Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 35-North Sandy Cove to Bartlett Cove

Up today at 7:00 to make it out to Bartlett Cove on a favorable tide to and to meet Grandma for some whale watching.  We hugged the shore on our way out (until we got to whale waters, where you have to be a mile offshore), hoping to see some wildlife, but struck out.

We were back at Bartlett Cove by about 9:30.  I dropped Peter off and filled up the gas tanks (22.9 gallons), then headed over to the National Park dock.  I went up to the lodge and relaxed for a bit, met up with Grandma and Peter, and then headed down to the boat to head out of the park for some whale watching.

We left around 11:00, bound for Pt. Adolphus, about 13 nm from Bartlett Cove.  Some other boaters told me that Pt. Adolphus had great whale watching, and we weren’t disappointed.  We saw dozens of humpbacks, a huge group of porpoises, seals, sea lions, and sea otters.  And the seas were flat calm, the wind breathless, and clouds held off dropping any rain.  Grandma had a great time and I enjoyed showing her what boating up here is like.

By 2:30 pm we were back in Bartlett Cove.  I dropped Peter and Grandma off and anchored the boat, then met them in the lodge.  She found some fellow Texans to talk with and we toured the National Park Service visitor center to learn more abou the intricacies of the park.

During dinner, we spotted a female moose off the balcony.  It came within a hundred feet or so of the dining room, and all the guests were standing around a few tables watching.  Does the wait staff get better tips when the patrons see wildlife?
iPhone pic
Now, a bit about Grandma.  She’s traveled all over the world, with many trips to every continent except Antarctica.  She took some of my cousins and I to Australia a few years back, she visited me in South Africa when I was studying there, and two of my brothers, dad, and I went to the Galapagos with her last September.  She absolutely loves watching wildlife and thought these few days in Alaska have been as good as anywhere else.  The wildlife isn’t as obviously plentiful as it is on an African safari, as abstract seeming as it is at the Great Barrier Reef, or as totally unafraid of humans as it is in the Galapagos, but the marine mammals up here are totally fascinating and absolutely massive.  They’re a whole lot of fun to watch.

56.4 nm today and 1,452.6 total

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