Archive for July 19th, 2014

Juneau July 19

Oh my gosh, these early morning de-boatings are already getting on my every last nerve. On the other hand, being in port meant the ship was no longer moving and consequently I no longer wanted to die at the moment.

However, we were on our way to whale watching. And pretty much you need to be on a small-ish boat do accomplish said whale watching. And was we were on the bus, I kept seeing these super tiny little boats. And all I could think was, “Nope”. Fortunately our boat wasn’t exactly tiny, it wasn’t huge either. Spoiler alert: I didn’t die (or even vomit).

On the ride out, we saw a harbor seal. The tour guide had earlier said, if you see what looks like a bowling ball bobbing in the water, it’s a harbor seal. And sure enough, that’s exactly what their heads look like! It wasn’t the star of the show for long because hello whale! Well, actually what we saw was a whale spouting, which was still super cool and, sorry little seal, way more exciting!

The next wildlife spotting was a bunch of sellar sea lions sunning themselves on a buoy. Our little boat got fairly close so I was able to get some hilarious shots of this one poor sea lion trying quite hard to get onto the buoy. “I would like up!” Sad for him, the big guys already on there were not making room. “NO.”

Our captain got word that a pod of humpback whales had been spotted in Barlow Cove and so suddenly we were moving! Arissa and I stood on deck and man, even with my sunnies on I had tears streaming down my face from the crazy wind! From afar we started seeing multiple humpbacks spouting which was cool, but it was nothing compared to the show we were soon to see!

First there was a circular disturbance in the water and then it exploded with fish and whales! At first we were so startled that we couldn’t do anything but gawk! Then I remembered I had a ridiculous heavy pair of binoculars hanging around my neck! Whale heads, whale fins, some terrified (and I’m guessing delicious) perch flailing around! The pod had 13 whales and just when we thought that seeing them do the bubble net feeding over and over was the most incredible thing we were going to see, a whale breached! It happened so quickly I felt I almost imagined it! And we were fortunate enough to see it happen a second time! Seeing an animal as large as a humpback whale come bursting out of the water is amazing! Whew.

So the second half of our day in Juneau (voted the 50th most beautiful state capitol) was slightly less eventful. We grabbed lunch at The Hanger in town. Yum. Plus the view was splendid.

Properly fortified we headed up the Mt. Roberts Tramway. From the top our ship looked like a tub toy.

And what a view of the valley! From there we hiked up to Fr. Brown’s Cross (yes, duh, there was a cache there – in fact Mt. Roberts was littered with them!) and while we were taking in the view, a little critter ran across the trail righty by Arissa’s feet. I’m pretty sure it was a pine martin! Which made me practically giddy and I did a little dance on the trail. Like you do.

After additional forced marching in order to grab additional caches (poor Arissa, she really had no idea what she was in for) we were both running out of steam. So we took the tramway back down and grabbed the Travel Bug Hotel at the visitors’ center.

 

Alaskan Cache Stats: 6

chris on July 19th 2014 in Geocaching, Travel