Friday, April 24, 2015

Narrow Cape Whale Watching

It's that time of year again!  That would be the annual gray whale migration.  We went whale watching around this time last year too, but we didn't have any luck.  This year was a whole different story.

Our whale watching perch at Narrow Cape on the cliffs above Fossil Beach

The sheer distance that the gray whales travel is unfathomable.  It's a pretty amazing feat to think that every year they swim over 10,000 miles round-trip between Mexico's nursery lagoons and feeding grounds in the Bering Sea.

In their travels, they pass by Narrow Cape every April.  - We can easily drive to Narrow Cape and hope to catch a glimpse of them as they swim by.  And this year was rock star!

One of the dozens of spouts we saw throughout the day

We saw over a dozen whales off the cliffs above Fossil Beach when we took a drive out there a few weeks ago.  I saw my first whale breach in person that day - it was fabulous.  We were still down on the beach and hadn't hiked up to the cliffs yet when I saw an enormous dark mass heave itself out of the water and crash back down into a massive splash.  It was far from the shore, but not so far away that you didn't know what it was.  Very cool.

As we hiked along we saw dozens of spouts all along the shoreline, and at one point were treated to a tail flipping up out of the water.  But mostly it was spouts and the occasional long, sleek back popping up.

Not easy to capture pictures of, I tell ya!  This was about the best one I managed to eek out of the day.  Not exactly compelling, but what can you do? 

Hooray whales!

As always, the scenery above Fossil Beach was gorgeous.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  Kodiak is absolutely stunning - when the sun shines. The latter part of that sentence is the critical part.

Because as I've also mentioned many times before, it rains a lot in Kodiak.  And if it's not raining, it's more than likely overcast.  We're talking about a place that has approximately 130 sunny days per year.  So that means over 200 days of rain or clouds.  Doesn't that sound just peachy?

I admit, I might be a tad bit sun deprived.  And slightly bitter about it.  Which is why these seemingly few and far between sunny days are fantabulastic.  Yes.  Made up word good.

We lucked out with our sunny Sunday, and it truly was an unforgettable day.  The unadulterated appreciation for sunshine is just inevitable living here.  Zip-a-dee-doo-da type of appreciation!

The WWII pillbox made for a good observation deck

We weren't the only ones enjoying the sunshine.  The Pugbull went crazy dog on the beach and took every opportunity he could to roll in buffalo poop.  Good times.


Narrow Cape is even prettier in the summer, when everything is vibrantly green, but even with the brown grasses of winter/spring, it's still pretty spectacular.

Fossil Beach is one of my favorite places in Kodiak.  There's nothing quite like experiencing that captivating combination of crisp, bright air paired with magnificent mountain views.  Add in the sunshine & whale watching and it ain't a bad way to spend a Sunday.  Even if they don't like to have their pictures taken.

Ta-ta for now.

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