July 24, 2008

Seward - Alaska Sealife Center

Our good friend Leo Bougerois and his son, Sean have been planning a trip to Alaka for a couple of years. We arranged to meet up with them in Seward and join a couple of great advenures they had planned. I remembered Seward from the Honeywell sales award trip in 2000, especially that breathtaking view of the harbor, with irridescent blue waters topped by snow-capped peaks behind. Well, remember that rainey weather I talked about in the last post? As luck would have it, it followed us to Seward for our entire stay!
We found a great spot at the large Municipal RV Park, right on Ressurection Bay. In spite of being sandwiched between some larger RV's, we enjoyed beautiful views of the mountains behind us and the Bay out front.

The neighbors were friendly & changed from day-to-day, making for interesting conversation and learning more about things to do in the area.

A couple of miles down the Bay from the Campground is Lowell Point. With easy road access, and nice tidal flow along it's beaches, Sean, Leo & I decided to try wetting a line at high tide. Leo snagged the first one, which looked ugly & unusual to us, certainly something one would not want to clean and eat! (We learned later that it was a small Ling Cod). But enventually the casting paid off with two nice Pink Salmons and a small silver!

Just down the road from the Campground is the worldclass Alaska Sealife Center. Since the weather wasn't conducive to enjoying the fish & animals outdoors, we spent the better part of a day exploring the Center. http://www.alaskasealife.org/New/about-ASLC/index.php?page=firstpage.php
The aquarium section had an excellent representation of local species, including a few of the stranger varieties!

and we thought we ate some strange sea creatures in Louisiana!!!
The largest tanks in the Center house the mammals, where the active and funny Harbor Seals stole the show.

I think I had as much fun watching the kids watch the animals as seeing the creatures themselves.

I particularly enjoyed watch the many aerobatic manuvers, including the emmelman, rolls & loops just like we flew them in aerobatic competition!


Adjacent to the mammal tanks was an aviary section filled with typical Alaskan sea birds. Our favorite were the Tufted Puffin and the Common Murre, both were rather comical and not camera shy at all....

Speaking of birds, Kim made a rather interesting discovery back at the Campground. After much looking & studying, we confirmed that a Western Kingbird was here, which is quite rare for Alaska. After posting her find on several local birding sites, and receiving reports from birders that came to Seward just to see this bird, Kim was delighted to get confirmation of the sighting from several other birders.