It is always a good day when you can cross something off of your bucket list, and today was one of those days for me! I got to take off and land in a float plane! In between the take off and landing, we got to do a lot of sightseeing!
Our pilot, Wes Head , of Beluga Air, LLC, in Homer, called about 8 a,m. and said he could take us out about 10:30 so off we went.It was cloudy outside, but Wes said the blue colors of the glaciers are enhanced by cloudy weather, so no worries. We boarded the DeHavilland Beaver at the pier and taxied out into Beluga Lake. We were soon headed out over the Homer Spit and Cook Inlet with Wes as our excellent guide, pointing out landmarks and relating interesting stories about what we were seeing.
Although the day was cloudy and spritzing rain, the takeoff was very smooth and very exciting as well! We flew past our campground on the Cook Inlet side, then curved back to fly over Homer Spit where it was easy to pick out all the landmarks. We flew over Kachemak Bay where , laced between the mountain peaks, rivers of ice flow from the Harding Ice Field forming Alpine glaciers. These are unique in that they form in mountain valleys creating their own moraine lake instead of calving into salt water. We got up close and personal with Grewingk, Portlock and Dixon glaciers which can be seen from Homer, then examined Wosnesenski and Doroshin which are only partly visible from Homer. We saw two large herds of mountain goats, small native villages, remote cabins, and a privately owned island in Halibut Bay that features a gourmet restaurant (the Saltry) and an art gallery. Wes kept us entertained with facts about the area, local lore, and bush pilot stories. For all 4 of us it was a thrilling experience.
All too soon we returned to Beluga Lake for the smoothest landing I have ever experienced in a plane. We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip and our pilot, Wes. It was truly a trip worthy of a bucket list!