In July of 2019 we returned to Alaska. On this trip, we joined up with photographer John Solnina (website link) once again for a photo tour. We travelled from Anchorage to Seward and Homer, both coastal communities in the Kenai Peninsula. Although we took in many sights while travelling in a large van, the main events were our three days on board two small boats where we were totally spellbound by our surroundings.
In addition to the ever present beautiful scenery, including an up close encounter with a glacier, we enjoyed being in the company of lots of wildlife. This was our first sighting of the super-cute sea otters and it was a privilege to hang out with them for the time we did; they even seemed as interested in us as we in them. Finding ourselves in the midst of an estimated 30 orcas was exciting too, but it would be a stretch to say we hung out with them, more like we were there when they passed by.
The Tufted Puffin was also new for us which was a treat to see, and the sea lions & harbour seals are always fun to be around. The two humpback whales we encountered were very camera shy and only stayed long enough to wave goodbye with their huge tails. On our last day, while driving back to Anchorage, we happened to see a cow moose grazing along a side road; we made a quick exit and she was quite tolerant of about six cameras recording her every move.
The biggest thrill photographically, however, was our afternoon with several bald eagle families. On numerous occasions we witnessed these majestic birds descend from the trees along the rugged coast to catch a fish in the waters below. To observe the whole bird in flight through a 200mm lens was quite exhilarating!
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