Our adventures in Juneau started early, having us wake up at 6 AM so we could board the bus to take us to the dock at 7 AM. With heavy eyes, we made it to the bus on time where we were greeted by our upbeat bus driver: a woman in her 30’s and whose name now escapes me. She ended up being a terrific driver and guide – She told us the interesting aspects of Juneau all the while putting her own twist on things and giving us her comedic opinions. She was an awesome guide, which ended up being a trend during our time in Juneau. We boarded our catamaran boat and met our naturalists/guides who were to help us spot whales and identify them, as well as meeting our captain, Jason, who was from Texas and whose accent didn’t hide it. The surrounding snowcapped mountains and dense tree cover was surreal as our catamaran made its way around a number of small coves in search of whales.
Within 5 minutes of exploring we started to see humpback whales poking their bodies out of the water for air. I have been whale watching numerous times and never have I seen whales that quickly and never as many as we saw this day.
After seeing more whales coming up for air, I heard our guide/naturalist, Brenden, screaming and saying to look to the left of the ship and that a whale had just breached. Along with the sounds of Brenden’s stoke was the voice of Captain Jason’s southern accent telling us to look alive for more breaching whales. Luckily for us, we got to see it happen 5 more times.
It was incredible. I have been going whale watching since I was in elementary school and never have I seen even 1 whale breach. This day, my family and I were lucky enough to see multiple whales jumping out of the water and 5 separate breaches. It looked like they were having the best time of their lives. Unbeknownst to them, so were we.
As all this excitement happened, rain was pouring on us the whole time, which led us to finding shelter in the captains quarters with Captain Jason, our naturalist/guide Brenden, and Jason’s girlfriend. Here we got to talk to them and really get to know them on a more personal level, which was awesome and something not everyone gets to do. Luckily for us, Jason’s girlfriend got an amazing shot of one of the whale’s breaching and even a video of it (as well as everyone’s reactions) which she was kind enough to send to my mom. Check those out directly below this. ∇∇∇
Though we were incredibly lucky to see the humpback whales breaching on this wet July morning, we didn’t have enough luck to see any orcas (still waiting to see one in the wild). But we did get an added bonus of some cute seals hanging out on a buoy, waiting for the sun to show its warmth.The whale watching was amazing, but our experience would not have been the same if it were not for the awesome crew that made this all possible. Big shout out to Captain Jason and the guides, Brenden and Emily, for making a great experience a remarkable one that my family and I will never forget. If you ever find ourself in Juneau, Alaska, do not hesitate to book this whale watching trip. You will not regret it. Their company is called Juneau Whale Watch and you can check them out here!
Our incredible few hours of whale watching finally came to an end as our boat docked and we walked back towards the bus to take us to the Mendenhall Glacier. But in true Alaska fashion we were greeted with a convocation of bald eagles resting on shore and feeding on fish. Jacqueline counted 16 eagles that were all on shore within 20 feet of us. It was a remarkable moment, and definitely a memorable one, on our Alaskan adventure. Our day in Juneau did not end here. After marveling at our national emblem and national bird, we boarded the bus to take us to our next adventure: The Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls in Tongass National Forest. You can check out that blog posting here! #EnjoytheRide