We did not know what we were getting ourselves into when we booked our Alaska vacation. All we had in mind were mountains, glaciers, and a whole lot of greenery and wildlife. We were definitely in for a trip once we landed in Homer.
Family planning really goes a long way when you have the right gadget and websites aiding your entire trip. Praise the digital Gods!
“Where land ends and seas begin” lies the very quaint and quiet town of Homer, Alaska, with a population of just a little over 5,000 people. Upon entering , you are greeted with a sign that reads, “Halibut: Fishing Capital of the World.” There were many world records proudly listed throughout Homer, from “longest road into the ocean waters in the world” to the largest caught salmon. There’s also, of course, a record 482-pound halibut caught in their waters. But to us, it represented much more. This unique little town completely changed our unenlightened perspective of the Alaskan culture. It started with the best tour we’d ever been on–The Seaside Adventure tour with Rick and Dorla on Tutka Bay.
We drove from Girdwood to Homer and arrived at around 8:30pm with the sun sitting just above the sea. The sky was lit with a glorious shade of blue. We were hungry so we drove straight to the Homer Spit and set our appetite on seafood.
Once you’ve reached the city of Homer, the Spit was an additional 20-minute out. There were ship docks, beaches, campgrounds, restaurants, gift shops, and bars all down both sides of the road. Also, there were tiny little homes converted into restaurants and old abandoned ships left astray, along with tons (I mean TONS!) of campers everywhere! We ate dinner then went to check out our bed and breakfast. We attempted to sleep while there was still daylight to prepare ourselves for an early rise the next morning.
Dinner with a beautiful view of Kachemak Bay
Tour day: from Land to Sea!
This was such a unique tour for us because it was like an interactive seaside classroom. We came across the business online, which is ran by Rick and Dorla Harness
“Seaside will turn the bay into an interactive classroom, covering everything from archaeology and geology to cultural and natural history on your full-day paddle. These long-time Alaskans share where secret treasures lie, what it’s like to live on the bay, and how to make a meal from wild ingredients.” – Alaska.org
We met with our water taxi at the Spit’s ship dock. The trip took 30-minutes from Kachemak Bay to Tutka Bay. At the bay, we met with two of Rick & Dorla’s assistants (they’re from the WOOF program!). They prepared us with wet boots and took us straight to their INCREDIBLE cabin.
Their home tucked atop a hill and surrounded by trees!
The inside of their home was a tour in itself! Dorla calls it her “Hobbit” home 🙂
A friendship gift from Dorla: an eagle’s feather. She then used it as a sail in the water whilst we were kayaking.
An incredible view from their balcony of the Tutka Bay.
Feathers hanging from on windows so birds do not run into their home (for the bird’s safety of course!)
Onto the Kayaks for our day of exploration.
Scout with her Eagle feather waiting for the Humpback Whale.
There’s the Humpback whale!
Poor papa, he rowed the entire way.
Taking a lunch break with nature. Dorla and Rick cooked with kelp, salmon and freshly picked veggies from the wilderness for our lunch!
Fresh from the sea.
Our tour was from 9am – 5pm. We were exhausted by the end of the day! Rick and Dorla were such a delight to be around. They had a wealth of knowledge and we learned so much of the Native Alaskan culture, marine life, geology, and archaeology. They were true naturalists! This trip has inspired Scout tremendously. She went from being terrified of being on a boat to eventually tell the captain, ‘Go Faster!’ on our way back to shore. We’ve been back about five days now and she still speaks of the Sea Otters and Sea Stars with drawings all across her journal.
We definitely got a taste of the beautiful bay of Alaska.
There are tons of other photographic opportunities we did not capture.
Here are a few more reasons to tour Alaska on a kayak:
- Rick and Dorla offer their guest homes as private bed and breakfast lodges for visitors.
- The silence of the bay is magical, you’d have to be there to feel it.
- You’d learn more about Alaska on this trip then you’d ever had before
- Rick’s mother hung out with the natives and he has great stories to prove it
- If you can guess some of Rick’s artifacts, you’d win a free stay at his lodge!
Until our next adventure!