Sunday, November 28, 2010

June 5th Kenai Fjords cruise aboard the Alaskan Explorer

June 5th: Paul had to drop off Jim and Joan near the harbor for breakfast at 6:50 which gave me a little extra time to get ready and update this report. We plan to meet at 8:00 AM for the Kenai Fjords cruise aboard the Alaskan Explorer. There was talk that our longer trip may be cancelled for a shorter one which means we may not get the Kittlitz’s Murrelet. Luckily they decided to go for it even though we had 10-12 foot waves in some areas. Some people got sick, including Bill, and I didn’t feel well a few times, but managed not to get sick thankfully.

We had incredible and numerous sightings of thousands of Black Legged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, and large numbers of Tufted and Horned Puffins. The rarities/targets seen included: Kittlitz’s and Ancient Murrelet, Rhinocerous, and Crested Auklets, Red faced Cormorant and thousands of nesting Glaucous Winged Gulls. We also had sightings of Dall Porpoises, Pacific Humback Whales, Orcas, Stellars Sea Lions, Harbor Seals and 3 Mountain Goats.

The weather was cloudy, drizzly and the seas were rough on the open water to the bay. Overall a very pleasant experience. We watched some glaciers calve including Northwestern which is where the Kittlitz’s was found.

We arrived back in port at 6:05 PM, did a quick dinner stop at Subway and headed back to Anchorage, back to the Quality Inn for the night. Paul plans on dropping off the rental car tonight so that he doesn’t need to rush tomorrow prior to our flight to the Pribiloffs on Penn Air at noon. We need to have all the luggage on the plane before 10:30 AM. A total of 7 life birds for the day – so far a trip record.

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