Saturday, April 24, 2010

You Otter Check Out These Whales!!!

 Super cute sign in the bathroom of the boat

Today was probably my best experience in Alaska yet. I can't even begin to explain the amazing time I had!! Me and 9 other SAGA leaders got to join the Audubon Society for a boat tour to Berners Bay, a bay just north of where the Juneau road ends. It is uninhabited by humans, as it's only accessible by boat, meaning it is a great place for wildlife viewing. The eulochon fish are currently running there so it was a great chance to see all the marine mammals and the birds heavily feeding in the area. We were super excited to get out on the water and had hopes of seeing some good wildlife. Our expectations were BLOWN out of the water (no pun intended). We first came across this group of Stellar Sea Lions. They are such vocal animals, I loved just sitting and listening to them bark and grown constantly. Many of them slipped off the rocks and just plopped right into the water. 
Stellar Sea Lions. The big fat one weighs about 1,500 pounds!! 

We saw a few humpback whales from the side of the boat as well which was super awesome. They are such huge animals, weighing up to 100,000 pounds! I can't even fathom how big that is!
The spray from a Humpback
It's small but look closely and you you can see the Humpack's Fluke

We were enjoying ourselves sooo much, feeling so grateful to be in Alaska surrounded by amazing mountains with such cool wildlife in sight. Little did we know, this was only the VERY beginning. We arrived in Berners Bay just in time to watch 3 or 4 Orca/Killer Whales feeding on a sea lion. They were so active during the feed, flopping around in and out of the water so much, it was perfect for viewing. They ended up coming SO close to our boat and even swimming right underneath it. I don't think I ever been so blown away. We all had such a high for the rest of the day, I just wish I could better put into words the amazing sites we saw.

Killer Whale swimming directly towards our boat. It eventually flipped on its back and swam under our boat so we could see its underbelly perfectly. SOO close!!
 I was SOO lucky to catch this photo. To see a transient Killer Whale breach is a super rare sight. They only breach right after feeding. 
 Some of the SAGA kids loving the great weather on the boat! Great new friends!


John Haley said...

That's incredible.

KMarie said...

i TOTALLY know that high! its soo mind blowing. seeing hundreds of dolphins surround your boat and flip right in front of you, or seeing a baby humpback learning to breach and doing it in front of you at least 12 times. totally breath taking. soooooo glad you got to see all of that!!!!

JaneDoug said...

wow!! we too are blown away! great reads,,,thanks for the posts.
hugs from montana