Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Kodiak Kayaking Trip

Prepping for the day
Before our trip to Italy, we broke out our kayaks and went exploring on the 4th of July. It was my first time kayaking since we moved to Kodiak, and it didn't disappoint!

The hubby bought his kayak from the chaplain when he was transferring out last summer, and he tracked down a good deal on a used kayak for me a few months ago.  So, we finally got our acts together and took them out on Anton Larsen Bay.  It was such a perfect weather day, and we had a great time tooling around with all the water birds.  We were able to get up close and personal with sea otters and all types of birds.  It was very cool.

Getting ready to launch

There were a lot of black oystercatchers all over the bay, and I was able to get a few good pictures.  They're really easy to identify, but it's a little creepy that they have red eyes.

I paddled up pretty close to this little island a bunch of them were hanging out on, and I'm pretty sure I freaked them out. Once I floated over, they all started squawking and sounding the alarm for all their buddies.  I unintentionally created a little oystercatcher calamity with my picture taking.  

Along with all of the oystercatchers, we saw a ton of puffin, too.  Most definitely my favorite northern bird!  They're so doofy - I just love watching them in their natural habitat. 

They fly so fast, (up to 55mph!) and they love to splash around in the water.  They're adorable.

You can hardly see this little puffin. - That will change
once I bust out my new camera and I can zoom in better!
We were also able to get close to a few sea otters.  They're actually a lot bigger than you would imagine.  And also adorable to watch.  They float along on their backs & it's impressive how fast they swim. I tried to get close enough for some pictures, but they're quick little guys & they weren't having it.

Anton Larsen Bay is a great kayaking spot.  It's a protected little bay, so the water is calm and flat as long as the winds aren't too strong.

There were plenty of houses that dotted the shore line that seemed to be pretty self-sufficient.  Sprawling compounds with multiple hoop greenhouses, solar power, boats, and seemingly everything they would need to live so far from the conveniences of town.  They definitely fend for themselves out there! 

One of the compounds along the water
This was one of the most memorable 4th of July's I've had in a while.  There's really nothing like being able to explore the wilderness we live so close to - and being able to get out on the water to see it from that perspective is a whole new way to take it all in.

There's no way we would have been able to get as close to the puffin and other wildlife we saw if we weren't out on the water, so I'm looking forward to checking out some of the other areas around Kodiak that are kayaking-friendly.

There's no doubt that hiking and kayaking are two of my favorite things to do up here.  Can't wait to put a few more trips on the water under my belt!

Ta-ta for now.

Pyramid Mountain in the distance

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