I slept well last night. I just didn’t sleep long, up around 6:30 ADT. A quick look onto the balcony brought disappointment. The fog was pea soup thick!
I knew we were in the Stephens Passage heading toward Juneau, but there were no spatial clues. I couldn’t see the shore which I assumed was close.
I tried to get some more sleep unsuccessfully. A second look outside brought more fog–not as thick.
This is unlike any other place I’ve ever been.
Stephens Passage is flanked by stubby mountains speckled with snow patches. The lower two thirds of the mountains were covered with tall spruce trees. Intermittently the trees and mountains disappeared in fog streamers.
It was chilly, foggy and gloomy. At least it wasn’t rainy. That came after breakfast! It rains in Juneau on average 222 days per year and today would be no exception!
This was our whale watching day. Helaine made the arrangements with “Harv and Marv” before we left Connecticut. We were picked up dockside and taken by van to Harv and Marv’s place a dozen miles away.
Our guide was Captain Liz (who I’d later hug). Our boat had room for nine or ten, but was limited to six. The perfect size!
It was pouring as we headed out. Other boats full of tourists were headed in the same direciton. Many were larger with open air upper decks–useless today.
Liz monitored the radio chatter. Whales don’t seem to be spooked by boats, so we headed where others were seeing them.
Our first sighting was a disappointment. My camera refused to focus in the murkiness and without focus it wouldn’t shoot! Was that it? Would I be shut out?
Things got better in a hurry. Spotting whales is as easy as spotting the spray from their blowholes then waiting for them to submerge… or at least that’s how it worked today.
We caught sight of whales at least a dozen times. Once we counted a pod of eight or nine.
After the whales we found some seals and eagles We were never as close as I’d hoped for, but close enough.
This is one of those amazing moments never to be forgotten!
The steady rain got in the way of my shots. Nothing in the distance is sharp when shot through random drops. I am still pleased with how it came out.
On the way back from the dock we stopped at Mendenhall Glacier. Yes, Juneau has its own glacier with a remarkably swift flowing waterfall right alongside.
I’m not sure I was able to properly absorb the size. That will have to wait for Wednesday when we hit Glacier Bay.