8/11 – Homer

•August 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

No fishing today AND NO RAIN!  We visited Homer, “a drinking village with a fishing problem,” at the end of the Kenai Peninsula.   Some of us took a boat ride across the bay and then went kayaking. The water was so clear that we could clearly see starfish, jellyfish and kelp beds.  We were also entertained by a few sea otter and seals.

Kayaker with mountains behind

Kayaking at the end of the Kenai Peninsula

sea otter

sea otter

After kayaking we met up with the rest of the group  for a beer at the Salty Dawg salon then had lunch.  Do you believe that the father and daughter that I am sharing accommodations with at the lodge are from Acton, MA (the next town over from where I live) and we have mutual friends?  And to top it off, their friends are also vacationing on the Kenai Peninsula this week and Gary and I know some of them!   What a small world to meet someone I know at the Salty Dawg salon in Homer, Alaska!

We visited the Bear Creek and had a tasting and tour from a friend of someone in our group.  What a beautiful place with views of the Bay.

View of glacier

View of glacier from Beer Creek Winery

Then went to the scenic overlook – just beautiful!  And did I mention there was NO RAIN and we could see the mountains!!!!

View of mountains and bay

View of Homer Spit and the bay

Just a quick update as I have to be up early for salmon fishing in the Kenai River on Thursday.

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8/10 – Halibut Fishing

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

If the Kenai Peninsula is on the list of 1000 places to see before you die, I certainly hope I get to “see” it at some point!   It was rainy and cloudy again today so we got no more than a glimpse of the mountain ranges as we drove to Deep Creek for Halibut fishing.   There were 5 passengers, the captain and first mate on our 28 foot boot.   It was not the most pleasant of days – cloudy and rain. But, like the saying goes, a bad day of fishing is better than a day at work!  And we certainly did NOT have a bad day of fishing.  Everyone caught the limit of two halibut.  It wasn’t too bad being in the rain, but then the wind came up and we had to deal with 4-5 foot swells.   To fish for halibut, the boat anchors and you drop the line, with a five pound weight attached, to the bottom.  Then you wait.   We didn’t get anything at the first location, then moved and pulled them up fairly steadily.   At least the rain had stopped when the wind picked up.   It was certainly fun to crank up the halibut. They all were in about the 15-17 pound range – about average we are told.   The tides in Cook Inlet where we fished are known to have some of the largest fluctuations in the world and we were in and extreme tide.  The tide change was 26.5 feet right with a -4.23 low tide (meaning 4.23 lower than normal).  This creates very strong currents and the halibut have to work harder to find the bait.

Due to the swells it was very difficult to stand, let alone take pictures so the camera stayed inside the boat.   It was also pretty busy without lots of extra maneuvering room so I didn’t even try to get “action” shots!  That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it1  And, while I normally don’t (and didn’t) get seasick I also wasn’t anxious to go in the fairly small cabin and dig out my camera as two other passengers had already succumbed to the swells.   I did get the obligatory “after” shots with the hanging fish.  I caught two of these.

Becky with the lineup of 10 halibut

Standing here with the fish from our boat

Lighthouse at Deep Creek Landing

Lighthouse at Deep Creek Landing

8/9 – Fly out to Big River Lake

•August 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Took the float plane to Big River Lake for salmon fishing.  Light rain and mist all day prevented views of the mountains but still a great day fishing.  There were four people to a boat plus a guide.  We all caught our limit of 3 Salmon each.   Wow, what a fight they can put up!  It was a bit of a slow start but at one point as soon as we cast there was a fish on!  Our largest was a 9+ lb silver salmon!   We got into the boats around 9:00 am and had caught our limit by 11:00am.  Then we went bear watching!   Even without the mountain views it is truly magical!  The lake is fed from the glacier so it has a blue green-ish tint from the silt in the water.   There are so many shades of green in the landscape.  Beautiful.  It’s been a long day so just a few pictures to post.  We are off halibut fishing tomorrow.

Becky holding fish

Here I am holding some of the catch.

black bear

Bear viewing

Fish hanging

Some of our Catch with the 9+ lb hanging from the scale

8/8 – 10:15pm and still light

•August 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Still fairly light out – “late dusk”. Off on the fly out on Monday morning to salmon fish. Hope we see bears fishing, too!

8/8 – Arrived in Soldotna on Kenai Peninsula

•August 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Arrived in Anchorage on Saturday night after a long day of traveling.  I thought I had hit the lottery when the plane doors closed and there was an empty seat next to me.   Then as they were serving  dinner a woman came down the aisle and spoke to the man in the aisle seat.  They chatted and she headed off – he looked at me sheepishly and said,  “that was my wife, she is coming back here – sorry.” She settled in and my bubble was burst.  After seeing her take control and giving him orders I think he would have preferred that the seat remained empty as well 🙂

Even though it was after midnight Eastern time when I reached the hotel I headed out for “dinner” and managed to stay awake until 10:30 pm local time (2:30 am Eastern).   Got up this morning, gathered the rental SUV and drove to Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula.   Beautiful scenery along the way and although it was cloudy it was NOT raining!   Stopped just once to take a few pictures along Turnagain Arm – an “arm” of seawater extending into the peninsula.   Sometimes beluga whales are spotted at high tide but we were passing through at low tide.   Just have  few picture to share.  I am checked into the lodge and will meet the rest of the folks and get our schedule later this evening.

View of Turnagain Arm

View of Turnagain Arm

View of Turnagain Arm

View of Turnagain Arm

Hillside of trees capped in clouds

Lush green trees capped in clouds

Off to Alaska!

•August 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Time to start up the travel blog for my trip to the Kenai Peninsula!  I’ll be staying at the All Alaska Outdoors Lodge in Soldotna, AK.  Doing a few days of fishing for Halibut and Silver Salmon and hopefully lots of photography!   I fly to Anchorage today then drive to the lodge on Sunday.  Weather doesn’t look great but I am sure I will have a good time.   Hopefully the clouds will not obscure the scenery.  Will try to post at least a few pictures each day.

Sadly, no photography lately

•February 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It is funny, I really love the winter and the cold and snow but I have taken few photos. I can provide plenty of excuses and I do believe they are all legitimate.  I am dealing with some elder care issues at the moment and that really requires a fair amount of my time and concentration.  Yes, it is an excuse since it isn’t hard to pick up the camera and experiment, especially with digital. But, photography for me is very emotional and if I’m not in the right frame of mind it just doesn’t “happen”.  While some may think that is a cop out – that is my reasoning.  At least I know that my love of photography will never go away and it is always waiting for me when I need it.   

I really want to update my web site and sell photos but when dealing with older parents and the effects of stroke and Alzheimer’s, photography just doesn’t seem as important anymore.  Now that we have arrived in the digital age and nearly anyone can post or sell photos, it just doesn’t seem as feasible to think that I might be able to make some money selling photos when I retire (which is still 10+ years off) or sooner.  I guess I just have to keep my photography as my heartfelt hobby and continue to enjoy it for myself!