Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The most prominent and popular feature of the Spit is the small boat harbor. Hundreds of boats- everything from commercial crab boats to recreational sailing sloops call the harbor home. The Coast Guard buoy tender Hickory also ties up in Homer and the Alaska State ferry system brings in the Kennicott and the Tustumena. Occasionally a large cruise ship disgorges hundreds of tourists but none of them maintain a regular schedule here.
The water is often quite calm off the end of the Spit...but the daybreeze and tidal currents can suddenly make the three mile crossing to the east side of Kachemak Bay quite dangerous.

The Lands' End hotel and several townhouse dwellings curl around the end of the Spit. At low tide, as shown here, a nice gravel beach provides a nice surface for beachcombers. But when the highest spring tides come in the waves can sometimes push driftwood right up against the lower decks of these buildings.

Sandy beaches line the southern edge of the spit during low tides. But six hours later the water fills in the beach right up to the rock lined road edge.

Just a few miles to the southwest the Mount Augustine volcanoe fumes and vents on a regular basis. This most active of many local volcanoes could erupt violently and cause a tsunami which could quickly cover the Spit and lower Homer with a wall of seawater.

In the winter most of the Spit businesses close down and snow blankets the beaches. These townhouses cast a lonely image across the Bay.

Occassionally winter gets cold enough to freeze up the harbor and lock most of the smaller boats in place until Spring brings warmer temps. This 2007 ice-up occurred in March and caused the Homer Chamber to delay the annual King Salmon Derby by one week. Usually, though, temperatures are mild in Homer, rarely getting down to the teens.

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