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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Alaskan Photo Safari - Day Three

Juvenile Bald Eagle taking a bow
The state of Alaska has less than 700,000 people, about 1 person per square mile.  SE Alaska has many small islands. I am on the island of Mitkoff right now. The only access to these islands and most places in SE Alaska is by boat or plane.  The lifeline to this area is the Alaska Marine Highway system, limited commercial flights provided by Alaskan Airlines and an army of bush pilots.  The AMH is a ferry service operated by the State of Alaska to carry freight and people. It runs from SE Alaska all the way through the Aleutian Islands, a distance of over 3,000 miles. On can stay on the ferry and do the whole journey for a couple of months, stopping along the way in all these interesting towns and wildlife spots.

The plane I flew in to get here is specially designed for freight and people.  The front half of the plane is devoted entirely to carrying freight and the back half for passengers. Most people in Alaska are friendly and rugged individuals but you find a lot of them are transplants from other states, attracted by the great outdoors and the adventures and beauty the state offers. At this time of the year, one can expect about 18 hours of daylight and there is so much to experience and explore here it keeps me coming back over and over again.  

Humpback whale lunge feeding in Frederick Sound
Went out on a small boat to Frederick Sound to find Humpback whales yesterday. Weather was OK but the whales were too busy eating and their food is concentrated between 100 to 200 feet below the surface so they were diving frequently to feed. I did not get a decent action shot after a long, hard day on the boat. Will be out again everyday until I leave Petersburg. By the way, when I was taking the photo of the Bald Eagle, an older couple approached me and started chatting. He was born in Alaska (in fact the town that I will be going to next) and lived in California (the city I am living in now). What kind of coincidence it that?  In this whole wide world, we would bump into each other like that.


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