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Seward, AK
Friday, August 2, 2013
Heavy overcast and rainy, high 50s

The previous day we'd signed up for a 7½ hour Glacier Tour Cruise aboard a high-speed catamaran from Major Marine.

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Spirit of Adventure Catmaran Tour Boat awaits Passengers

The cruise would go out Resurrection Bay, through the Chiswell Islands and up Aialik Bay into Kenai Fjords National Park to visit Holgate & Aialik Glaciers. We saw the glaciers, to be sure, and they were impressive. We didn't see them calve.

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Face of Aialika Glacier

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Several Kayaks Paddle up to Aialika Glacier

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Pederson Glacier Face Looms in Front of Cruise Passengers

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While Suprise Glacier Lurks Around the Corner

We did see pretty much wildlife including harbor seals, sea lions, sea otters, puffins and other birds. We even saw the backs of a couple of humpback whales as they fed among the Chiswell Islands. Sorry, no whale breeches. Those islands, by the way were beautiful. But they made for a crowded passage with pinnacles of granite that shot straight up out of the water.

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Cruising among Rocky Spires Looking for Wildlife

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Sea Otter appears to be Grooming Fur

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Half a Dozen Harbor Seals Rest on Rocks

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Steller Sea Lions at Rest

To us it was a pretty good cruise. To others it was not so good. We each put on scopolamine patches before we left. The weather was rainy, foggy, windy and rough; like Alaska is supposed to be. Rounding the Chiswell Islands, both coming and going, we were exposed to the seas of the Gulf of Alaska, which were pretty rough. There were lots of seasick people aboard. Some got sick on the way out, more got sick on the return trip. We felt bad for them but, fortunately, we were fine.

We met up with Kay & Bill (Seems they just can't stop following us around!) and had dinner at Chinooks in town. Good meal, better company!

It rained all night.
Seward, AK
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Rain, low 50s

The forecast was to continue to rain for the next few days. While we thought about where to go next we had an excellent breakfast in town at Nellie's Alaskan Restaurant in the old part of town. Half making a decision to move on, we took showers back at the campground, packed up and headed back downtown to visit the Alaska Sea Life Center. Arriving there we said, "What the heck!" and set up the camper on the waterfront in a tiny, public campground adjacent to the Center's parking lot. We used the center's bathroom since it was open late and we had an all-day pass.

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Downtown Seward

Alaska Sea Life Center had really nice aquariums and interesting displays and we easily spent a few hours there. We walked around town visiting the gift shops and galleries as well as the excellent hardware store.

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Many Hues of Starfish Inhabit Aquarium

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Bottom of Small Ray Looks Like Little Person

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Red-Legged Kittiwake Tends Youngster

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Tufted Puffin Swimming in Pool

Later, we returned to the Sea Life Center for a talk about sea otters. The center rescues sea creatures and attempts to heal them and return them to the natural environment. A couple of sea otter pups needed so much attention and for such a long time that they will not be able to return to the wild. Sea lions brought to the facility needed very little direct interaction and will easily return to the wild.

As we'd done a couple of days earlier, we dropped by the Seward Brewery pub for a drink. There we met a young couple who were on 30-day leave between their foreign service assignments. They had been in Indonesia; next assignment Islamabad. Life will be much more restrictive there than in their last assignment. So, they were busy blowing a wad on several high-end tours including a kayak trip in front of Aialik Glacier. Turns out they were probably the crazy people in kayaks who we'd when we visited the glacier on our tour.

Afterwards we returned to the camper and made a quick batch to chili. Along with a fresh salad it was the perfect antidote for a chilly, rainy evening.