Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday, September 19th

Remember to click on the pictures to make them larger!
We got up a little before 6 and headed for Whittier. You have to go through a tunnel to get there. This is a World War II railroad tunnel that was converted to use for vehicles and railroad cars in 2000. In fact, it is the longest tunnel in North America shared by vehicles and trains. It is also the longest highway tunnel going 2.5 miles end to end. It is only open to automobiles at certain times of the day. Cars wait at each end until the tunnel is opened for scheduled one way travel. You better be there in line or you'll have to wait about an hour before your side gets to go through again.

We arrived in Whittier and got the boat into the water. After loading up, we set out for the sweet fishing spot. It was a beautiful day in the harbor. However, as we began to get out into Prince William Sound a bit, we hit a wall of dense fog. This made continued travel unsafe. We turned into a cove to wait for the fog to lift. After a while, we attempted to make it through the fog again. We were successful this time. After traveling several miles we saw a rocky shore full of Steller sea lions. You could probably smell and hear them before you actually saw them! We decided to take a short detour and check out these cool animals. The average male weighs 1,245 pounds and is about 10 1/2 feet long. The females average about 580 pounds and grow to 8 1/2 feet long. They feast on fish, squid, and occasionally birds or true seals. As we drew near to the shore, instead of diving into the water and disappearing as we expected them to do, most of them continued to stay on the shore and bellow. The ones that jumped into the water swam out to the boat and put on quite the water aerobic show. We watched them for several minutes. It was really cool to see these animals up close in their natural habitat.

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