Outdoor Features

Onward to New York

Sarah Outen touches the Seafarers Memorial statue after she and Justine Curgenven landed on the Homer Spit on Aug. 14 after a 1,300-mile kayak journey from Adak. Outen speaks at 7 p.m. today at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center about her London2London journey. She restarts her trip this weekend from the Seafarers Memorial and will bike to New York.

Adventurer speaks about world journey

British adventurer Sarah Outen speaks at 7 p.m. today at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center about her 

“London2London: Via the World” journey. With Justine Curgenven, Outen, 29, of Oxfordshire, England, recently completed a 1,300-mile kayak trip from Adak to Homer through the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

She is more than halfway around the world on her attempt to circumnavigate the planet by boat and bicycle, having kayaked, bicycled and rowed from London to Homer.

Moose hunters’ chances good as season opens

For hunters heading out at the start of the fall moose hunting season this week, as in 2013, the odds of getting a moose should be better compared to 2012. Moose hunting opened on Wednesday, Aug. 20, and continues through Sept. 20. After restrictions limiting the take of younger bulls, the bull-cow ratio has improved, the population has increased and the winter survival rate has gone up for Game Management Unit 15C, the lower Kenai Peninsula south of Tustumena Lake.

Be careful out there: Lead is flying

If Captain Kirk and his gang from the starship Enterprise had popped out of a reverse time warp above the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon over the weekend, they would have stumbled onto a scene that would have spawned serious flashbacks. Only this time around it would have been “The Trouble with Trebles.”

Good, bad news in Homer jackpot Derby

There’s some good new and some bad news in this week’s Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby action.

The bad news comes from Bill Brock of Anchor Point. Brock was fishing with Crystal Sea Charters aboard the Donna Mae on Sunday when he hooked into a tagged halibut. The tag was sponsored by Alaska Adventure Cabins, owned by Bryan and Karen Zak, and valued at $500. The bad part of that fishing story: Brock hadn’t purchased a $10 derby ticket prior to fishing.

Scientist, author focuses on salmon at Inletkeeper’s annual Splash Bash

Not every scientist starts out a talk playing guitar, but David Montgomery, the speaker at Cook Inletkeeper’s 17th annual Splash Bash on July 31, isn’t your average scientist. 

Author of “King of Fish: The Thousand-year Run of Salmon,” recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant and a member of the band Big Dirt, Montgomery played a few licks with artist Ray Troll, a musician in the band Rat Fish Trollers, and John “Johnny B.” Bushell. Both bands also played last weekend at Salmonstock, with Johnny B. joining Troll’s band.

Halibut spread derby message

When it comes to spreading the word about the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, why not let the halibut do it? 

That was the case with a 35-inch halibut caught by Shawn Berndt of Stoughton, Wis. On July 23, Berndt was fishing with Marv’s Fishing Charter way over in Harris Bay off the Gulf of Alaska near the entrance to Resurrection Bay when he hooked into a 35-inch halibut. Turned out the
halibut was sporting a 2011 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby tag.  

Fishing superstitions no laughing matter when success counts

My wife and I relearned a lesson over the last week and it wasn’t pretty. Since The Fishing Hole has been handing out silver liked a short-circuited slot machine in Reno, we decide that we’d slip out there and pick up a couple of those beauties for the barbecue.

Something went wrong. Way wrong.

We have this semi-secret special technique that hasn’t failed us for years and we were confident that we would be back in a couple of hours packing some nice fillets.

Nope. 

Remember this glorious summer come January

Hold this growing season close to your heart. Treat it like a treasure to be taken from its cache in the depths of January and lovingly remembered. This is truly a glorious summer. 

That said, the slugs are here. I have long resisted the wholesale killing of these mollusks; after all I have created the perfect environment just by dint of planting a garden. Easy pickings. 

Harvest from these gardens helps others

From swapping plant starts in the springtime to sharing ripe produce in the fall, gardens inspire an attitude of giving. This spring, Homer’s St. John the Baptist Catholic Church joined a growing local trend of gardening for those in need. 

Father Robert Leising is one of three priests who serve the lower Kenai Peninsula. Although he lives in Soldotna, he drives to Homer on Tuesdays to serve the parish on weeknights. 

Arctica wins 18th annual regatta

Two days of sunshine, but more importantly two days of an accommodating wind on Kachemak Bay drew eight boats out for Saturday’s start of the 18th annual Homer Yacht Club-Land’s End Resort Regatta.

Six completed both days of the two-day event, with Arctica taking first place. 

“I want to thank my crew,” said Arctica’s Captain Craig Forrest, acknowledging the winning efforts of Liska Kandror, Kelsey Kleine and Johann Willrich.

Weeds may be ‘medicine at your front door’

What use does a dandelion have besides being a weed in a garden? Does devil’s club really have medicinal qualities? That and many more questions were answered by Nancy Lee-Evans during the Medicinal Plant Walk June 12 at Bishop’s Beach.

The class, part of the diverse series of Thriving Thursday wellness classes offered by Seldovia Village Tribe Health and Wellness, attracted a large crowd in spite of the rain and gusting wind. 

Breeding Bird Survey conducted by listening to songs

I saw the moon for the first time this summer. Waking up at 2 a.m. brings a new perspective to the seemingly perpetual daylight of Alaska summers. However, this darkness didn’t last long, and after a blurry-eyed car ride, I found myself at the turnoff to Skilak Lake Road. Here, Toby Burke and I prepared for the 50 stops to come this morning as we waited for 4 a.m. It was time, once again, to collect data for the National Breeding Bird Survey on one of the many designated routes within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Coordinated effort gets help for eagle

When Bernie and Marion Simon arrived at their Kasitsna Bay cabin on June 19, they were greeted by a bald eagle that appeared to be suffering from a wing injury.

“The poor guy was hungry and so cold and wet,” said Marion Simon. “He couldn’t hop around. He kept stepping on his wing.”

The Simons took herring out of their freezer and cut it up to feed the bird.

“He just about ate them right out of our hand,” said Simon.

Plants thrive after wildfire

The massive wildfire that recently engulfed a good chunk of the Kenai Peninsula landscape may look like a bleak, uninviting place for some time, but regenerative ecological forces are already at work. As we embrace the hard work, dedicated suppression efforts, and good fortune that resulted in a positive community outcome, many of our floral friends can rejoice in the opportunities of the fire-altered system.

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