Friends and Fish

Friends and fish have been the themes of the past week. Our friends, the Cheung family (Seeling, Newton, Jayden and Clarisse), from the Bay Area joined us in Seward for the whole week. It was especially great for the children – Rhys and Dylan had a blast with Jayden and Anwen and Clarisse were inseparable.

 Dylan's first catch. At midnight!

Dylan's first catch. At midnight!

In Seward, the highlights were the Alaska SeaLife Center, the Exit Glacier and a five hour cruise through the Kenai Fjords National Park. The weather was rainy early in the week, but glorious for the cruise on Thursday. The cruise (run by Major Marine tours) was narrated by a National Parks Ranger and also ran a Junior Ranger program which kept the children involved. One of the highlights of the trip was viewing a fin whale – the second largest animal on the planet (after the blue whale). Photos of whales are never that interesting, though – unless their breaching, of course.

On Friday, we headed north and returned to the Portage Valley RV Park for 3 nights camping, with the Cheung family staying in cabins within the same park. This gave us a good base to visit the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) and drive to Whittier on Sunday for our second cruise of the week – into Prince William Sound. On Saturday, when we visited the AWCC it rained the whole time, which meant I didn’t even take a single photograph, because I didn’t want to get my camera wet. Don’t laugh. However, on Sunday, we couldn’t believe our luck with the weather for the cruise – another beautiful sunny day. Once again, the cruise was narrated by a Park Ranger which makes a big difference. The highlight of this cruise was probably cruising through the icebergs right up to Surprise Glacier.

The boys and Clarisse were keen to fish all week. At the beginning of the week we tried fishing off the beach at Seward Harbor, but only Rhys managed to catch a tiny, 3 inch, rock fish (which we threw back). We’re not really geared up to fish for the king salmon which can be caught off the same beach. At the end of the week, just a quarter of a mile from our campground in Portage Valley, we went fishing for trout in a stocked pond. Success! On the first night, Jayden caught his first fish and on the second night Dylan caught his first (even if we did have to fish past midnight!). In total, the boys caught six trout on the second night (we threw one back). That’s fine, except, I’m the only one in our family who eats fish.

 A Boatload of trout!

A Boatload of trout!

Well, the Cheung family, have now headed up to Denali and we’re making our way to Valdez.

PS I just noticed that my last 3 blog entries have fish in the photographs. Now I realize why, whenever I mentioned we were planning a trip to Alaska, so many people asked me if we were going there to fish. At the time, I responded "No, not really". How naive I was.