Munsey’s Summer 2017 News

I began our 2017 season in a hospital bed and didn’t know how we would make it through our summer, but I forgot about three things: the toughness of our crew to fill in for me, the magical curative qualities of nature, and our wonderful guests, always there to lend me a helping hand. Once I returned home, I managed to go out on our boat, the Mary Beth, with our guests nearly every day. I appreciated each moment this summer offered and reflected on how lucky I am to have a job guiding wildlife viewers and sport fishermen on Kodiak Island. The best part of this job is sharing our home here in the wilderness with our amazing guests from around the world. 

We and our guests were excited to have Mary Schwarzhans back for her fifth year, performing magical spells in the kitchen and keeping the camp running smoothly. Our camp helper this year was Emily France from Willow, Alaska. 

On July 12th, Craig and Pam Smith from Australia and Zach and Eli Culbertson from New York arrived as our first group of the summer season. I unfortunately never met this group, but Mike reported their adventures to me. They were greeted their first morning by our resident doe and two fawns, and they watched seals and sea otters and saw a red fox, eagles and a bear. Zach and Eli had to leave after only two days, but Craig and Pam watched a sow with two cubs from a distance and got closer to a single bear on the beach. On their last morning, they cruised toward the mouth of the bay where six huge fin whales surfaced near the boat. 

John and Jane Birman, Dave and Sarah Jane Vaux, and Garry and Pauline Hall, all from Australia, arrived  July 16th. Their first afternoon, they saw sea otters and several fin whales; two of which, surfaced beside the boat. I arrived home that evening to a wonderful welcome from Mike, Mary, Emily, and this fun-loving group of Australians. Garry caught a 20-lb. halibut (just in case there is anyone left who hasn’t seen the photo), and John, Pauline, Dave, and Garry had a great time salmon fishing while Jane and Sarah Jane relaxed. This group watched a sow with three, large two-year-old cubs fish, growl, and fight over salmon. 

On July 20th, we greeted Frank and Tracey De Bacco from Pennsylvania. Frank and Tracey enjoyed a sunny day salmon fishing in Brown’s Lagoon, and kept seven salmon and released six. One day, Frank, Tracey, and Mike watched a sow with two cubs, a sow with one cub, and a single bear, and on another day of fishing, Frank caught a 20 pound halibut and his limit of salmon. On their last morning, the De Baccos saw 12 orcas soon after leaving our mooring. One whale breached several times, and Mike snapped a great photo of her. 

Later in the afternoon on July 25th, the orcas were still frolicking near our lodge to greet the plane carrying Andy Vena, Albert Strydesky, John Mayer, Frank Bialas, Silvio Squieri, and Rob Varvar. Andy, Albert, and John are old friends who have visited us many times, and Rob joined us several years ago for a deer hunt, but this was the first of hopefully many visits for Frank and Sil. After lunch, Mike took the guys out for a closer glimpse of the orcas, and then they cruised north where they saw sea otters and fin whales. This group enjoyed a fun day of salmon fishing in Brown’s Lagoon when they kept 20 salmon and released 22. On another day, they kept six halibut and released ten, and the following day, Al and Rob became the first inductees of the year into our halibut club (40 lbs. or larger). 

On August 3rd, Christie Lahusen and her boyfriend, Robert Stankovic, both from Oregon, Christie’s father, Larry, from Canada, and her brother, Derek, from Utah arrived for a 3-day stay. One day, this group saw a sow with three newborn cubs, a sow with two newborn cubs, a sow with a yearling, a sow with three 2-year old cubs, and a single bear, and on another day, they watched a large, old sow catch a salmon in front of them on a small stream. On their last morning, they saw foxes, eagles, sea otters, and two fin whales. 

On August 6th, we were excited to welcome back Bill, Judy, Michael, Brian, and Tess Micheli from Illinois. Tess wasted no time proving her fishing skills were still sharp. She was reeling in a 40-lb. halibut when her Uncle Mike hooked a 60 pounder. Awhile later, Bill joined our halibut club by landing a 52-lb. halibut. This group battled wind and rain one day to walk up a small river and watch a sow with three cubs demonstrate her fishing prowess. She fished near them all afternoon. They also saw two single bears, a large male, and a sow with a single cub. 

On August 11th, we greeted Mike and Janna Turpin from Florida and Skip and Susan Parker from Nevada. On their first day, this group watched a bear fish and tend to her three young cubs. On August 13th, they were joined by Hannah Hillebrand and her boyfriend, Logan, both from Oregon. This group watched two, young, sub-adult bears fish and play on a log, and on the next day, they saw a sow with two cubs chase away a single bear and then fish in front of them. Skip and Susan enjoyed the excitement of halibut fishing in shallow water, and Susan joined our halibut club with a 50 pounder. 

On August 16th, we were thrilled to welcome back Andy Erickson from Rhode Island and his grandson, Drew McDonnel, from Seattle. Joining Andy and Drew were Bob and Tami Bancroft from Indiana, and Andrea Schmidt and Bernhard Diemer, both from Austria. This group enjoyed four great days of bear viewing. They sat on the bank of a small stream and watched a sow with a yearling cub fish in front of them. Mom caught several fish and ignored the people, while the cub watched the humans and growled. On another day, a sow with two newborn cubs fished near them. On their last day, this group watched a sow catch and eat fish, while her two cubs wrestled, boxed, and climbed a tree above her.

On August 21st, we were happy to welcome back Bud Coughlin, Lisa Bill, and Jim Bill, and we were pleased to meet first-time members of the group, Bill Mullin, and Yocasta and Joanna Hudson, all from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This group enjoyed great halibut fishing. On their first day, Bill, Joanna, Jim, and Bud joined our halibut club, and they caught their limit of halibut by 2:00pm. Bill caught a 150 pounder, our largest halibut of the year, and Yocasta caught a 70-lb. halibut. This group also had good pink salmon fishing, each person catching his or her limit two days in a row. In addition to fishing, everyone enjoyed excellent whale watching , and one afternoon, they sat on a riverbank and laughed as they watched a young bear play with dead salmon.

On August 26th we greeted Dan Robertson from Nevada, and Gene Fanucchi, Gordy Sexton, Howard Hancock, Mike Saner, and John Mendoza, all from California. These guys have had a standing reservation with us for a decade, and we appreciate them. Over the years, they have become friends, and we always look forward to seeing them. Last year, they enjoyed good weather, but this year they were here for a storm that affected their fishing. Nevertheless, they caught their limit of halibut on their first day of fishing, and Howard and John both joined our halibut club. Once the weather allowed us to get to Greenbanks, the guys caught several salmon, including seven silver salmon. 

On September 5th, we were excited to welcome back Tony and Karin Ross from Pennsylvania for a 12-day stay. Joining Tony and Karin, were Bill, Terrie, and Donny Stone from Canada. This group spent two spectacular days bear viewing on a salmon river. One day, they photographed a tolerant, blonde sow and her two, tiny cubs. After fishing, she stretched out to nurse her cubs, and when one of the cubs bit her, she growled and hit him. On another day, this group photographed a huge, old, male bear as he calmly walked down a stream. Donny proved to be a master salmon fisherman when he landed four silvers, and Karin joined our halibut club with a 60 pounder. 

On Sertember 10th, Jaromir and Jana Jiroudek and Jiri and Jamilla Kalina, all from the Czech Republic joined Tony and Karin. Instead of sitting idly, waiting for the plane carrying our new guests to arrive, Tony caught a 74-lb. halibut! On a gorgeous autumn day, this group watched 25 bears, including several sets of sows and cubs On their second day, they were thrilled to see a huge, old bear. The weather turned ugly on day three, but these hearty souls braved wind and rain to hike two hours to watch bears. On their final full day, they opted for a marine-mammal tour, and we saw sea lions, seals, sea otters, porpoises, and fin and humpback whales. 

Tony and Karin spent the final two days of our season with us, and they wasted no time topping off their fish boxes by catching six silver salmon. Their final day was sunny and beautiful as they sat on a river bank and watched nineteen bears, including two small cubs that played on a log and tried to grab the salmon swimming below them.

It is difficult to explain our bear-viewing experience to people when they first inquire about our trips. Guests who have been bear viewing elsewhere tell us they much prefer the experience we offer because here, they see bears that have not been habituated to humans. One guest described it as, “Stepping into the bears’ parlor and seeing how they live.” To get to these “wild bears,” though, requires effort because If they were easy to access, they would be surrounded by humans. On our trips, you must take a 1 ½-hour ride in our big boat, followed by a ½-hour boat ride in our whaler through shallow, tidal waters. Then, you must hike for 2-hours over a rocky beach and narrow, uneven bear trails. It is a wonderful but rugged experience, and it is not for everyone.

Thanks to our wonderful guests this summer, and a special thanks to all of you for putting up with my physical limitations. I plan to be 100% by next summer!  Thank you, Mary, for being wonderful, creative, and always funny, and thanks, Emily, for doing a great job. I’m already looking forward to next summer!

If you would like to read my weekly blog on Kodiak wildlife and life in the wilderness on Kodiak Island, you can find it at  I post every Sunday and would love your input. 


Mid Summer 2017

I believe nature keeps me sane and allows me to stay balanced, and this summer, I think it has helped me heal.

My summer did not begin well. I would even venture to say July 2017 was one of the worst months of my life. In early July, I began losing the use of my arms and legs and ended up in the hospital in Anchorage for a week. I was diagnosed with Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS), a disease in which a person’s immune system turns on the nervous system and begins stripping myelin from the nerve sheath. GBS can be quite dangerous if allowed to progress to the point where even the chest wall is paralyzed, and the patient must be placed on a ventilator to breathe. Luckily, I received treatment long before it got to that point, and the neurologist told me nearly every patient completely recovers from GBS. I was told it would take me a year to fully recover, and while I knew I would have a difficult summer with my slowed mobility, at least I would get better.

On the last day I was in the hospital, I called my brother, Russell, and his family in Kansas, and we had a nice conversation. Two hours later, my sister-in-law called me back to tell me after our phone conversation, Russell went out to mow the grass in 100-degree heat and dropped dead from a heart attack. My world crashed down around me. Russell and I were very close, and I felt as if I were in a daze the next day when the doctor released me from the hospital, and I made my way to the airport.

In Kodiak, a van whisked me to Andrew Airways, and soon, I was in a floatplane flying home. I felt numb and very tired as we skirted emerald mountains, plunging waterfalls, and deep valleys formed by glaciers and cut by rivers. I knew I would cherish my last conversation with my brother and would always be grateful that for whatever reason, I had placed the call to him only an hour before he died.

I hated arriving late for our summer trips. I had already missed the arrival of our wonderful cook and lodge organizer, Mary, and our new camp helper, Emily. Our first group of guests had come and gone, and I hadn’t even been able to say hi to them. Our second group of guests had just arrived in camp that day, and I wasn’t sure I could summon the energy to be a good hostess.

As the plane circled our lodge and came in low for a landing, I looked at our dock and nearly burst into tears. There stood Mike, Mary, and Emily, and Mary held a beautifully designed “Welcome Home” sign for me. With their help, I stepped off the plane and hugged each of them. Even Emily, who didn’t yet know me, gave me a big hug. I’ve never been so happy to be home in my life.

Our group of six Australian guests met me at the dock. Two in the group were nurses, so they understood my condition, and they were all very kind and patient with me. Before I knew it, the Australians involved us all in an interactive murder game, lasting their entire stay. The game was great fun and had us each trusting no one else in camp. It did not surprise me when Mike won the game by murdering the most people. As if my summer hadn’t already been bad enough, Mike even murdered me!

Not long after my return home, a pod of Orcas frolicked and fed near our lodge for an entire day, and Mike got some great photos.  An abundant, sustained pink salmon run this summer has provided food for everything from Orcas to bears to eagles. Our fishermen have also enjoyed catching salmon.

The most uplifting news for me this season was to learn that a sow we have watched for the past eight years showed up this summer with three newborn cubs. The sow was badly injured by another bear when she was young, and her rear end was flayed open. The injury was so bad, we didn’t think she would survive. We were happy and surprised to see her the next summer, and while the scar has faded over the years, it is still obvious. She has always been a favorite bear for us and our guests because she seems to like to perform in front of us, often catching a fish and then turning toward the photographers, fish held high while the cameras whir. The walls in our dining room are covered with photos of bears, and many of the photos are of her. As the years passed, and she appeared by herself summer after summer, we assumed she was a barren sow and wondered if the horrific injury she received when she was little more than a cub had anything to do with her inability to reproduce. We couldn’t have been more surprised when she showed up this summer with three tiny cubs trailing behind her. She appears to be a good mother, and all those years of fishing on her own have made her a proficient provider. She still doesn’t seem afraid of us, but she keeps her distance from humans now because now she needs to worry about more than just herself.

Life throws us curve balls sometimes, and I am very fortunate to have wonderful friends and family and a beautiful place to heal. Our guests have been great this summer, and I’m sure they have no idea how much their enthusiasm and laughter have meant to me. There is no place in the world I’d rather be than sitting on a boat in Uyak Bay on Kodiak Island. We hope you will join us soon for one of our adventures to see the “Real Alaska.”

You can read more about life in the wilderness and the wildlife of Kodiak Island on my personal blog at: .Please leave me a message there to say hi.




Spring 2017

You are on a camping trip with a group of friends somewhere in Alaska.  After you set up camp for the evening, two of the guys in the group decide they want to hike up a rocky ridge.  When your friends don’t return to camp by dinner time, you and the other campers set out in search of them.  You hear one of your missing campers shriek in pain, and you hurry toward the sound where you find the two young men at the base of a cliff.  One friend is complaining loudly about his ankle, which is badly deformed.  The other young man says he just has a few bumps and bruises, but he doesn’t remember what happened; one minute they were on top the cliff, and the next thing he knew, he was at the bottom of the cliff.  He thinks he lost consciousness briefly.  What is your assessment of these two patients, what about their conditions worries you, and how will you treat them?  Do either one of them need to be evacuated?  If so, should it be an emergency evacuation or a non-emergency evacuation?  If you can only evacuate one of the patients at a time, which one would you evacuate first?


In the Wilderness First Responder recertification class Mike and I took a couple of weeks ago, this is the type of scenario we were asked to consider.  While I hope never to have to make such difficult decisions in real life, I am glad I have the best training possible to deal with accidents and illnesses in the field.  When we take guests bear viewing and fishing in the Kodiak Wilderness, we know we are responsible for their safety, and we take this duty seriously.

We sometimes have future or potential future guests worry about whether they will be safe if they go bear viewing with us.  I applaud their concern for their safety and welcome any and all questions about the safety of our operation.  The truth is that there are no guidelines in Alaska for bear viewing guides.  You may get a guide with thirty years of experience guiding bear viewers, or you may have a bear viewing guide with almost no experience around bears.  You should ask an airlines, an outfitter, or anyone else you plan to book a bear viewing trip with, how much experience the guide has around bears, what level of wilderness medical training he or she has, and what other appropriate licenses the guide has.

In our operation, Mike is a Master Guide with 45-years of experience around bears.  He grew up at Munsey’s Bear Camp and began helping his Dad in the field at an early age.  He has spent his life around bears.  Mike and I are both Coast-Guard-licensed boat captains, we are both fishing guides, and we are both wilderness first responders.  We carry radios, satellite phones, and extensive first-aid kits with us, and we encourage our guests to share their health-related and allergy concerns with us.  We don’t expect our guests to have a problem in the field, but if they do, we want to be prepared to handle it.

The purpose of this blog isn’t to brag about us and our preparedness.  I want to remind anyone reading this post that no matter where you are planning to vacation, you need to do your research and be certain you are booking your trip with someone who will put your safety first. Just because the guide has a fancy website does not mean he or she is qualified to lead you on an expedition into the wilderness.

Our recent Wilderness First Responder class was not the only inspiration for this post.  I was also inspired by my failure to research our recent vacation.  We just returned from a trip to the Caribbean, and while I checked out the places where we planned to stay, I did not Google the airlines upon which we were planning to travel; even though I had never before heard of Insel Air, and we had several flights booked on Insel Air.  Unfortunately, we paid for my sloppy preparations.  Insel Air was a disaster, and if I had taken five minutes to Google the airlines, I would have read the horrible reviews from other recent travelers.  It was a reminder to me check out every aspect of my vacation next time. Vacations are expensive and precious, and while you can’t plan for every variable, such as the weather or unusual delays, you can minimize the likelihood of trouble by doing the research and asking questions.

We have had a tough, cold winter here on Kodiak Island, and I can’t wait for Spring!!  Spring doesn’t usually happen here until mid to late May, but the days are getting longer, and each day, the sun is a little higher in the sky, so I know warmer temperatures are on the horizon.  We are looking forward to another busy summer season here, and I’m already getting excited!



Summer 2016 at Munsey’s Bear Camp

Each summer, nearly 50% of our guests are returnees, and some have been visiting our lodge for many years.  These folks become our friends, and after spending many hours together in the field and on the back deck of our boat, we know each other well.  This year it was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to four of our guests.  Jim Clay only first visited our lodge last summer, but he and his buddies, including Tom Bradley, a long-time friend of ours, were scheduled to visit us from July 20th to the 25th.  When Jim passed away suddenly a few weeks before their planned trip, the rest of the group canceled their plans.  Andy Vena Sr. has been to our lodge many times with his son, Andy Jr., and their friends.  His son hoped to bring him back up here next summer, but Andy Sr. passed away after suffering a stroke this summer.  Jean Matusik and her husband, Ed, have been visiting our lodge since the 1980s, and I know how much they both enjoyed watching and photographing bears.  Jean passed away suddenly this summer just before her scheduled trip to see us, and Ed sent her ashes to us to scatter in the spot where she spent so many wonderful hours watching bears.  Gene and Diane Fantini and their friends have also made many trips to our lodge, and Diane and I frequently correspond via e-mail.  Sadly, Gene passed away in August after a difficult battle with cancer.  The loss of each of these friends felt like a blow, and we will never forget the great times we had with them.

I’ll follow up that sad news with the happy news that Mary Schwarzhans returned this year once again to dazzle us with her amazing meals and wonderful personality.  Mary’s friend, Katie Keaveny, assisted her this summer.

 On July 10th, we were excited to welcome back Mary L., Mary T., Lida, Doug, and Katherine Hihn, all from South Carolina, and we enjoyed meeting their friend, Erik Beard, from Colorado.  The Hihns have visited our lodge many times over the years, and we were happy to begin our season in the company of friends.  On our first afternoon cruise, we saw a humpback whale, two fin whales, seals, sea otters, eagles, puffins, foxes, and deer.  On a day of bear viewing, this group enjoyed “family day” when they saw a mother bear (sow) with three newborn cubs, a sow with two two-year-old cubs, and two groups of a sow with three one-year-old cubs. The Hihns and Erik started off our summer of good halibut fishing when Erik caught a 65 pounder, and Mary L. caught a 55-pound halibut. 

Duane Goldman and his son Garret, from Indiana, arrived on July 15th.  These guys enjoyed a gorgeous, sunny day salmon fishing in Brown’s Lagoon.  After a grilled-salmon lunch, they continued to fish and ended the day with nine salmon.  On July 17th,  Yariv and Ronit Gilboa from California joined the Goldmans.  On the Gilboas’ first afternoon, they saw a sow with three cubs and a single bear. On another day, this group watched a bear catch a fish on the tidal flats and followed another bear as he walked down a small stream. They snapped photos of a baby eagle sitting in its nest and marveled at large rafts of sea otters and huge fin whales.

On July 25th, we greeted Bob, Sandy, and Susan Comstock and Eileen Birmingham, all from California, and Holly Adams and Claire Hesselin from New Zealand.  Holly was our guide on our New Zealand trip last winter, and Claire is also a guide for Active Adventures in New Zealand.  On their first afternoon, this group enjoyed watching two fin whales swim past our boat, and on a day of fishing, they kept 12 salmon and released 12 more.  We took a mid-day break in the fishing action to eat grilled salmon and sip Sauvignon Blanc from the Comstock Winery.  Thank you, Bob and Sandy!! Everyone in this group caught halibut, and Holly and Sandy joined our halibut club!  This group enjoyed some great bear viewing, but one of the highlights was when they watched three yearling cubs play while their mother caught salmon.

On August 6th, we greeted Bjorn and Ava Karlssen and Stephan and Ingrid Sigold, all from Sweden.  On the first afternoon, we saw a cow and calf killer whale soon after we left our mooring.  One afternoon, this group watched a bear catch and eat fish, and awhile later, a sow with two newborn cubs fished near them.  On another day, they watched a very cooperative bear fish on a river.  He walked over to the group, stood on his hind legs to look at them, and then continued to fish and perform for them.  One day, this group opted to spend the day on the boat, so we cruised to the mouth of the bay, where we saw Stellar sea lions, sea otters, puffins, and fin whales.  Then, to our delight, six Dall’s porpoises swam in our bow wake for several minutes, darting in and out and over and under the wake.

Michael Acela

On August 11th, we welcomed back our good friend Andy Erickson.  Andy was accompanied by his granddaughter, Christina Ulrich, and her boyfriend, Michael Acela, both from Pennsylvania. Joining Andy, Christina, and Michael were Jim and Mary Hill from Colorado.  This group watched a sow interact with her two newborn cubs and photographed another bear as it walked up a small stream.  They enjoyed two exciting days of halibut fishing.  Christina started things off by catching a halibut soon after we anchored, and later that day, Michael caught a 128 pounder, our largest of the summer.  The following afternoon belonged to Andy, though, when he caught and released a 40 pounder and kept a 77-lb. halibut. 

On August 16th, we were thrilled to welcome back Jerry Burblis from Alaska and Bill and Brian Micheli from Illinois, and we were pleased to meet Steve and Mark Stewart from Colorado.  On their first afternoon, we sat in the midst of approximately eight fin whales while they surfaced around us.  On another day, this group saw 20 bears, including a sow with three newborn cubs, and a sow with two large, two-year-old cubs.  They saw a bear sleeping on the trail, and when he heard them, he stood on his hind legs to get a closer look before wandering into the brush.  Bill caught the first silver salmon of the summer, and on an afternoon of halibut fishing, Jerry caught a 30 pounder, Mark caught a 70 pounder, and Bill landed a 50-lb. halibut.

On August 21st, we greeted Phillip and Gabriela Strub from Switzerland and Kevin and Christine McCullen from England.  On their first day of bear viewing, they photographed a sleepy bear and watched several bears fish near them.  The next day, a sow with two yearling cubs saw them, came over and sat on her haunches while she studied them, and then apparently after deciding the humans were no threat, she continued fishing.  Kevin videotaped an altercation between a mother bear and her cub. Mom caught a salmon, and when the cub tried to wrestle it away from her, she whacked him in the side of the head and growled at him.  In the end, though, the cub still managed to steal her fish.

We welcomed back our fishing buddies on August 26th.  Dan Robertson from Nevada was joined by his friends, Gordy Sexton, Howard Hancock, Gene Fanucchi, John Mendoza, and Michael Saner, all from California.  Silver salmon were in short supply this year, but these guys enjoyed fantastic halibut fishing, and this was Gordy’s year.  He caught three club halibut:  an 87 pounder, a 62 pounder, and a 42 pounder.  Plus, he caught the most silver salmon of the group.  Dan caught an 82-lb. halibut, Mike landed a 55 pounder, John caught a 48 pounder, and Gene caught and released a 40 pounder (always the sportsman!).  They caught all those fish and enjoyed the most gorgeous stretch of weather of the summer!

On September 5th, we were happy to welcome back Tony and Karin Ross from Pennsylvania and were pleased to have them with us for a ten-day stay.  Joining Karin and Tony were Bill and Sue Boon from Nevada and Nino and Celine Veronese from Switzerland.  This trip was Nino’s 75th birthday gift from his daughter, Celine.  This group of great hikers was rewarded with excellent bear viewing. They watched sows with newborn cubs and sows with yearlings. Several bears fished next to them while they sat on a riverbank, and two young bears entertained them by climbing on a log and diving into the river.  One of the bears timed his dive perfectly and surfaced with a salmon in his mouth.  Another tolerant bear amused everyone with her technique of snorkeling for salmon.  On their last evening, we celebrated Nino’s birthday with a delicious cake prepared by Mary and fantastic entertainment provided by Tony.

On September 15th, Tony and Karin were joined by Fred and Paula Hooper from Rhode Island and John and Leslie Murphy from Massachusetts.  This group braved wind and rain one day to experience great bear viewing.  Several bears fished close to them, and one was so comfortable with their presence she took a nap near them.  The sun shined the following day, and Tony and Karin enjoyed a beautiful afternoon halibut fishing, while the rest of the group walked up a side stream where they watched several sets of sows and cubs.  On the last full day of our summer season, this group had the best bear viewing of the summer.  They weren’t sure how many bears they saw, but at one time, six bears fished close to them.  When I picked them up at the end of the day and asked how their day was, they said, “Incredible!”

We had another wonderful summer here at Munsey’s Bear Camp.  We endured a few rainy days, but overall, we had great weather.  Whales have become so commonplace the last several years that I forget to mention them, but we saw whales nearly every day this summer, and we saw hundreds of sea otters as we cruised around the bay.  I love watching the looks of joy on the faces of our guests when we cruise past a sleeping sea otter or see a pup sitting on its mother’s stomach.

Mike and I want to express our condolences to the families and friends of Jim Clay, Andy Vena Sr., Jean Matusik, and Gene Fantini.  They will live in our hearts forever.

Thanks to Mary for her wonderful meals and Katie for her help.  Thanks to all of our guests for making our summer special.  If you would like to read my weekly blog on Kodiak wildlife and living in the wilderness on Kodiak Island, you can find it at  I post every Sunday and would love your input.