Just hours after our pass through Tracy Arm Fjord, we arrived in Juneau. We quickly got off the ship, jumped into a shuttle, and met up with our tour group for the day. First up, we were taken to the Mendenhall Glacier and waterfall that were located just out of town. One could get a far off view from the visitors center, but we decided to take the short walk to see the waterfall and glacier up close. Well, we didn’t get as close as we thought we would get, however, the view was lovely.
After hiking back out, we boarded another shuttle that took us to the marina where we were to start the next part of our adventure. Before going on the cruise, we had signed up through Juneau Whale Watch to take a boat tour out into the ocean water, in search of whales. After seeing some whales from the cruise ship the night before, we were excited to be able to have another opportunity to see them.
The crew of our ship introduced themselves to us, went through their safety regulations, and then we were off! Soon after we arrived in an area frequented by whales, the captain turned off the engine of the boat. We waited patiently and were rewarded by the spray from a humpback whale. We watched him for a few minutes until we saw his fluke (tail), signaling that it would be another while before he came up again. We took off looking for another rewarding sight. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much in the next little while. We saw some eagles flying above, a few far off spurts of water, and a few other whale watching tour boats. We did, however, enjoy the light show, against the mountain, being put on by the sun and the clouds.
It got to the point where we were feeling disappointed and let down from not being able to see much. Suddenly, the captain asked us to all sit back down in the boat because another tour boat had let him know there was a baby whale showing off a short distance away. This is where the real whale watching started. The captain hit the gas and we cruised through the water until we reached the other tour boats. I ran out of the cabin first, carrying my camera and was met by the double breech of a momma whale and her baby. It was incredible!
The excitement didn’t stop there. The momma must have been teaching her baby because time after time we would see a whale doing something, and then soon after a smaller whale would repeat that same thing. At one point, the whales were splashing the water with their side fins, and waving them around like they were saying hello! Only a few minutes after the first breech, a third whale jumped out of the water and came crashing down through the waves. We couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our tour (also, we highly recommend going through the Juneau Whale Watch company).