Jen’s Journal – August 16, 2019

Day 48: Kodiak, AK

Sunny and warm.

Walked to the ferry, after breakfast at Monk’s Rock. Well we didn’t see the ferry. It was docked 1 1/2 miles away because this ferry, the Kennicott, is larger that the ferry we took to Kodiak and doesn’t fit at the terminal in town. We walked by several fish processing outfits to the terminal at the end of town.

We were greeted by dozens of sea otters as the boat swung out of Kodiak. The weather again was sunny and warm with a breeze. The ferry ride was calm until we hit open water. Then we were up and down with waves splashing up on the deck. I think there were many cases of seasickness and I was battling it myself. Tom had it pretty bad.

We could see snowy mountains in the distance, which had to be volcanoes on the Katmai Peninsula, and lots of islands and sea birds. Also a couple whales spouting.

We got to Homer before sunset and crashed in Arvi, parked at the spit.

Kodiak

We had four good days on Kodiak. Kodiak has few roads, so it takes several types of transportation to really see everything. We probably should have taken a plane ride, or rented ATVs, or at least kayaks, but we had already spent so much to get there. You can drive all the roads in a day.

I am told that summer on Kodiak is usually foggy, damp and in the fifties. So this was an unusual summer. Every day we were there was sunny and in the seventies. It could have had an impact on wildlife viewing. Apparently the berries were in early and that messed up the berry and salmon feeding for the bears.

The town of Kodiak is not so touristy but rather fishy smelling. Kodiak brings in the highest, or second-highest (we’ve read both) value of seafood haul in the country.

Kodiak has the largest bears in the world and the largest Coast Guard base in the world.

There is a strong Russian influence on Kodiak, and in much of Alaska, due to Alaska being sold by Russia to the United States in 1867. Like the history of all the Americas, it was not good for the natives, who were exploited by the Russians. The Orthodox Church was good to the natives, and there are orthodox churches throughout Alaska.

We were extremely interested to meet a Native with a Finnish last name! Jerry told us the Russians brought Finns with them because of their boating skills. Or maybe their trapping skills, he didn’t seem sure. Whatever!

The brewery is the meeting spot after work.

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