The Beauty Within Kachemak Bay

Rick’s cousin Carol and her husband Frank (from Texas) FINALLY made it up to Alaska this year. They arrived on the 17th of June, at which point we headed south to the Kenai Peninsula as we spend our summers in our motor home camped along the Kenai River at Kenai Riverbend Resort Campground (www.kenairiverbend.com). On the 25th of June Rick decided that we would haul the boat down to Homer and take them out into Kachemak Bay (we couldn’t have asked for a better day, it was blue sky and sunshine) to do a little clamming and sightseeing, so we get to Homer, transfer hip boots, coolers, clam rakes, buckets, Shad-O (our little Cocker Spaniel) etc. to the boat in preparation for launching…..boat is launched….vehicle and boat trailer parked and off we go.

On our way to China Poot Bay, we encountered a Tufted Puffin

that was so engrossed in his preening that we were able to get fairly close to him.

Carol was pretty happy, as ‘seeing a Puffin’ was one of the items on her Bucket List, me I always love seeing the puffins, they are so much fun to watch with their short stocky bodies….if you’ve never had the opportunity to watch them land on water, you are missing a comical treat….they look so clumsy, like dead weights dropping down with a big splash…kerplunk! After about 5 minutes of enjoying and photographing this little guy, we continued on towards China Poot Bay….(you really have to time your entrance to the bay especially when there are minus tides such as it was on this date, I believe it was a -5.1 tide. There were a couple other boats that ‘almost’ ended up being beached, but they managed to work their way back off the gravel bar near the entrance to the bay, they then followed the route in that we were currently taking).

Once in the bay, we continued along until Rick found the spot he wanted to head for,

Looking across clamming area.

we then beached the boat, got our hip boots on, grabbed up the rakes and buckets and jumped down out of the boat in search of some steamer clams (this looks like a good spot to dig….‘someone’ is definitely at home in the sand).

Oh, could it be…..a clam perhaps?

Once our two buckets were full, we enjoyed a sandwich and chips, did a little walking around, watched crabs

(he is definitely telling us that these are his kelp beds…and to back off!)

clamber along the kelp beds, and spent a little time watching a seal playing around in the bay as we listened to the claps of thunder…..and waited for the tide to come back in and float the boat so that we could leave. By this time the dark clouds were getting a bit closer and the winds had kicked up.

Once we were back outside China Poot Bay, we headed to the seabird rookery

(Common Murre’s, Cormorants, and a Seagull or two).

to look for more Puffins and other seabirds that we could hopefully capture with our cameras.

Pigeon Guillemot.

Since the winds had kicked up, the water was a little choppy and the boat a little rocky, so it was a challenge (at times) to photograph the seabirds as they were moving through the water.

Common Murre.

At one point Rick’s cousin Carol grabbed a hold of one side of my jacket and her husband grabbed the other, in an attempt to keep me upright and steady enough to take pictures.

Rick soon figures it is time to head back to Homer’s small boat harbor, so I park myself in my seat, Shad-O jumps up into my arms and we are off with sea spray coming up over the bow of the boat and Shad-O all snuggled, shaking in my arms (he does not find this very calming, lol).

It was a great day with gorgeous weather, a fun time with family, and lots of photo ops….can’t wait til the next minus tide….camera’s at the ready!

Images and Writing © Deb Larson

The Beauty Within Kachemak Bay

akaurora

Wasilla, AK, United States

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