Alaska Day 19: Doing Nothing on Homer Spit

Alaska Day 19: Doing Nothing on Homer Spit

There are endless opportunities for fun, excitement, and adventure in and around Homer, from sea kayaking and halibut charters to a day trip across the bay to Seldovia. But sometimes it’s a good idea just to see where the day takes you. Plus, we’ve booked what feels like the best accommodation in town so we decide to get our money’s worth and enjoy it a little.

Our three nights on Homer Spit are spent in the Captain’s Suite, a beautiful one room studio we found on Airbnb. Located on the west side of the Spit, its floor to ceiling windows open out onto a private deck overlooking the beach. This vantage point, 8 feet above the beach, means we can open the curtains and look out over the water towards the mountains beyond without leaving the comfort of our bed; It’s one heck of a place to wake up.
Eventually we force ourselves to get up, get dressed and go in search of breakfast. One particularly promising looking place has a handwritten note on the door: ‘Sorry. Closed for the season due to the fires. Thanks and see you next year.’ These devastating fires are a good 80 miles away but they are clearly impacting on businesses across the entire Kenai Peninsula.

A helpful lady in an adjacent store recommends The Bagel Shop as an alternative so we head into town for what turns out to be of the best breakfasts of our trip.

At the neck of the Spit, shortly before it reaches the mainland, we pass what is popularly known as the boat graveyard. This is a wonderfully photogenic collection of maybe 20 or so boats in various states of decay and disrepair. There are small fishing boats standing in dry dock cradles, larger vessels with artwork painted on top of rusting hulls, and assorted items maritime paraphernalia scattered around the place.

Most distinctive all is a rotting WWII supply boat with pirate flags at the windows. And this, it turns out, is home to the family that lives here and owns all the boats. In the 1990s, Bob and Judy Cousins arrived here with six children and bought these three acres of land and the WWII boat, and began to build a home in its remains. More boats were added to the collection over the years but they eventually moved back to the Lower 48. However, in around 2015, his eldest daughter Cassier and her husband Drew decided to make this their home and they now live here with their young child, and a niece and nephew.

The weather today is amazing, the continuation of an uncharacteristically hot summer (with all its consequences, good and bad), and we need only t-shirts when we return to the Spit for a leisurely stroll along the shore. The whole place has a pleasantly bohemian feel to it, with tents pitched directly on the beach and the remains of campfires waiting to be washed away by the tide.

We buy a coffee, and sit on a driftwood log to watch the world go by. Sometimes it really is best to do absolutely nothing.

I say ‘nothing’, but that’s until I get the overwhelming urge to run down the beach into the sea. After all, it’s not often that the weather in Alaska is conducive to a quick dip, is it? And all I’ll say on the experience is that the frigid waters of Kachemak Bay are probably best left to be enjoyed by the sea otters that bob along the shoreline.

After drying off we go over the road to Coal Point Seafood for our first taste of King Crab. We share a single leg and are suitably impressed; it’s far from cheap but one of those dishes that you really have to try when the opportunity arises to enjoy it fresh off the boat.

What else? We take a walk around the harbor, spot bald eagles on the rooftops, have a look around the many and varied galleries and craft stores, and then return to the Captain’s Suite to gaze out over the beach and chill.

One place I’ve been particularly looking forward to visiting is Homer Brewing Company, a brewery and taproom that has been operating here since 1996, and in the evening we call in on the way back from a trip into town to buy dinner. Like all good craft breweries, they do a flight sampler so I get to choose six beers from an impressively extensive list.

Sadly, while the assorted pale ales, IPAs and stouts are all great and the guy working there friendly, we’re his only customers so it’s not as buzzing as it might have been. Still, I drink the beer, get the t-shirt and return to our lodging ready for dinner and with my growing affection for Homer further enhanced.

From the bears and beer to its seafood and scenery, we have absolutely loved it here; it’s a place we’d definitely like to return to one day.