Sunday, July 21, 2013

Alaska 2013, Day 45, Valdez Day 2

Tuesday July 16, 2013

We were waiting for a good weather day to ride the Lu-Lu Belle.  Yesterday afternoon the sun came out and it cleared up around 2 or 3 so we thought today would be a good day.  When we got up it was totally clouded in with a low ceiling.  The weather for Thursday is supposed to be rain and Wednesday the Lu-Lu Belle is going at 9 AM instead of 11 AM (weather clears in the afternoon so later is better, 9 AM is the not the best). We decided today was going to be our best opportunity. Just as we were leaving it started clearing up.  No wind on the water, it was like glass almost all the way around to the glacier. We saw a big raft of sea otters right outside the marina. We didn't see too many puffins but there were a ton of sea lions on the beach and rocks and he pulled right up to them.  You could hear them barking and there was a big group swimming all around the boat.

We saw Dall porpoise and 2 humpbacks.  Over by the glacier there were seals on the ice.  We also saw several chunks of ice with sea otters hauled out on them.  I didn't know sea otters ever came out of the water.

Two of them were swimming with little ones on their bellies.  The captain drove the boat 1/4 mi of the Columbia Glacier face.  We were there for maybe 30 minutes.  The crew took everyone's picture while we waited to see if any big chunks of ice fell.

Lots of calving but nothing really large.  Lots of purse netters anchored all along the harbor shore, maybe a couple hundred.  They are fishing pink salmon and there was an opener but they temporarily closed for a couple days, don't know why. We saw pinks jumping all along the boat ride.

After supper we drove over to the hatchery to see if any bears were around.  We saw a brown black bear at duck flats near town.  No other bears. 


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