The first stop our cruise ship made was in Juneau, Alaska. We arrived fairly early in the morning and while walking on deck, Ron & I watched the banks slowly come into view. Snowcapped mountains covered with pine gradually began to appear through the misty fog. The weather was surprisingly mild; just a little drizzly and cool enough for a light jacket. We stayed on deck as the morning wore on and the ship eventually pulled into port. Our first excursion for the day was to watch the whales in Puget Sound. We stopped in Juneau for our shuttle bus to the boat. During the excursion we saw not only whale, but sea lions and bald eagles. Here are just a few of the pictures we took that morning.
|Ron had his picture taken with Sarah Palin...|
|Capt. Larry was one of our guides for the morning...|
|This was the first sighting of whale...|
|Another shot of the blow...|
|Humpback flipper waving hello...|
|A pod of humpback bubble netting...|
|Humpback whale tail... each one is like a fingerprint on humans. No two are the same...|
|A group of sea lions warming themselves in the sun...|
|Two bald eagle along the shore...|
Just a quick recap of the excursion. Our ship had 3 men on it. One was the captain, the second was a marine biologist, and the third was the first mate. All three were very knowledgable about the whale and shared interesting trivia throughout the morning. We were fortunate to see quite a large pod hunting for food. They use a technique called bubble netting. The whale will swim together in a circle, moving from the bottom of the sound up to the surface, blowing air out of their spouts to create a net of bubbles in the water. The bubbles trap small fish inside and when the column of bubbles reaches the surface, the whale will breach and dive down through the net with their mouths open to scoop in the fish. Once they have a mouth full of fish, they push the water out through baleen and swallow the fish. They repeat the process continually to put on as much blubber as they can. They will then be prepared for the winter months when feeding is scarce. My camera isn't designed for this type of photography, and even if it was, I don't thing a photograph can capture the wonder and majesty of these marvelous creatures.