Saturday, June 14, 2014

cruising alaska... tuesday

as i said, after monday's excitement, we arrived at juneau at 3 pm.  we soon cleared the ship and were on our way for some whale watching.  i'd arranged this outing through . we were met at the pier and loaded on a bus for the trip to the marina.  our driver noted points of interest along the way.

we soon arrived and were introduced to Captain Scott Monroe and naturalist Luke Black of Alaska Galore Tours. ( )  In comparison to the pearl (2,394 passengers 110 crew), their boat is tiny, holding 16-18 passengers and 2 crew. this smaller capacity allows for an intimacy and access not available on the ncl arranged tours.

during the ride out to the likely viewing area, luke presented interesting facts about the humpback whale, entertained and answered questions. the time passed quickly.

we soon arrived where humpbacks had already been spotted by other boats.  that was a bit of good luck.  one might compare whale watching to fishing.  there is a difference between fishing and catching fish as there is a difference between whale watching and whale seeing. when a humpback breaches it can be 7-10 minutes, up to and hour +, before breaching again.  that's a good bit of waiting, watching and hoping between sightings. we did see several blows and a few tail displays but no pacific life moments. i failed to get any of this action on video.

watching tours have limits imposed on them for the well being of the whales.  only so close and only 30 minutes on a particular whale sighting. 30 minutes is a good amount of time but it flies. in what seemed like no time we had to pull off and head toward another possible sighting area.

as we motored toward a new sighting, Captain Monroe spotted a bull sea lion and his harem of four cows. the captain stopped engines to allow us to see and video a sea lion menage a cinq in action. nature in the raw.  not wanting to cause any sea lion coitus interruptus we soon abandoned the sea lions to their play.

after leaving the sea lions, Captain Monroe's cell phone rang.  "have a seat folks, i think we have something special for you". we quickly made our way to that something special...  ORCAs!!!  the nice thing about orcas is that they breach more often than humpies.  i was able to get some decent video of orca action.


all too soon, our time in juneau was winding down.

many thanks to captain scott monroe and naturalist luke black for a hugely exciting, entertaining and educational whale seeing tour. the sea lions were a bonus.  if i get back to juenau, id like to sail with you guys again.


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