Our Alaska adventure is over and we had a wonderful trip. It was not quite the trip we had planned but in this as in most endeavors, flexibility is a very useful trait. While the lake is indeed the boss, it's not nearly as bossy as the Cook Inlet and Katchamak Bay. To say that the weather early in the week impacted activities would be on the same level as the question, "Other than that, how did you enjoy the play Mrs Lincoln?". The same hundred plus mile an hour breezes that trashed Anchorage early in the week were experienced in Homer as well, only at about half that strength. Still, 50 mph winds can make kayaking, bouncing around in a halibut charter, landing a Cessna 206 on a beach, or even a decent back cast with a fly rod more of a challenge than actual fun. Since our goal was indeed to have fun we fell back on some worthwhile alternatives.
We did kayak however, and the BadHatter and I, along with Tom Pogson of the Alaska Kayak School paddled in the tidal races of Beluga Slough in some of those nasty winds. It was a learning experience. We learned some nice maneuvers for long boats in moving water, us fresh water boys got our heads around the whole tidal thing a bit more, and we discovered that making progress against the tide and a gale force wind was a losing proposition. I also learned that wind driven salt water really stings when it hits you in the eyes. If only we had remembered our Mach Schnell goggles, especially since the BadHatter is actually the 'Todd' referred to in the description. We were wet and salt encrusted when we left the slough while RonO and RangerMark were pretty much shaking their heads at our poor activity choice from a warm and dry location. I have to hand it to Tom Pogson though. The last day of the British Sea Kayak Festival was cancelled and he took the time to find a spot for us to paddle and play in the tides and emerge relatively unscathed. We did stick our noses out into the roiling bay for a bit where the BadHatter suffered some minor scathing, but we were well within the safety limits. After loading up we retired to what became our go to backup spot, the Homer Brewing Company, where the Birch Bitter facilitated both recapping the days activities as well planning the next days sport.