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Glacier Bay

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Whales

* We spent our final Glacier Bay afternoon on a whale watch in Icy Strait.  I've been on several whale watching expeditions before, but never anything like this.  We saw whales nearly continuously for the entire 4 hour trip; some were quite close.  It was an amazing (but chilly!) adventure.

. .
Pier Mom
Long narrow pier at Gustavus Mom is eager to go
Boat Captain Amy
Here comes our boat, Taz Captain Amy
. .
* OK, let's have the discussion about specks.  Here you will see some additions to my photo collection of specks.  I have whale specks, eagle specks, bear specks, goat specks, and so on.  The wild life (emphasis on wild) that you'd really like to see is rarely right up next to you (note the first photo).  And by the time you try to chase it down to get a better photo, it's long gone.  Anyway, here's the collection ... the whale specks are all humpbacks. 

* And another thing ... even though you know there's a huge 50+ foot whale beneath the water, all you can typically photograph is tails and fins. 

. .
Humpback breaching Whale tail
Humpback breaching Tail
Sea Lion Fins
We noticed that the sea lions seemed to be in the same places as the whales - probably feeding on the same dense portion of the food chain.  The sea lions were very inquisitive and would come right up to the boat. We saw some whales doing something quite odd ... they lie on their backs and slap their fins or tails to scare and corral the fish so it's easier to catch and eat them!
2 backs Fins
A couple of whale pairs were traveling together Completely on its back
. .
* TAZ hung a hydrophone under the boat so we could hear the whale songs.  They were amazingly loud and occasionally startled us with their magnitude.

* Twice a huge whale came up within about 25 feet of the boat.  It happened so suddenly that everyone aboard jumped.  Those of us with cameras didn't even have time to zoom out to get our photos. 

. .
Whale next to boat Blow hole
Whale passing the boat (notice the railing) For those of you who can't identify this ... it's a humpback blowhole from about 25 feet away
(maybe less)
Whale tail Stellar Sea Lion
And there it goes ... Could I have a sandwich please?  Perhaps tuna?
Whale tail Whale tail Whale tail
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