Saturday, July 16, 2016

Alaskan Cruise: Juneau (Whale Watching)

On my recent cruise to Alaska, Marilyn and I went whale watching in Juneau, Alaska.  One of the remarkable things about our time in Juneau was the weather!  It was 70 degrees Fahrenheit the day we were there.  Like all of our excursions, we rode a bus to the tour location.  Along they way, we were told over and over, "We just don't get weather like this!" It was a gorgeous day for a boat ride. Although it is the state capital of Alaksa, Juneau is a pretty small place. We drove through town and past the Mendenhall Glacier to get to this body of water where we went whale watching. We rode in a boat like you seen in the photos above. There were areas upstairs and downstairs where you could sit indoors on a cold and rainy day, but we spent our time outside on the back of the upper deck.  Marilyn remarked that she had been there a number of times in cloudy weather and did not even know that all these mountains were there, as they had been obscured by clouds and mist. 

Here are some of the better photos I took on our whale watching boat ride.

Above, you can see a hanging glacier. It's called hanging because it does not come down to the water.

The boat's captain knew just where to take us to find these sea lions, basking in the sun.  Clearly the sea lions were loving the sunny weather.

Another glacier above.

Now, as for the whales... Marilyn and I decided that, unlike the sea lions, the whales were not fond of the sunny weather.  They were playing hard to get.  It turns out earlier in the day, when it was likely cooler out, there was a mama and a baby humpback whale in this body of water and they gave some tourists quite a show.  I met a young couple the next day and they showed me spectacular photos of the baby whale completely out of the water, breaching, frolicking, and splashing. By the time we got there in the late afternoon, we found mama and baby but they were all tuckered out. We saw the whales spout water, spout water, spout water out their blow holes, and then their backs would briefly appear just before the tucked under the surface of the water.  Fun facts:  I learned that the humpback whales blow the air out of their blow holes at the rate of 200 miles per hour. I learned that the humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii each year.  Apparently, when in Alaska, they eat like crazy, but they don't eat in Hawaii. 

Below, is the one shot I got of the whale's back. I don't know if it was mama or baby humpback.

The next few photos were taken when we got back to the cruise ship.  The days were really long and it seemed to never really get dark while we were in Alaska.  I loved the light on the mountains surrounding Juneau.

1 comment:

Justin said...

That scenery is beautiful. I just can't get over all those sea lions. And 70 degrees, wow! That sounds pretty warm for Juneau. Maybe my wife and I should look into it for our next vacation. Too bad you didn't see a lot of whales, but you did see a lot of amazing things.