I know it has been some time since my big vacation into Canada and then Alaska but I did promise some photos and details of that adventure. So hold onto your hats!
First and foremost was the Whale Watching Tour in Juneau, Alaska. To preface this you have to know that Sparky, being the frugal minded fellow that he is, booked our tour through an independent company instead of through the cruise. After listening to Daniel the Naturalist on board the cruise ship talk about the whales, his interest and then the scheduled whale watching expedition we were sure we has wasted our money. We wondered if 18 hours was enough time to cancel and get a refund. But we didn’t have internet or phone service so the point was moot.
With very low expectations we boarded the little boat (could seat 16 not counting the Captain) and cruised out of the harbor. We passed sailing vessels and other little boats (which were novel for me thus the photo). For the first half hour we saw – water. Finally we spotted far away some spouting. The captain moved us closer.
We thought, “Wow! We saw a whale and even the tail!” Because our expectations were low, we were very happy. Then we moved a little closer. There were 2 females with calves and a pod of 4 other whales… They got really close to the boat. Because there were only about 8 of us onboard we were able to go out on the front and back of the boat (I did go out very briefly). Sparky ran his phone battery out taking pictures (mostly of water because he was too slow). I was more patient and got a couple decent pictures.
The whales were very active and the little ones were especially entertaining. One calf must have breached 20 times (I’m pretty sure that’s an underestimate). The other calf was practicing doing headstands in the water and would stick its tail out of the water and just wave it around and then slap the surface – again at least 15 times… And this was happening really close to the boat. But Carolyn Broughton (a fellow cruise passenger) with an expensive camera, got lots of really spectacular photos (which she shared with me)! This is what we saw and couldn’t capture (because phone cameras are not a real substitute for a professional set up).
We definitely got our money’s worth! And the funny part was trying to keep from spoiling other’s fun. The cruise sponsored whale watching was what we had expected – see a couple spouting whales, see a few humps out of the water, and maybe if you are really lucky see a tail come out of the water as they dive. And our fellow passengers were really pleased with their experiences. Sparky and I just smiled and congratulated them and then gave each other knowing little smiles.