The trip from Juneau to Kodiak took three days as we travelled north and west, stopping at Yakutat, Whittier and Chenega Bay along the way. We were able to get off at each stop and have a quick look around.
We arrived in Yakutat early in the morning and the view from shore did not prepare us for the fabulous view of the Wrangell-St._Elias mountains that presented themselves to us as we pulled out of the bay and headed west. Mount St. Elias is the highest mountain at 18,008ft and has the Malaspina Glacier at its foot. This range forms one of Alaska's favourite National Parks and it was pretty special to see this from the water.
Whittier sits in the beautiful Prince William Sound. Unfortunately the weather was such that we will have to rely on the guidebooks for this. We walked to the tunnel that connects Whittier to the national road network, but that was it.
Chenega Bay was another wet stop along the way, but we were greeted by a very friendly dog as we walked up the hill in the rain.
Kodiak is renowned for the Kodiak bear - three times bigger than a usual grizzly at 1,500lbs as a result of its high protein fish diet of fish. Kodiak is also renowned for its fishing.
Both the bears and the fish proved elusive, despite 2 nights out at the Pasagshak river where the locals employed a method called flossing to catch the reds (Sock-eye) and the silvers (Coho) that were coming into the stream. Not having quite the right fishing tackle, and the closest shop being some 50m away (100m round trip), Declan persisted but the fish that managed to get past the seal sitting out in the surf at the entrance to the river and the locals were not tempted.
We managed to join a local guided walk out to Termination Point ,through the temperate rain forest (about the only part of Kodiak covered in trees), tasting the edible Chicken Fungus (bright orange) and spotting some sea-otters. We also went to the local music festival - A Warm August Night - the music was great, the weather was anything but warm, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves in their Extra-Tuffs.
There are some beautiful spots in Kodiak, not least from the hill overlooking the main town. This is also a great place for whale watching and we were not disappointed. As we left a large pod of whales joined us, swimming slowly and showing off their flukes.