Included in your stay at the Ridgwood is a marine wildlife tour of Kachemak Bay. This six hour tour begins with the Bird and Wildlife Viewing portion. We start with a short boat ride from the Ridgewood to Gull Island – a bird sanctuary to eight nesting species of birds: Pelagic Cormorants, Red-faced Cormorants, Horned Puffins, Blacklegged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, Glaucous-winged Gulls, Tufted Puffins, and Pigeon Guillemots. Many other species may be found here during migration, both before and after nesting. Marine mammals are also common here including sea otters, river otters, mink, seals, whales, and porpoises. Black bears can be occasionally spotted on the beach that come down out of the forest to forage on crustaceans and mollusks.
The next portion of the tour will include an art and culture exploration of the Halibut Cove galleries. There are over a dozen artists here who are passionate about art and living in Alaska. You will find a variety of art including octopus ink paintings, water color paintings, oil paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and more.
The final portion of the tour is a visit to an oyster nursery and oyster farm where you can observe the different life stages of an oyster from its infancy to market size ready for the table. Alaska oysters thrive in the cold, nutrient rich waters of the different coves and bays. Alaska oysters don’t reproduce in our cold waters, and as a result put all of their energy into growing nice uniform shells and plump meats. Alaska oysters are raised by a technique called suspended culture. The oysters are placed in nets that are hung from floating long lines in the upper part of the water column, where they can feed continually undisturbed by environmental conditions above the surface. Kachemak Bay waters are a designated critical habitat area by the State Of Alaska. As a result of this designation, and the effort of many others, our waters are clean and will remain that way.
Our itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to the group’s interests depending on tides and the marine forecast for the day.