Delarof Harbor, Unga Island, Alaska, USA

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #1; the intrepid explorer and your blogger kayaking

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #1; the intrepid explorer and your blogger kayaking

 

Unga Island is an island in the Aleutians East Borough, Alaska, USA.  It is he largest of the Shumagin Islands off the Alaska Peninsula in southwestern Alaska.  The island has a land area of 171 square miles (443 square kilometers), making it the 35th largest island in the United States.  The island holds an ancient petrified wood forest and a more recent ghost town that was the site of a small gold rush in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  We took Zodiac boats from our ship anchored in Delarof Harbor to the pebble beach of the harbor, where a group of twelve of us embarked on a two-hour kayak paddle around the harbor and part of Unga Island.  The terrain was quite rugged, with tall cliffs, low rising hills and pounding surf; it is also treeless, except for a few trees around the village brought over by Norwegian settlers.  The island is another island home to thousands of seagulls and puffins and many sea otters in the kelp.

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #2

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #2

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #3; the arches at the end of the peninsula reminded us of Los Cabos, Mexico

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #3; the arches at the end of the peninsula reminded us of Los Cabos, Mexico

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #4

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #4

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #5

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #5

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #6

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #6

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #7

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #7

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #8

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #8

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #9

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #9

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #10

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #10

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #11

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #11

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #12; the intrepid explorer and your blogger relaxing on the shore in front of part of the old ghost town, waiting for a Zodiac to return to o

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #12; the intrepid explorer and your blogger relaxing on the shore in front of part of the old ghost town, waiting for a Zodiac to return to our ship after kayaking

 

Legal Notices: All photographs (except the two photographs of the kayakers) copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Haines, Alaska, USA

The top two rows of buildings in this photograph of the small town of Haines, Alaska, USA, belong to the now decommissioned Fort William H. Seward, a United States Army installation that

The top two rows of buildings in this photograph of the small town of Haines, Alaska, USA, belong to the now decommissioned Fort William H. Seward, a United States Army installation that was constructed in 1904 and was the only U.S. Army post in Alaska before World War II

 

Haines is a small town (population 2,500) in the northern part of the panhandle of Alaska, USA, on the Inside Passage.  Today the town is a fraction of the size of the 30,000 residents present during the Klondike gold rush (1898-1899) when it was an important supply center for the 35,000 miners who ventured up to the Yukon Territory through nearby Skagway.  The most visible section of town from the waterfront is Fort Seward, part way up the slopes rising from the water.  The last of the four canneries closed in 1972 due to declining fish stocks, though commercial fishing (both trolling and gillnetting) remains an important part of the local economy. Logging and sawing timber has been an industry around Haines but has declined also in recent years.

 

Our ship anchored for two days in the harbor of Haines, Alaska, USA

Our ship anchored for two days in the harbor of Haines, Alaska, USA

 

The view of the surrounding mountains from the pier in Haines, Alaska, USA

The view of the surrounding mountains from the pier in Haines, Alaska, USA

 

The former U.S. army fort buildings are now privately owned and house businesses, a restaurant, hotel, etc. at Fort Seward, Haines, Alaska, USA

The former U.S. army fort buildings are now privately owned and house businesses, a restaurant, hotel, etc. at Fort Seward, Haines, Alaska, USA

 

“Fort William H. Seward, a United States Army installation, was constructed south of Haines in 1904, on property donated by the mission from its holdings.  In 1922, the fort was renamed Chilkoot Barracks. It was the only United States Army post in Alaska before World War II. During World War II, it was used as a supply point for some U.S. Army activities in Alaska.  The fort was deactivated in 1946 and sold as surplus property to a group of investors… who called it “Port Chilkoot”, thus forming the Port Chilkoot Company…  In 1972, the fort was designated a National Historic Landmark and the name, Fort William H. Seward, was restored.” – Wikipedia

 

One afternoon a group of us drove about 30 miles- 48 km out of town the nearby Chilkoot Lake, Haines, Alaska, USA, for an afternoon of kayaking

One afternoon a group of us drove about 30 miles/ 48 km out of town the nearby Chilkoot Lake, Haines, Alaska, USA, for an afternoon of kayaking

 

Chilkoot Lake in the summer swarms with a wide range of birdlife, including hawks, Arctic terns, blue jays, robins, hummingbirds and bald eagles (which we spotted), Haines, Alaska, USA

Chilkoot Lake in the summer swarms with a wide range of birdlife, including hawks, Arctic terns, blue jays, robins, hummingbirds and bald eagles (which we spotted), Haines, Alaska, USA

 

The intrepid explorer and your blogger leaving the dock for an afternoon of kayaking around Lake Chilkoot, Haines, Alaska, USA

The intrepid explorer and your blogger leaving the dock for an afternoon of kayaking around Lake Chilkoot, Haines, Alaska, USA

 

Our kayak set against the Chilkoot mountains surrounding Lake Chilkoot, Haines, Alaska, USA

Our kayak set against the Chilkoot mountains surrounding Lake Chilkoot, Haines, Alaska, USA

 

We could hear the roar of the snow-fed waterfall on the mountainside from a fair distance on Lake Chilkoot, as it was really calm and peaceful the sunny day we were out kayaking, Haines,

We could hear the roar of the snow-fed waterfall on the mountainside from a fair distance on Lake Chilkoot, as it was really calm and peaceful the sunny day we were out kayaking, Haines, Alaska, USA

 

This is the spot on the lake where the stream enters the lake – as we paddled by a flock of ducks swam by us, Haines, Alaska, USA

This is the spot on the lake where the stream enters the lake – as we paddled by a flock of ducks swam by us, Haines, Alaska, USA

 

When we returned to the pier in Haines, Alaska, USA, we found this very “Zen” sign at the pier – reinforcing what a wonderfully relaxing afternoon we had enjoyed on Chilkoot Lake

When we returned to the pier in Haines, Alaska, USA, we found this very “Zen” sign at the pier – reinforcing what a wonderfully relaxing afternoon we had enjoyed on Chilkoot Lake

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Parque Nacional Natural Utría (Utría National Park), Colombia

Arrival on the beach at Parque Nacional Natural Utría (Utría National Park), Colombia

Arrival on the beach at Parque Nacional Natural Utría (Utría National Park), Colombia

Located north of Nuqui on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, Parque Nacional Natural Utría (Utría National Park) is considered to be one-of-a-kind, containing a variety of ecosystems, ranging from the sea to the jungle.  It framed by the vastness of the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Serrania del Baudo.  Utría is considered to be one of the most bio-diverse national parks, not only in Colombia but in the world.

Kayaking in the seclusion of the mangroves at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Kayaking in the seclusion of the mangroves at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

We first had an opportunity to kayak along the coast and through the shallow waters of the mangrove swamps, getting up close to an amazing wealth of flora and fauna.

Mangrove roots at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Mangrove roots at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Gecko at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Gecko at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

After our two-hour kayaking excursion, we walked along a newly installed boardwalk, through the mangrove swamps, catching sight of a broad array of flora and fauna in a virtually untouched ecosystem.

Tree fern at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Tree fern at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Mangroves at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Mangroves at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Bromeliads at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Bromeliads at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Closeup of Bromeliad at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Closeup of Bromeliad at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Black (and red) crab climbing a tree at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Black (and red) crab climbing a tree at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Flower at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Flower at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Elevated walkway for exploring the flora and fauna at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Elevated walkway for exploring the flora and fauna at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Vine at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Vine at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

 

Ants moving leaves at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia

Ants moving leaves at Parque Nacional Natural Utria (Utria National Park), Colombia