Monday, August 4, 2008

A Whale of a Time!

Alaska needs to be on your must-see list! Words and pictures don't do justice to this magnificent place! I took over 800 pictures, and I will never forget the feelings and emotions I experienced during this trip.

Today, it's all about the whales! We took two wildlife excursions - one in Juneau, and one in Sitka. The first two pictures below are the first whales we encountered. It was a mother and her baby. The baby was jumping completely out of the water, and I was desperately hoping for a good picture. You've got to remember that I'm in a catamaran that is rocking on the water, and the whale is so fast! You never know where they are going to appear and reappear in the water. Even the crew on the boat got excited about seeing this baby perform for us!

While in Juneau, we were fortunate enough to come upon a school of five Orca whales. According to the crew, this is a very rare occurrence, and they couldn't believe the good luck we had in finding them.

This is one of the Humpback whales we saw in Sitka. What a gorgeous place, and we had a sunny fabulous time on the excursion and later walking around the town.

The following five pictures were taken in succession. The whales are in Alaska mainly to eat. They travel to Hawaii to have their babies, and then back to Alaska each year to eat. When they do a big dive, their hump appears (as in the first picture below), and then their tail gracefully flaps through the water. They can be under the water for as long as ten minutes, and you never know where they will resurface.

It was so spectacular, and I'm excited that we got the opportunity to view these wonderful creatures! Be sure to click on each picture to see it full sized!


Judy (CA) said...

WOW! Beautiful pictures, Laura!!

Nancy and the fatties said...

Laura, these are amazing photos. Just looking at them and reading your description made me feel like I was there. You have done a beautiful job of sharing this once in a lifetime experience. thank you so much!
nancy and the fatties who eat like whales sometimes...

Jenn: said...

FABULOUS pictures. I made sure to see them big. That first one with the whale all the way out of the water is great!

They are incredibly graceful and wonderous. We know so little about the ocean really.

I am so happy for you that you got to see them in person.

Sharon said...

You have to wonder, why is that little whale SO happy anyway? And what makes it want to jump out of the water like a jumping bean! hee hee ...

Did you notice in the last picture, not only are there barnicles on the whales tale, but there is a little friend tagging along for the ride on the left fin!

So this excursion was something you and Ted did separately from the regular cruise Laura? It's nice to see the Orca's in their natural habitat instead of Sea World.

With 800 pictures you'll have plenty to blog about. Can't wait to see more! I'm still trying to figure out how the Rainforest and Alaska go together.

Pegasus said...

Fantastic photos!! I'm trying to convince Frank to visit Alaska. He says, "what is there to do there except see snow and ice and some wild life"! I'm about to give up!

Can't wait to see more of your 800!

Doreen said...

Very nice. I can just imagine how excited you were seeing these creatures.


Anonymous said...

How I enjoyed your photos, Laura. It looks as if you had a truly spectacular experience. I've been whale watching off the coast of Cape Cod and it is truly an unforgettable experience. I also just spent about an hour (it was very hard to drag me away) watching the very noisy California Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. I was amazed at how loud they were and how they continually played with each other. Thanks so much for sharing!