Monday, October 19, 2009

Alaska Bits -- 25 -- whale watching in Juneau

Well, yes, I know these are not whales, but when you go whale watching out of Juneau, you don't know what you might see. these guys--stellar sea lions--

...hundreds of them on an island. They were males who had finished with the mating season and come back here to rest. Mating season is rough on stellar sea lion males...

...because they fight a lot over the ladies and they are rough fighters. So they bask on the beach--do a little swimming.

And generally hang out.

But the main attraction was the whales. The first hint is a spout.

Then you see that back with  the hump--humpback whales.

...and then they breach.

Humpbacks normally are loners. This day there are a dozen or more hanging out together feeding. That's is logical, as you go to eat where the food is right? It must have been a great buffet that day.

Each whale's fluke or tail has a different pattern of white and gray, like a fingerprint. Whale watching staff know some of them by name.

We had seen several eagles too far for a good picture on the way out, but this one was waiting for us when we got off the boat.


freegal1000 said...

Awesome! Not much Odd about these shots!

Stupid Human Trick: Wrong Way...

Liz said...

Wow! We didn't see any breaching as the water was too shallow where we were but that must have been fantastic!

Ah, poor male sea-lions. Such a hard life!

Martha Z said...

What a thrill to see the whales up close. You got some great shots.

Trisha said...

Excellent pictures! Each time I tried to take pictures of whales, I would miss them and end up with a shot of . . . . water!