Kachemak Bay: A Couple Great Tours

Alaska

Cross Kachemak Bay from Homer to China Poot Bay and spend the day there. This trip, sponsored by the China Poot Bay Society, is a unique educational opportunity. Or saddle up for a day trip up the beach to historic Kilcher Homestead. Your guide and wrangler, Mariis (Mossy) Davidson, is a noted horsewoman and breeder of Morgan horses.

Kachemak Bay Natural History Tour

Take Rainbow Tours' ship, the Sizzler, with skipper Lee Glenden, to historic Seldovia, located across the Kachemak Bay from Homer, closer to the mouth of the bay. Check in at the Rainbow Tours office on Cannery Row Boardwalk half an hour before departure. The ship leaves at 11:00 am. The price is moderate.

Your captain aboard the Sizzler has developed a fine reputation for bird and wildlife spotting. On the way to Peterson and China Poot Bays, the Sizzler stops by the bird sanctuary, Gull Island. These rocky points sticking up out of the sea are home to thousands of birds of several species, all living in harmony and cacophony on this bird version if Mondo Condo. The boat gets up close enough for some great shots of the birds and a chance to view their lives and young. Fascinating.

Accompanying each China Poot Bay Society tour is a volunteer naturalist who will show you the variety of life in this area. The boat lands in China Poot Bay at the Society headquarters. Depending upon the tide, the tour goes from there to three regions: the tide pool at low tide (there is a 28-foot tide in Kachemak Bay, one of the world's greatest), the muskeg swamp and the sub-arctic rainforest and hidden lakes. You will also see an archeological site with the remains of a Denaina Indian home.

Not only is this trip fun and very moderately priced, but part of your fee goes to support the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. There is a lot of walking on this trip, and the trail is uncertain in places. Be sure to take rain gear, boots (there are a few available at the Center), camera and film, and a substantial lunch. Tea, coffee and cocoa are provided at the Center.

Kachemak Seaside Horse Touring

The day's trip begins at 9:00 am at Mossy's Kachemak Seaside Farm with a big Alaskan style breakfast. Then you saddle up the Morgan horses for a ride up the beach, stopping along the way to gather shells and driftwood, pick berries or photograph the fabulous scenery and maybe even a bald eagle's nest.

Stop in the afternoon at Kilcher's Homestead, a real, self-sufficient farm where Mossy was raised. The rolling hayfields, pastures and woodlands are ideal for hunting mushrooms, riding and berrying. Picnic lunch either along the way or at the homestead. Return by 5:00 or 6:00 pm.

The price of the trip includes, as a bonus, one night camping free at Seaside, 5 miles out East Road from town. For more information, contact Mariis Davidson, Kachemak Seaside Farm, 58335 East Road, Homer, AK 99603, (907) 235-7850.

If you love horses and the idea of exploring a piece of Alaska with a very knowledgeable Alaskan guide, this one-day trip can be expanded to 2 or 3 days. The itinerary will take you on past Kilcher's Homestead to Swift Creek near the head of the bay and to Mossy's charming Swift Creek cabin. This is an opportunity to relieve the Alaska pioneer experience and also to get in lots of fishing, clamming and all-around Alaskan fun.

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