By Randi Somers
A cruise aboard the Danny J and Stormbird last Friday evening transported 74 Homer residents to Halibut Cove for an opportunity to view new art works and savor desserts and wine at the gallery.
An annual season opener, the excursion is thought of as the start of summer by many fans of the artistic village on the far side of Kachemak Bay. Visitors were also able to enjoy delicious soups, breads and desserts at the Saltry Restaurant.
With most of May bringing cold and windy weather, many people were thinking twice about going out on the water. However, sunshine and gentle seas blessed the 30-minute cruise across the Bay to the Cove, six miles southeast of Homer.
Two prominent Halibut Cove artists captained the boats. Jay Greene ran the Stormbird and Marion Tillion Beck captained the classic old wooden ferry, the Danny J.
After a delicious meal at the Saltry Restaurant, visitors strolled east along the boardwalk — which happens to be quite a wonderous wander through nature’s artistry — to the gallery. There, they admired the new works by Jay Greene, Marion Tillion Beck, Beka Thoning, Toni Mauri, Sydney Bishop, Jan Thurston, Tara Alverson, Tracy Tillion, Annette Bellamy and Kay McNevin, among others.
Visitors also saw the certificate of excellence awarded by Trip Advisor that billed Halibut Cove among the top 10 percent of the places to visit in the world. Also on display was Marion Beck’s award from the Homer Council on the Arts as Artist of the Year. She was recognized for her outstanding professional accomplishments and service to the community.
As a bonus, two sea otters swam by the boats on the way back to the Homer harbor, providing more photo opportunities for the travelers.
The summer cruises to Halibut Cove usually include circling around Gull Island to view the many species of sea birds nesting there. Excursions can be booked online or at the Cove’s small shop on the boardwalk near the harbor. If the boat isn’t full, some visitors are able to just show up at the boats tied up on the dock below the Salty Dawg Saloon and board to buy their tickets.
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