No pics from arriving in Juneau because we already in port by the time
we woke up. Again - that is the problem of having that inside
cabin. You just wake up, SSS and go out to see where you
are. In this case, Juneau, Alaska.
We had a whale watching excursion planned for Juneau. Again, we
learned that as cruise rookies - we were in for surprises. In
this case - the whale watching was not in Juneau but in a suburb called
Auke Bay. Auke Bay is at the north end of the Gastineau Channel
which runs between the mainland, which is where Juneau and Auke Bay are
located - and Douglas Island. Gastineau Channel runs dry mid way
between Juneau and Auke Bay so there is no connection between the two
cities. BTW - the University of Alaska has a campus at Auke Bay.
No connection between the cities is misleading - by boat you would need
to go back south on Gastineau Channel from Juneau, out into the Stevens
Passage and north around Douglas Island to reach Auke Bay.
In any event - We went to Auke Bay by bus.
We arrived at the docks and found very nice modern aluminum boats
designed to take passengers to watch whales in the bay. The fence
in the picture is actually on the dock which was large enough for the
buses to drive onto to off load the passengers. Top notch
We pulled away and began watching carefully out the windows for
whales. Up here we were getting into more dramatic
surroundings. The mountain range in the background is the
mainland on a peninsula west of Lynn Canal. The peaks are about
7500-ft elevation and stay snow covered.
The tour operator advertised money-back guarantee to see whales so I
did expect to see the whales. I did not expect to see them so
quickly. We barely made it across the bay when out of the water
slides the back of a Humpback Whale.
As soon as we saw him he slipped away under the water.
And then in just a few minutes he was back again.
The best part of whale watching is when they sound to go down and
feed. They make two or three passes on the top of the water and
then they slide deep showing the flukes of their tails as they go below.
The whales were everywhere. We may have seen six different whales.
We were watching a whale off in the distance when Susanne yelled "Whale
right next to the boat". And the whale was right next to the
boat! We watched this guy for several minutes till he sounded and
went on his way.
The Captain of the whale watching boat also cruised us along the
northern tip of Admiralty Island. We saw this eagle relaxing on
the tide-washed spit of land looking for lunch. The eagles were
Captain cruised us up to the north end of Little Island which is a
tidal spit of land north of Ralston Island which itself is north of
Ralston Island. I think you get my drift - there are islands
everywhere through out the Inside Passage.
A group of baby Sea Lions were sunning themselves at the tip of the
As we turned back south to return to Auke Bay we saw this most
excellent glacier. This one is called the Herbert Glacier.
The camera had a hard time picking up the deep blue from glacial
ice. It was striking to the naked eye.
As we worked our way back to the dock we noticed this State of Alaska
Back in Juneau we were on the ship ready to leave for our next
destination - the Sawyer Glacier on the Tracy Arm.
Before we left we had another Norwegian Cruise Line ship pull into
port. This is the Norwegian Star. You can see our wake as
we pulled away to our next adventure.
On to our Tracy Arm adventure