We are spending 6 days in Homer, AK. and besides the glaciers all around, the most memorable thing is the tide changes in Kachemak Bay. There are extreme tides in Cook Inlet, the highest in the world, that can rise & fall as much as 37 feet in Anchorage (farther up the Inlet) During New & Full Moons in Kachemak Bay, water levels may vary up to 28 vertical feet in a six hour period. On the beach below the Elks Lodge where we stayed, Bishops Beach, an extreme tide can advance hundreds of yards in a very short time. The low tide creates mud flats in some areas, and beautiful patterned sands in others.
The enormous variation is caused by the distance the water has to push up the Cook Inlet, and then the Kachemak Bay; and the topography which “squeezes” the water as the Inlet narrows. It was amazing to see the marina docks on the Spit at such a steep angle, and how tall the pilings are at low tide, to allow for the tide changes.
Visiting The Islands & Oceans Visitor Center we learned that Russian explorer’s sparked a “fur rush” in 1742 when they returned to Russia with sea otter pelts. A single pelt in the Chinese market was worth 3 times their yearly pay. The Fur Rush lasted 170 years and decimated populations of native animals and Native Peoples that they forced into labor and affected with disease.
By 1860 not only Russian, but British, French, Spanish & American fur traders had harvested sea otters and by 1899 they were extremely rare.
The exhibit also explained the tide changes in the Kachemak Bay with photos of Mud Flats, River Mouths, Saltwater Marshes & Fjords – all of which we saw while there. This whole region is a huge fjord with many fjords in it.
We wandered the boardwalks and shops. Walked to the end of Homer Spit where the hotel is called “Lands End”. There were many people fishing off the end of the Spit. This whole area is all about fishing but it’s also about the views. We saw Johathan Hilstrand from the TV Show Deadliest Catch, signing TIME BANDIT Tshirts and Susan had to get one for her grandson. We also went for a couple scenic drives above the city to enjoy the views of the glaciers and the bay, and found Bear Creek Winery for a taste of local wines.
While boon docking in the Homer Elks Lodge parking lot, we were treated to a visit every morning from a huge Bald Eagle that would perch up on the light pole in the parking lot and watch us. I made sure to keep Gidget close to me while going out for our morning walk.
Like we have seen time and time again, sea planes or float planes are everywhere. There were many on Beluga Lake at the neck of Homer Spit, and they were in the air constantly.
We went to a local playhouse for a musical comedy production on its last night, and the author of the play was in the audience, and everyone applauded her.
It’s been raining again, and again. The others are waiting to go on a sea plane to and island to see bears, but the weather isn’t cooperating.
Listen to the beginning of the video clip of the deer. He says. . . "IF YOU FIND DEER FEED IN THE MIDDLE OF A FOREST...BE A BIT SUSPICIOUS" then it starts singing.