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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Kodiak in the Sunshine

USA | Wednesday, 17 July 2019 | Views [50]

Harbor pilot ballet, Sitka

Harbor pilot ballet, Sitka

A WHILE AFTER WE LEFT SITKA ON MONDAY EVENING, Connie and I watched as the harbor pilot Cirque du Soleil-ed from the Maasdam’s rope ladder onto the launch that would return him to port.  His isn’t a job to envy in heavy seas.  Once the pilot boat was gone the Maasdam picked up speed and left the Inside Passage, heading west across the Gulf of Alaska to Kodiak, 500 nautical miles distant.  I can only hope most of the passangers have been here before because we skipped Juneau, Skagway, Anchorage, Haines, Valdez and the rest of the regular cruise stops.  Maybe Dutch Harbor and Nome will make up for it. 

nn

 

    Grumman Widgeon, Harvey's Flying Service

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    Brown Bear and Cubs, Katmai National Park 2007

This morning’s rain wasn’t a surprise — when we were here in ’07, the rain threatened to flood out our tent.  If memory serves, we spent a fair amount of time between McDonalds and the Kodiak library keeping dry.  Even took in a movie.  It didn’t rain the whole time and we managed a seaplane trip to Katmai NP where we saw dozens of Kodiak bears, grizzlies if you will, up close and personal.  Not this time, though.

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   Red Fox Sparrow — it's a birder's thing

But today we left the ship under a full rainbow and the weather just kept getting better.  The local touts were waiting outside the visitor center for their prey — us — promising whale sightings and wildlife galore, only $150 for three hours.  We decided to take our chances and walk along the shoreline on our own excursion.  In a few hours we recorded — and photographed — two-dozen bird species including one new one for Connie.  Granted the “red” fox sparrow, found only in these climes, is a new IOC (International Ornithological Congress) “split” from the regular old fox sparrow.  BTW, this information is more important to birders than to the birds.

nn

     Barnacles and Kelp

Walking along the inter-tidal zone brings out my inner Racheal Carson.  Her magnus opus, The Silent Spring, was preceded by The Sea Around Us and The Edge of the Sea which are as relevant today as they were in the 50s.  Worth a read — but I digress.  I just had to photograph the mussels, barnacles, algae, kelp and odd bits and pieces on the rocky shore.  Just my nature, I guess.

nn     nn

   Macca's                                          On the Waterfront

We managed to stop by McDonalds on our way back to the ship, just for old times’ sake — and a Diet Coke.  The old movie theater hasn’t changed except for the film —  twelve years ago it was the first Harry Potter flick.  We even saw the public showers we used at the Harbor Master’s office.  Ah, those were the days.

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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