Friday, glacier day and our last full day on the boat. The entire day was dedicated to the glacier viewing. We anchored inside Endicott Arm to view Dawes Glacier. They put us on the skiffs for the 5-mile ride to the face of the glacier. As soon as we get in the skiffs the temperature dropped drastically. There are ice chunks all around us. Some as big as busses. We saw seals resting on top of mini icebergs. When we got to the face we saw a huge calving almost immediately. It was super loud and exciting. There is nothing like seeing global warming tear this planet apart. We saw several other smaller calving. Lots of other harbor seals popped their heads out to say hello. Our skiff was the last one standing of the 4 skiffs. The others got too cold, or had to change their tampons. One the way back to the big boat we saw 3 orca whales in Endicott Arm. This is something that never happens. The entire crew said they had never seen whales that far inside the Arm. The whales were heading for a dead end, the Arm ends at Dawes Glacier. We could not wait around to see what happened, we had a hard BOB at 1230…back on board. That evening all cocktails were served with ice from the glacier’s broken pieces. Joel also made the dinner table centerpiece out of a piece of retrieved ice from the waters. The night ended with a group goodbye and an amazing slideshow of the week made by Larry. He used crew pictures and pictures from some of us passengers. Lots of pictures from the day HERE if you are interested.
Thursday. This morning started with a 6:30 am kayak tooling around the bay we spent the night in. The waters got choppy on the way back to the boat. Makes for harder work, but much more fun. It was great almost tipping over. We had life jackets, so who cares. Breakfast, then out to do some halibut fishing. Man is that boring. Drop a line and then talk to your friends. Drop a line and then talk to your friends. Drop a line and then talk to your friends. I got lucky and caught the same herring 3 times. I named him Kenny Rogers. The professor and his wife caught about 5 halibut and let them all go. They asked if we wanted one, in hind site I wish we had kept one. Wifey and I stunk. A fisherman I will never be. A casterman I am an expert. Back onboard for lunch which was very rudely interrupted by a giant pod of at least 60 humpback whales. They told us there was more likely 100 whales surrounding us. I was worried about some sort of Whale Pirate invasion. I can just picture a whale squawking out the words, “I am your captain now.” It was most impressive. They were whale tailing and blow holing nonstop. But I guess that is what they do for tourists. We stayed there at least and hour. Again whales derailed our itinerary. Bastards. Hopefully got some good pictures. After the whales they took us to a sea lion complaining zone. They were loud and obnoxious and a bunch of fat soughs. On to the next anchor point, Bothers Islands. We did a short but beautiful hike across the length of East Brother Island. This island looked enchanted. The moss was complete cover and ankle deep. It was so soft you could dive into it without getting hurt…trust me. Someone said it looked like Chia Pet island or Nerf Island. Definitely one of the more beautiful natural surroundings I have ever been in or on. Some more pictures added HERE if you are interested.
First thing this morning they retrieved the shrimp pots that were set out last night. The high hopes were for fresh shrimp as a meal. They hauled in a whopping 16 shrimp. But the kids onboard had fun. Delicious breakfast then steaming ahead. The entire day was derailed because we came across a large pod of whales. It seemed like they were on a human sight seeing expedition. Watching and following us, when in reality we were just sitting still. They were first spotted pretty far away, and then proceed to get closer, I can only assume to put on a show for us. It was truly amazing. At least 8 whales could be seen at one time. There were several breaches, and lots of whale tails and blowhole action (get your mind out of the gutter). The only problem was they got too close for the lens I had on my camera. That’s truly a big problem. Dammit, the amazing whales are too close, can you guys back up so I can get a better photograph? Some of these sights were for the mental photos only. Once we got to the anchor location we set sail in a kayak. We tooled around the bay, out into the open water strait, and then looped the other side of the bay. There were a few waterfalls along the coastline that drained right into the bay that we were able to navigate right up against. We saw a ton of crazy looking starfish and a sea otter that came out to play. It rained on us the entire time, which only added to the experience of kayaking in Alaska. Finished the night with a birthday dinner for a mother and daughter from the Sweet Family Reunion. Another unforgettable day aboard the small boat Liseron. What a lucky boy I am. Some more pictures HERE if you are interested.
Lucky us, we got to watch whales, seals, and eagles for an afternoon. Whale watching became more than checking out fat people in scooters. Some of the better pictures HERE.