Monday, June 23, 2014

Seward, Ak - A trip to the Aquarium

Well - sort of...
On Sunday we said goodbye to Williwaw Campground and
took the beautiful 80 mile drive south on the Seward Highway to Seward.

We were sad to leave Williwaw but our schedule was starting to tighten as
we had used up our extra days that were built into the plan thus far and were
back on schedule...  we have reservations in Denali National Park that are starting
to loom on the horizon - June 30 thru July 4th.

Our home for the next 3 nights is the Seward Town Campground - called
"Waterfront Park".   It is a mostly gravel area located directly on Resurrection Bay
and has both unserviced sites as well as some with electric and water.

We chose the unserviced sites as they were $15 vs $30 and we really don't need the
water or electric anyway as we are perfectly set up for boondocking.

These long 20hr days are allowing me to make way more power with the solar
panels than we can even dream of using.  Even when its cloudy - as it often is - the
panels are putting 20 amps or so into the batteries.  When the sun comes out
I've seen the controller max out at its' 60amp limit several times.    Sweet!

Our site at Resurrection South and the view behind us.

Last night we tore into our coupon book again and booked another cruise.
This time it was a marine wildlife dinnertour from 6-10pm and again we were not dissapointed.

We had our own table and again had a Salmon and Prime Rib Buffet.
We convinced John and Dave to get the Magic Coupon Book and so last night they joined
us on the trip.

Our first sighting was another Bald Eagle.
It was far away and I got this shot using my telephoto.
If you enlarge the picture it's sitting in the tree in the middle of the photo.

Soon it was time for the Humpback Whales.

In this sequence below you can see how they first surface and exhale.
Note the spray.

Then they arch in preparation for their next dive.
You can still see the spray drifting behind it.

Finally - a wave good bye as they dive and disappear for 5-10 minutes.

Years ago Kate and I sailed a 38' Beneteau  in the Sea of Cortez in Baja Mexico and had
whales right next to the boat.  Close enough that we could have stepped off onto their backs.
When they would exhale we would get damp from the spray.
Let me tell you....  its stinks BIG TIME.
If someone says you have Whale Breath...  that's not good.

For me - one of the highlights of the trip was the Puffins.
I just love those goofy little birds.

Sometimes the puffins eat so much fish that they are too heavy to fly.

Next we saw a pod of Orcas aka Killer Whales.

Next were some Stellar Sea Lion.
Larger than their California Cousins, the Stellar Sea Lion is currently being researched
extensively to try and determine why their numbers are declining to critical levels.

This group was "hauled out" onto the rocks adjacent to a Kittiwake rookery.

The Kittiwake is a type of gull found in the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
It forms large rookeries and it the only type of gull that is exclusively cliff nesting.

Our last sea life spotting was of a slightly different type.
The MV Statendam - a Holland America Cruise Ship had been in Seward when
we arrived and departed while we were on our cruise.

We also saw the Statendam while we were in Skagway

We also saw Dalls Porpoise on the trip but I was not able to get photos
as a large slab of juicy medium rare Prime Rib was blocking my cameras view.

So far the total for our Alaska Tour Saver Coupon book:

Venue                                                       $ $aved

Portage Glacier Cruise                                    $  34.00
Blackstone Bay Cruise                                    $138.00
Resurrection Bay Cruise                                 $ 79.00

Total                                                                  $251.00

Book Cost                                                        $ 99.00

We are in the Black by $152 and counting.

Not a bad deal eh?
I would not have know about this without Dave & Linda.
Thanks guys!


  1. I know a lot of people that are doing or have done Alaska and this is the first I've heard of it. We use the books when we're in a big city and also when we are back in Arizona

  2. Awesome pictures! Love all the wildlife photo's! I think this has been my favorite trip to follow so far!

  3. Greg:

    You need to get busy and some more!!!! Thanks for the extra's

    Following along from.....

  4. That should have said "....get busy and save some more....


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