The Kenai Cruise

Andrew's parents flew up to see us for ten days at the beginning of the month. Their first full day was spent driving down to Seward with us. It's only a couple hours from Anchorage but there's lots to see along the way...Dall sheep along the Turnagain Arm, the Forest Fair (lots of great Alaskan arts and food) in Girdwood where we paid a visit to Didier, wildflowers and a bald eagle's nest at Turnagain Pass, plus the unexpected moose sightings. Once in Seward the goal was to see puffins on day cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park.

We spent one night in this great little cabin just a couple of miles outside Seward. A very nice, peaceful stay for the same (if not better) price as a hotel!

Mt. Marathon is one of the many mountains that towers over Seward. A trail less than two miles long leads to the peak's top which is just under 3,000 ft. Starting with a bet, an annual race began on this mountain over a century ago. It is now recorded to be the second oldest foot race in America. The race is held every year on July 4th. Entries are limited to nine hundred people (men, women, and youth). The record was set in 1981 with a time of 43 minutes and 23 seconds.

The Kenai Fjords is full of some incredible scenery!

And lots of glaciers!

We saw two different humpback whales during the day.

We did get to see lots of puffins!!! They were everywhere, but always flying or floating or diving underwater as your finger hit the shutter button. There were two different kinds of puffins around: horned (above) and tufted (below).

Beautiful starfish

Black-legged kittiwakes

Common murres

The Northwestern Glacier
Due to this glacier receding so much in the past fifteen years, less than 200,000 people have seen this area.

Flying birds in this picture help to scale the size of this piece of ice.

The beautiful blue color in glaciers occurs when the ice reaches a certain density and absorbs all the colors in the spectrum except the one color that is, therefore the only color the human eye picks up.

Calving in action

More calving

Fishing for ice

They caught one!

Very cool jelly fish floating at the surface.

We also got to see mountain goats!!! The first ones we've ever seen in Alaska!

Very cute momma sea otter and pup

The captain took us in close to lots of gorgeous waterfalls.

More common murres

Stellar sea lions

Dall porpoises came up and played beside the boat for quite a while.

What a wonderful day full of lots of wonderful wildlife and scenery. These day cruises are a great way to get taste of the Alaskan sea life.