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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Kachemak Bay

October 16th, 2013 · No Comments

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Kachemak Bay is a 40 mile long arm of Alaska’s Cook Inlet on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. My fourth trip to Homer took me there for a three-hour birding cruise with Bay Excursions Water Taxi and Tours. This is in fact just a local naturalist, Karl Stolfzus, his cell phone, and his boat. But Karl was a great guide.

When I left Wayne and Marveen’s home, the weather was sunny in line with the prediction for the day’s forecast. But soon after I set forth, clouds rolled in and totally obscured the sky. More than once I considered opting out of the tour, for which I hadn’t paid in advance, but when I took another look at the weather forecasts, no day in the immediate future promised to be any sunnier. So I proceeded.

Glad that I did. While the dim light made me boost the ISO to 3200 for almost all of my photos, my software removed the noise.

Karl’s boat was docked at Homer’s small boat harbor along with hundreds of other vessels, mostly fishing boats. Long known as the “halibut fishing capital of the world,” Homer is home to many fisherfolk.

With Karl steering and spotting, I went out into the bay with two couples, all dedicated birders. We saw a huge number and variety of birds and sea mammals, but the bird that I most wanted to see was a black oystercatcher, which I had never seen before.

A Black Oystercatcher Poses

A Black Oystercatcher Poses

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​I had seen surf scoters before. But I had never captured them in flight, and now I know why we call them surf scoters.

​Three Surf Scoters Make Their Own Surf

Three Surf Scoters Make Their Own Surf

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I have seen many sea otters. But always in the sea.

An Old Sea Otter Rests on Land

An Old Sea Otter Rests on Land

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When we arrived back at the dock, I was hungry from a morning on the water. So I checked TripAdvisor, which told me that Captain Pattie’s Fish House was probably the best restaurant in town. It was a few feet down the spit from where I was. After the best halibut I ever had in my life, I understood why this is a popular fish, particularly when it is as fresh as it can be in Homer.

After lunch I wandered around to so many shops that I forgot where my SUV was. I didn’t mind walking around, but I had left my Canon 7D and 50D cameras in my SUV and had only taken my iPad to lunch.

But then I noticed that some people were bringing in their catch of the day. It was halibut, and most were pretty small. But one weighed in at 91 pounds, according to the guy who caught it. I wanted a shot of him with his prize, but all four of my cameras were in my SUV. In addition to my Canon 7D and 50D, I brought along a couple of point-and-shoot cameras just to be sure to have one handy. They weren’t in fact handy, because I didn’t know where I had parked. But then I realized that the iPad I was carrying was actually my fifth camera. So I used my iPad shoot to the man and his fish.

A Happy Fisherman and his 91-Pound Halibut

A Happy Fisherman and his 91-Pound Halibut

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Then I found my SUV. It was in plain sight just a few steps away from where I took this shot.

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