Thursday, June 6, 2013

Seldovia, Revisited

As we are wrapping up our time in Homer, we are trying to fit in a few more adventures.  Luckily, the weather has been unusually cooperative.  Today we decided to head back to Seldovia, a little village across Kachemak Bay.  Adventure Girl and I visited the first summer we lived here, and we have been wanting to go back with the whole family.  Unfortunately, the Coast Guard has had other ideas lately, so we settled for taking the boys and a friend instead.

We chose Rainbow Tours this time, as the fare on the Seldovia Bay Ferry has gone up quite a bit over the past two years.  Child fares are more reasonable on Rainbow Tours, but if you are traveling with adults only the Seldovia Bay Ferry is still the way to go.  While the trip overall with Rainbow Tours was fine, with friendly crew and a nice boat, it wasn't as promised on their website.  We were sent over on the Discovery rather than the Rainbow Connection, which lacked some amenities (the bar!).  A cold beverage on the ride home would have been welcome on such a warm, sunny day.  The trip over took two and a half hours, so we didn't arrive in Seldovia until 1pm.  The Rainbow Tours website says that they board to return at 4, but we were told we were leaving at 3:30.  And leave we did, as soon as the last passenger (and our traveling buddy, who thought she'd have more time for a drink on the sunny deck of the town's bar) set foot on board.  So, we were only in Seldovia for two and a half hours.

On the other hand, the high speed ferry no longer goes to Gull Island on its way to Seldovia.  Rainbow Tours does.  So we were able to see plenty of sea otters, a tufted puffin, and even a rare sea lion, which are seldom seen in Kachemak Bay.

Gull Island

Sea lion on the rocks

Otters playing with Mt. Iliamna, an active volcano, in the background

Short trip aside, we still hurried and fit in our top two to-dos: hiking the Otterbahn Trail and getting ice cream in town.  We were met at the harbor by a volunteer Seldovia guide--a black lab!  We brought our own dog on the boat, as it was encouraged by Rainbow Tours, and the native dog led us around all afternoon.  He hiked with us to the beach and back, and would only move forward if someone threw him a stick.  Very Alaska!

Midas and his new friend

We are glad we made it across the bay again, but I would splurge on the Seldovia Bay Ferry next time, just to ensure that we get to spend more time there.  Because a beach like this deserves a little extra lounging.

Outside Beach, at the end of the Otterbahn Trail

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