Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Glacier and Wildlife Tour from Valdez to Columbia Glacier

This morning I called and asked about the times and available spaces on the glacier and wildlife tour which was one of our 2 for 1 coupons in the Alaska Toursaver book.  It looked like it was going to be a nice day, so we set it up for today and got ready to go.  When we arrived at their ticket office, we still had time to walk around so we checked out things around the harbor.  The photo below is of the harbor master.


Ken thought that The Fat Mermaid was a good name for a business.


Our boat left the marina shortly after noon, and one of the first sights was the Alaska Ferry at it’s dock.


Our first wildlife sighting while on the boat wasn’t very far from the marina and was this raft of 11 sea otters.


Here’s a closer view of one of them.  Doesn’t he look relaxed?


Approximately in the center of this picture is our motorhome looking very alone at Allison Point Campground.  To the right is the start of the Alaska Pipeline terminus.


Alaska Pipeline terminus with oil tanker, Polar Star, filling up.


Stellar sea lions resting on buoy, and there’s no way they’re going to let the one in the water join them.


Columbia Glacier is in the background and numerous ice chunks floating in the water close to us.


Close to 400 stellar sea lions are located here.


And here is a humpback whale.


As we’re headed back toward the marina, the oil tanker we saw earlier at the Alaska Pipeline terminus is now being guided out of the bay.


A humpback whale blows.


It’s changed over the years, but this is the site of the original gold mine in Valdez that took out over 64,000 ounces of gold.  Wouldn’t that have been nice at today’s gold prices!


A couple of scenic waterfalls as we get closer to the marina.


And in about the center of this photo is a bald eagle in a tree.


We didn’t get too see near as much wildlife as we would have liked, but it was a very enjoyable day.  Tomorrow we plan to go into town to tour the museum as we didn’t see that the last time we were in Valdez.


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