Alaska – Sept 4 – Homer

Another day of brilliant blue skies and highs in the low 60’s. Beautiful day in Homer. Time in port is 9:00 to 6:30.

Homer is a new port for us. It is located on the shore of Kachemak Bay and has the nickname of the “halibut fishing capital of the world.” There were several tours today that involved going fishing. Outside of the town of Homer is the Homer Spit which juts out 4.5 miles into the Bay. We docked on one side of the Spit at the Homer Boat Harbor but you had to be bussed to the other side of the Spit, unless you were willing to swim between the 2 areas. We were not.

Historians believe the Spit was created from the glaciers moving dirt and evidence of Pacific Eskimos have been discovered. It sank during the 1964 earthquake but has been restored. The locals have to continually work on maintaining it as the winter storm winds try to erode it every year.

I was on plan B for the day. Plan A was to take a taxi to the Wynn Nature Center and hike some trails but before we left home I discovered it closed on Labor Day. So Plan B. I was going to inquire at Mako’s Water Taxi about their tours to Gull Island. The website said you had to have 2 people for the $50 tour or 3 people for the $75 tour. However, the receptionist said it was 3 people for the $50 tour and 4 people for the $75 tour. Nobody else seemed to want to do it so we were out of luck.

Just looking around the Spit area were sea kayaking tours, fishing or sea plane tours – none of which appealed to us. Otherwise it looked like it was going to be just perusing the shops. Just then, a red hop-on, hop-off trolley pulled up and we decided to get on it. Figured we would at least get a history of Homer. Plan C it is.

We enjoyed the ride and did get off at the Alaska Islands and Ocean museum. Walked around it and looked at the exhibits. Then we took the boardwalk through the marsh area and down to the Bay. Saw many birds and even a young eagle. We could see glaciers in the distance. Really a pleasant walk. They warned us that Moose had been sighted but we didn’t see any. We did see a lot of weeds that had been tramped down along the boardwalk so that could have been evidence of them. Hunting season has started so the Moose have started drifting into town again. They will go back to the Mountains once the season is over and then will come back in the Spring to give birth, away from predators. Pretty smart.

One place we stopped but didn’t get off was “old Homer” some of the original buildings of the town. I was fascinated by the artwork that was created with hundreds of plastic bouys that drifted to their shore from the Japanese tsunami some years ago.

The tour guide said that several of the RV parks closed yesterday and several were shutting down this week. I still thought there were quite a few RV’s parked all around. There is even a ferry that will take people, cars, RV’s, and transfer trucks to Kodiak and beyond. Homer is 200 miles away from Anchorage so I guess people really like driving to the end of the road.

Homer was named for Homer Pennock. Apparently, he established bogus coal and gold mining companies and then went back East to sell stock in them. He retired comfortably in New York, a rich man while the stockholders who came out to claim their portion of the coal and gold got nothing. But, many had to stay as they spent all their money getting there. Why would you choose to honor the man who cheated you by naming a town after him?

After getting back to the Spit, I took a couple of pictures of the Salty Dog, a bar that has thousands of dollar bills stapled on every surface. Weird. I heard the bar was also featured on the TV show “The Deadliest Catch” but since I’ve never watched it, I really don’t know.

Got back on the shuttle to the ship. Had a sandwich and salad for lunch and then did a couple of laps on the promenade deck. Could not walk all the way around as they were working on some of the lifeboats. The Lido pool is still closed too. Still get a whiff of varnish when you walk near it. I have to say that people are constantly working and cleaning this ship. Saw rolls of carpet stored so they are probably going to replace the hallway carpets. I know that our hallway carpet is very worn and needs replacing.
First time my phone has given me the “roaming” warning. I believe that I could still make a call or text but having any data download would exceed my plan. I just put the phone back into airplane mode. Will try again in Kodiak and Sitka but I expect I will get the same message. My plan doesn’t cover Canada either so it may be Seattle before I get data access again.

Did a few abbreviated laps around the promenade. Abbreviated because they were working on a section of it and had it blocked off. We had to just stop and turn around.
Ate in the main dining room with a very nice couple from Texas. Went to see the Zaandam singers and dancers perform “Rock Legends.” We have seen this show before on previous cruises both Holland America and Carnival. Always outstanding. They did a great job tonight too.

Hard to believe in 60 days we will be departing on the Zuiderdam on a 10 day partial Panama Canal out of Ft. Lauderdale. First time to see the Panama Canal.

Called it an evening as tomorrow is a very early port – Kodiak. Tonight’s towel animal is an elephant.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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