Whale Tales

We started our Alaskan cruise on Sunday. Granted this is our second cruise in less than a year, we are NOT cruise people! I repeat we are NOT cruise people! We had booked this trip with our friends Julie and George before we went on the Mediterranean cruise with Brian’s family in the fall of last year when we learned we don’t really dig the cruise lifestyle. Anyway, it’s pretty funny, though, because even though we’re on a different ship since it’s the same cruise line the ship is almost identical to the one we were on for nearly three weeks. So the good thing is, we know our way around. Plus, it’s fun to be hanging out with friends this time.

After a day at sea, we docked in Juneau. Our adventure for the day was whale watching aboard a really fast jetboat. We spotted sea lions swimming in the water and some lounging lazily on a colorful buoy. A mother humpback and calf surfaced and we caught sight of them briefly. Although we didn’t get too close to the whales, it was cool to see them spray up water with their blow holes (our guide said at rates of something like 320 mph!). We learned about their migration patterns between Alaska and Hawaii. They come up to Alaska during the summer months to feed on the rich algae-filled water and then migrate back to the warmer oceans of Hawaii to mate and then later to give birth. One interesting factoid that he shared was that you can tell the age of a whale by looking at its ear wax. Gross but kinda cool! Much like the rings in a tree trunk, the layers of wax indicate years of age on a whale. The darker rings are from the six months when they are in the Alaskan algae rich waters and the lighter wax from the six months when they are in Hawaii.

During our tour, we also spotted several bald eagles. These majestic birds can have wing spans up to 7 feet! Alaska is definitely teeming with beautiful wildlife and lush scenery.

[tags]travel, Alaska, cruise, whale watching[/tags]

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