Posted by: gardner310 | July 29, 2009

Whale Watching, Juneau

Santa Maria cruising for whales

Santa Maria cruising for whales

After spending 5 weeks in Alaska and seeing no whales due to the lack of windows in my room and office, I took an excursion to see them.  I took the evening whale watching boat that left at 530pm.  It is about a 20-mile drive from the port to the dock in Auck Bay.  All told there were about 80 passengers from 2 ships.

It was a cloudy but fry evening so we could be outside on the open desk for photo ops.  Unless you have a good camera with a fast shutter the photos are less than spectacular.  We saw lots of whales or at least the same whales lots of times.  They are very quick, considering their bulk.  Once you see the spouting, it is seconds before they begin to dive and you can see the top of their backs.  They weren’t diving deep enough to use their tails much so we saw only “tail shot” from a calf.  And of course just prior to that, my battery died.  No tail shots for me.

Not much to see considering their size

Not much to see considering their size

The excursion last 3 hours all told and is a beautiful ride through the islands with mountains in the distance everywhere.  An added bonus was the sea lions on the buoy.  They are more fun to watch than the whales.  A nice buffet dinner was served as well with reindeer sausage, chicken salad. Shrimp salad, guacamole, chips, veggies and even a side of beef.  There is a bar on board for purchase of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

These guys were more fun to watch

These guys were more fun to watch

The crew did a great of spotting and tracking the whales and providing a lovely evening for all of us.

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