On the fifth day of my Celebrity cruise, we docked at Juneau. I may have mentioned i was rather nervous about this day. Having come all this way to see an orca, and so far having no success on my other trips, this was my last shot! On todays agenda was a whale watching excursion followed by a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier.
I will admit to allowing myself a small amount of hope when we got on the boat. As we set off, the naturalist introduced herself and described what seals and sea lions might look like if we see them. She went on to say that even though its likely we might see them, we wont stop to look at them. That we were all on the boat in the hopes of seeing whales and orcas, so spending time searching for seals was not the best use of our time! Already I was impressed!
I headed straight up to the top deck to prepare for potential sightings, even though part of me had given up. I kept hearing a cheer and getting all excited, before realising it was this kid who kept running round the boat screaming in his excitement at apparently nothing.
Not annoying at all…
I’d just got talking to Charlotte and Annie who I told you about before (still not heard from them 😔) and had been telling them about my dream, and how I’d lost my hope of achieving it. Charlotte told me she believed I would see an orca, she was putting out “positive vibes” for me.
Now positive vibes isn’t normally something I’d believe in. But within 5 minutes of Charlotte’s positive vibes, we heard “orca 11 o clock (their position in relation to the boat)” announced and the boat was a hive of excitement!!!
I couldn’t believe it was actually going to happen! I was so stunned, Annie was gently nudging me into a better spot to watch them and before I knew it I saw the first splash of an orca.
We were able to stay with the pod of orcas for around half an hour, watching as they swam gracefully through the water. There was even quite a young calf, leaping up and playing in the waves. At one point they got really quite close to us and we were lucky enough to see some different behaviours including some tail splashing…
And some spy hopping…
I’d decided not to waste the moment messing around with the camera, so I just pointed it in the rough direction and hit record, I could edit the footage later but for now I wanted to concentrate on watching the orcas. Overall I was quite lucky in the footage I got, but I’ll admit to being a little disappointed, we turned away so I stopped the recording, just as the male breached! So despite not getting footage of it, at least I got to see a breach!
As the trip went on we were also lucky enough to see some more humpbacks, even managing to catch them bubble net feeding ( if you dont know what it is, I’d reccomend googling it, its pretty awesome!).
Plus one of the humpacks was scarily close to some people in a canoe, how much I’d give to be in that canoe!
What absolutely baffled me, were the people on their phones. I’m practically in tears watching the orcas while some people are calling into the office for a quick catch up!
I mean, really?!?!?!
Before heading back to the ship we had a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier. We’d seen a few glaciers from the boat, but being this close was really something special! In some ways quite emotional though, as you walk towards it and see the signposts marking out how big the glacier was in previous years. It makes you realise how much it has receded and you get to thinking how much longer will the glaciers be there?
I did make another friend on this trip, we’ll call him Gus bless him. He actually took this picture for me! But after chatting for a little bit he asked me on a date! I know I have my little dating challenge and all, but I do believe that a 60 year age gap is perhaps a little too much…
Having seen the glacier I wandered back in the direction of the coach. We were in well known bear territory and rangers were everywhere so I was quite alert!
I spotted some people all looking in the same direction.
They were pointing.
The rangers got closer.
I got excited. Was this my first wild bear sighting?
One of the tourists got closer and reached out a hand and the rangers ran!
It was only when they began shouting “GET AWAY FROM THAT SQUIRREL!” That I started to question the sanity of the tourists! All the excitement over a squirrel?
Thankfully before reaching the coach I actually saw a wild black bear with three cubs!
What an emotional and wildlife packed day! Its going to be quite hard to beat…