This is a family post with some neat pictures and information about Sea Life on Prince William Sound. Only one shot of a motorcycle here, and it has a hottie as the main feature, so bikers, be forewarned, says Rudi.
We have also leaped over a day or two of our visits to Whittier, Anchor Point to tag the western-most point reachable by contiguous road in North America (this goes with the southern-most point in Key West, and the northern-most point at Deadhorse/Prudho Bay), and Homer to eat freshly caught halibut on the spit while watching the eagles soar nearby. Moose sightings will also be visited later … Jesse and Angle have some great close ups of a mom and two calves.
Lack of wifi is one problem, but the girls took Rudi’s grog away after his comments on Talkeetna and Rudi said”No Grog, No Blog!”
But blog withdrawal set in, and Rudi was resupplied at a grog shop in Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula where rude drivers are the rule, says Rudi, whose middle digits got a workout on the bike as he negotiated the town. Then off to Seward for a visit with an old friend of the family … young, but long-time friend, Sydney!
Sydney conducts guided tours at the Sea Life Center, where research and rehabilitation of wildlife is also carried out. Sydney’s boyfriend, Seth, is an ornithologist at the center, and they gave Rudi and friends a private, behind-the-scenes of the joint.
This Seal lion just lost over 500 pounds and will lose another 300 or so soon. Not Weight Watchers, it’s just the end of the mating season and this is normal! Go guys, if you want to win that woman, just blubber up some more, says Rudi.
Seth says the males get pretty just for the ladies, but after the deed is done, it’s time to switch back to the camo mode to preserve your life. The girls remain in camo all the time since they have nesting duties. Some species mate for life too.
These seals are here due to illness or they are orphans. Some get rehabbed, but many can’t be returned to the wild. One young spotted seal was brought in by a native hunter who, while skinning out its Mom, discovered she was pregnant. He performed a C section and brought the baby to the center where it will be raised and then sent to a zoo in the Lower 48.
The sea bird exhibit is a highlight of a visit and Seth took us on stage with the players … like this little guy who uses that Rhino horn on his beak to push and shove in power displays with his buddies. The birds have nests in the cliffs in the center and raise their young in full view of the public.
Sea Lion numbers are declining due to an increase in predation from Orcas, and a loss of fish due to changing water conditions. We saw some Stellars fishing for salmon in Valdez, though, and they are efficient killers and enormous eaters.
We ended our day with a seven-variety fish dinner on the harbor. All in all, a great day!
Update: Skip several days ahead and it’s the 25th. Today we split up, with the ladies heading to Anchorage and the guys to Canada. Sad, but a great 16 days on the road together. Blog will revert to sporadic as we return through wilderness and tent camping. Follow us on SPOT as we go down the ALCAN and Cassier highways to Missoula over the next few days.
Here is the URL. Use “satellite view” for best terrain features.
Adios, from somewhere down the road to the Lower 48.
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Rudi G & Jesse