Fluke’ing up Juneau

Location: Juneau, Alaska

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Today we made port in Juneau, the capitol of Alaska. Since we are uninterested in Alaskan politics we did the usual tourist things: whale watching and visiting Mendenhall Glacier. We booked an excursion which allowed us to do both.

The first thing we did on the excursion was to go up the coast a little bit, board a boat and go searching for whales. During this season, humpbacks were the most plentiful. We spent about 2 hours on a jet boat looking at about 7-8 different humpbacks. We saw lots of stellar sea lions as well, but the tour was mostly focused on the humpbacks.

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We weren’t allowed to approach within 100 yards of a whale. But they are allowed to approach us. And one large whale came right at our boat! He swam under and joined another whale feeding near a salmon hatchery.

We're gonna need a bigger boat!
We’re gonna need a bigger boat!

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There were 2-3 whales in the area trying to corral the fish up against the rocks to make feeding easier. At the end of our tour, they even began bubble netting, but we couldn’t get any good pictures.

The second part of the excursion took us to Mendenhall Glacier. This is one of the more famous and accessible glaciers in the inner passage. But it is retreating quickly. It may not be around in 30-40 years. Not too long ago, the glacier extended past Nugget Falls (see below), today it’s more than a mile behind. We’ve seen a rapidly retreating glacier before in Iceland.

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We only had an hour here. To make the most of our time, we took different trails to get pictures. Rachel went down the Photo Point Trail because: Rachel.

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Ryan went out on the longer Nugget Falls Trails to get closer pictures of the glacier.

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A view of Mendenhall Glacier from a third of the way up Nugget Falls.

On our way back to the ship we passed by a creek with many bald and golden eagles. Yet again, we weren’t able to get any good pictures.

In the evening we saw a comedy juggling act of Wilde and James. We saw them last December on the Freedom of the Seas. It was the same enjoyable shtick as before. See our previous review here.

Tomorrow we make port in Skagway, Alaska. We won’t spend much time here though, because we will be going on a full day excursion up the White Pass and into the Yukon Territory.

Today’s Weather: High 64, Low 46, Mostly Cloudy

Sunrise: 4:05am Sunset: 9:47pm

Total Steps: 11,203 (Rachel)

 

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