Posts Tagged ‘whales’

whale videos

Visit my site on Youtube to see some videos I posted from my last whale watching tour…



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A few days ago in Juneau I went on another whale-watching boat ride and it was AMAZING! There’s an area in the bay near Juneau where the currents attract lots of fish, which consequently attract lots of whales. We saw 8 or 9 different humpback whales, including 2 or 3 calves swimming with their mothers.

The boat captains can’t directly chase whales, but they can guess where the whales are headed, guide the boat into their path, and wait. This is what our captain did. Two ginormous whales were traveling side by side, swimming and diving and a pretty good pace, when they noticed our boat ahead of them. They slowed and then floated at the top of the water, blowing air and occasionally calling (which sounded kind of like a gigantic stomach growling). They drifted to within 10 feet of our boat. !!!! Wow. I was so awed that I forgot about my camera for much of the time, but when I finally came to my senses I was able to take a few close-up photos.

They were so close to our boat that I had to zoom out, and then I still couldn’t fit all of them in the picture! After they moved away from us, our captain radioed another whale-watching boat in the area and bragged “I think all my passengers got covered in whale snot.”

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Juneau Photo Safari

Last week when we were in Juneau I took advantage of the crew perk of being able to go on tours for free. If there is space on a tour, I can get a free ticket to go as a “guide.” All that means is I have to complete a one-page form afterwards giving my impression of how the tour went. Easy peasy! I got to go on a 5-hour photo safari, and it was really enjoyable.

First we went to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau (gorgeous!) and practiced landscape photography:

I also played around with some macro photography of the state tree – Sitka Spruce:

You can eat the new buds and they taste like lime. In fact, explorers and captains in the old days used to eat them to help stave off scurvy. Aaaargh.

Next we went on a small boat for a whale watching tour. I knew my camera wouldn’t be great for this kind of photography since I do not have a powerful lens for zooming in on far off animals, but I was excited for the chance to see some wildlife. We saw a few different Humpback Whales, which I still find thrilling even though it’s not so new anymore. I even managed to get photos of one of them! They’re not the greatest, but I was pleased that you can still identify that it is indeed a whale diving:

We also saw these Stellar Sea Lions, which are larger than the California Sea Lions I wrote about earlier in San Francisco. They like to rest on the buoys:

I’m hoping to go on more tours as my teaching schedule allows.

P.S. We are now down to yellow level for the Norovirus alert. I’m hoping we’ll go back to green soon so I can have deck privileges again.

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