Humpback Whales

Sat, Jul 15, 2017

Woke up to sunny skies today and the timing couldn’t have been better.  Why?  Because I’m going whale watching 🙂

The Inside Passage is home to Humpback Whales and Juneau is no exception.  These beautiful animals spend their summers in the Alaskan waters gorging on krill and other small fish while building their fat reserves.  Then they migrate to warmer waters to raise their calfs where they’ll fast all winter (it’s not that they want to fast, it’s that there’s no food for them to eat).  Hawaii and Baja are two popular destinations.

We saw a number of whales and it didn’t take long to see a pattern.  They’d surface and blow 4-5 times to catch their breath and then dive for 5-10 minutes to feed.  If you want a shot of them, better be ready for the dive.  These whales are building strength so they don’t breach or do anything else photogenic.

Humpbacks got their name because they bend their spine creating a hump when they dive.  Here’s what it looks like:


The shot above is of Flame, one of the whales that live in the area.  She’s a big one and has successfully raised 12 calfs, this per the naturalist on board.

She’s easily recognized by the ‘check mark’ pattern on the bottom of her fluke.  I got a great shot of it.


And finally a parting dive before we had to leave.  See the barnacles?


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