Homer, Alaska, is a fishing village and tourist hot spot at the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula. While it has only about 5,000 permanent residents, it has quite a few nicknames: “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World” and “the cosmic hamlet by the sea” and “the end of the road.”
The only road leading into town is Sterling Highway, aka Alaska Highway 1, which connects Homer with Anchorage, 225 miles to the north. Homer has been compared to Key West because of its similar setting of being at the end of a single highway and surrounded by water – you just have to dress a lot warmer in Alaska.
Last week, I got to discover this eclectic town when I was filming Tessa Drais and her family for my ongoing documentary project “All’s Well and Fair.” I will remain forever grateful that she moved to such an enchanting place and gave Scott and me reason to visit and explore.
Homer, Alaska, was first established in 1898 as a settlement for gold miners by Homer Pennock. The miners remained unsuccessful, and the town quickly turned to fishing. Today, Homer is probably best known for halibut fishing, which tourists can participate in by choosing one of many day and half-day charters. Another option is fishing for salmon out in Kachemak Bay or along the rather unique Nick Dudiak Lagoon (aka the fishing hole). This man-made rectangle, off the bay on Homer Spit, was stocked years ago, and now draws the adult salmon back every year. It seems almost literally like shooting fish in a barrel – especially on the days when snagging is allowed. The seals also know how easy it is to grab a salmon off your hook. So watch out!
A lot of the footage was shot on and off Homer Spit, a gravel bar that extends from the main part of town into Kachemak Bay. This is where you will find the marina, the lagoon, restaurants like the excellent Little Mermaid, the famous Salty Dawg Saloon, shops on stilts, a boat graveyard, tons of RVs and tents, and the opportunity to watch bald eagles, sea otters and whales at play. While on Homer Spit, you can book fishing and sight-seeing tours and water taxi trips over to Halibut Cove, from where you can hike up to a glacier. We chose a ride-along on one of Mako’s Water Taxis and got very lucky when Lance allowed us to stay on the boat for a second ride and then took us over to Seagull Island, where we saw all the breath-taking wildlife featured in the video “Kenai Peninsula (Alaska) – In Another Minute (Week 232)” and the whale featured in this video. Thank you again, Lance!
The Tardis, however, landed along East End Road on the mainland.
Homer, Alaska, has many Bed & Breakfasts. But if you’re planning to visit in the summer, make sure you book early because they fill up quickly. The opening shot, I filmed from our private balcony at the Majestic View Bed & Breakfast, which also offered fantastic breakfast and a captain with a boat you can hire for whale-watching and fishing tours. For our last night, we managed to get the last available room in town at the Whalesong Bed & Breakfast. A place just as charming, but in walking distance to downtown restaurants, bars and the movie theater, instead of up on the hills with a view.
I shot the video in 4k on a Panasonic GH4 – except for the footage of the humpback whale, which Scott shot in 1080p on my beloved little Sony. Because my current computer isn’t capable of editing 4k footage, this whole video is finished in 1080p. I’m still amazed how much better the down-converted 4k footage looks. If you’d like to see this and future videos in full 4k (or UHD to be more precise), please help me raise funds for the web series via its Patreon page. THANK YOU!
By the way, most of the footage from Homer Spit was shot between 10pm and midnight. During the day, it’s still quite a lot brighter.
The song in this video is the instrumental version of “Stars Collide” by Josh Woodward. This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License. Thank you, Josh, for providing us with so much great music!