This was my favorite day. It was my favorite day because . . . WHALES! Lots and lots of WHALES!
So Juneau was the second port. It is the capital of Alaska. We had an excursion to see whales and to see the Mendenhall Glacier in the afternoon so we started with an early lunch at the historic Red Dog Saloon. What a neat place. The ground was sawdust! It really kept the old timey feel. The food was good too.
Then we visited various shops while we meandered back to where the tours pick up. I'll be honest, port shops are all the same pretty much. you have your general touristy gift shops, your art galleries with locally themed art and tons and tons of jewelry shops.
Finally tour time. We are put on a bus and told we will see the whales first and then the glacier. Off we go. We get some info about Juneau while heading out of town. Did you know their state capital was voted 50th most pretty state capital building?
Then we get to the whales. The boat has two levels. Level one is inside windows and has a snack bar that my teenage son took full advantage off. Level two is outside. We head out. We see an eagle and a seal. Ok. But no whales. We kept going and there was a whale in the distance blowing its spout but it dove down and never seemed to come back up. We keep going. Whales way up ahead they say but people, including myself, were beginning to think the whale viewing was going to be a bust. At that point I did not expect any whales to surface and was starting to feel a bit sad.
So after figuring that there would be no whales, there was a whale. It was in front of the boat and everyone croweded into the two places up top to see. It might have been different on the first level. Anyway, I could not get a view and when I did the picture had blowing hair from the girl in front of me. Oh well. My husband suggests I try the other side, so I did. There were two whales and I had a great spot! Now I feel silly for almost melting down. I watch these whales for a while taking a ridiculous number of pictures.
We get further and the whales are increasing in numbers. In total there were around 20 humpback whales all bubble net feeding. We were told this was rare. That the whales usually don't all come together but once in a great while and so we were really lucky to be seeing this. I must say it was quite amazing! In addition to the feeding, the whales passed right by our boat with the one on the left diving down underneath it. I was on floor one for those photos, which were taken using a burst setting on my camera.
I share more whale pictures at the bottom of this post!
Thoroughly satisfied with the whale viewing we then headed to Mendenhall Glacier, which is just outside Juneau. The glacier was in a nice park but with the limited time I felt the hiking paths too long to feel I could complete and return in time. Especially since I had my camera. In addition to the glacier there was a pretty waterfall to the right, Nugget Falls.
Clockwise from left: Whale slapping it's tail, Bald Eagle, seal.
Whales on the left are bubble net feeding. On the right, two whales swim together.
Mendenhall Glacier up close and further away.
Stay tuned as next up are sled dogs near Skagway! And don't forget to comment on each Alaska post to receive a free Alaskan Glacier Texture Pack.