had pork with a shrimp sauce with rice and, of course, both dishes came with asparagus.  Dessert was some type of blueberry cake with donut shape and filled with lemon custard and then melted marshmallow drizzled on top.  I think it would have tasted better without the marshmallow or at least with much less of it.  Too sweet. 8:05pm Got a few photos after dinner: Glaucous-winged Gulls, cruise ship, Marbled Murrelet, beach and Northwestern Crows. 9:35pm This place is very nice.  Almost like being on your very own private island.  The tour boats come and go during the day, but when they are done it is just a small group staying in the cabins (I think 13 guests) and the staff. Some of the guests have gathered for a nightly bonfire and Barbara is searching for rocks on the beach.  It is a beautiful evening.  The sun is still shining, there is a very light breeze gently pushing small waves up onto the beach.  There is no crashing of waves, just a peaceful, relaxing background sound of the water. .
July 27, 2017: Day 9
“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 27, 2017 Day 9
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