We arrived in Homer around 3. After a little confusion, we found the Driftwood Inn - an historic inn by the beach. The downstairs reception area was hostel-like with a shared fridge and buy-it breakfast food, a book exchange, and even little kid toys to borrow. Our two rooms ( 8&9) each had a queen sized bed with a smaller bunk above and Randy elected to sleep in our room. There was also a sink in each room and state-of-the-art coffee maker. Two bathrooms down the hall each had a shower. We got our bags up, then went off- the Dowlings to see Transformers 3 and us to go in search of birds and rocks.

First Dick and I went to the beach behind the hotel. It was hard to tell, but some of the rocks appeared to be hard enough to polish in a tumbler. After Dick had seen all the birdlife that area had to offer, we drove to Homer Spit and explored a couple of beach locations there. Coming into Homer we had seen the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center so went there and saw a video on the Bay and exhibits on the wildlife of the area. Dick got a couple of pamphlets about birding in the area and hopes to go to Gull Island as well as on a cruise to Seldovia, a Russian flavored fishing village 15 miles from Homer. They also told us about a pair of baby eagles near the stop light in town and we went to see the two, rather large, babies on a tree by their nest.

With the movie finished, the Dowlings went to the Spit. With a little time to kill, Dick and I went to the Salty Dawg Bar - a funky place with about $20,000 worth of $1 bills stuck to rafters and every available space. Then we met the Dowlings for dinner at Captain Pattie’s and, after a bit of waiting time spent skipping rocks on the waterfront, we had a delicious dinner while we watched lots of people being turned away because waiting times were by then so long. We drove back to the hotel and settled in for the night.

Sunday, August 21, 2011- Homer

After a breakfast of toasted bagels in the inn’s kitchen area, we were off in good time to get tickets for the Central Charter nature tour trip to Seldovia, a Russian settled fishing village, only reachable by boat. We first cruised by Gull Island where there were thousands of roosting birds. Floating in the water were common murre and tufted and horned puffins. On the island were pelagic cormorants, black legged kittiwakes, and glaucous winged gulls. Later we saw pigeon guillemot in the water and an eagle in a tree. We went through Eldred Passage where the rocks were of different colors and composition, including a volcanic column. Along the way we saw sea otters diving down for clams, then pounding them on their bellies to open them. There were also long strands of seaweed with round floating balls to hold them up.

In Seldovia the Dowlings and I went to the Mad Fish Café for lunch while Dick walked the Otterbahn Trail looking for birds. We all wandered around the town and especially liked the Old Boardwalk area with it’s quaint houses and great reflecting views. The town hosts an annual chain saw wood carving contest and the finished projects were displayed around the town- otters, whales, and eagles for example. We did a little shopping then it was 4 and time to catch the boat back to Homer. The ride was very smooth and we saw a few more sea otters as we went.

We docked around 5:30 and headed for the Safeway Market. As we went through town, we found that the baby eagles had taken flight for the first time that day. After a good bit of debate, we chose Double Brownie and Strawberry Cheesecake ice creams and headed for the Driftwood Inn’s back porch. It was nice enough to sit outside and eat and most of the ice cream was consumed before we headed inside. But outdoors still beckoned some of us again and Rick, Michelle and I went for a walk/ beachcomb on Bishop’s Beach. Rick, Michelle and the boys watched a W.C. Fields DVD on the lounge TV while Dick and I did computer stuff and read. It was our best weather day since the first two and much appreciated.