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Two humpback Whales

Two humpback whales

On one of our Alaska cruises trips last season, we came across a large group of humpback whales. There were maybe around 30 or so. I don’t know what they were up to, but they seemed to be busy at the surface. The main group was maybe a 1/2 mile from where we were watching them when these two surfaced in front of us on their way to join the others.

Sealions – The Grizzly of the Sea

Southeast Alaska is home to the Steller’s sea lion and these amazing animals are one of the most common marine mammals that we get to see aboard the David B. There are several haulouts in our cruising area and it’s a real experience to get to watch, hear, and smell a crowded haulout. One interesting tidbit about these sea lions is that their skulls are virtually indistinguishable from the skulls of grizzly, or coastal brown bears, as they are known in southeast Alaska. We once had a deckhand who liked to describe Steller’s sea lions as a grizzly stuffed into a tube.

Humpback Whale Diving

Humpback whale diving in Alaska

Sometimes we will be sitting in an open area watching whales when one will surface and swim towards us. There are so many beautiful sounds: the whales’s breath, the sound of water cascading off its body, and the laughter and joy from our passengers.

Taken on one of Marine Ecology of Southeast Alaska trips.

Black bear in Fords Terror

Bear watching in Alaska

While we were at anchor in Fords Terror we got to watch this female black bear who had a couple of cubs. They ate grass and barnacles and crawled over rocks. While we were anchored in this spot we also got to watch two other bears on the opposite shore.

Hummingbirds in Alaska

Rufus Hummingbirds in Alaska on a bird watching tour.

We started keeping a hummingbird feeder on the David B a few summers ago. We often had hungry birds coming to the boat and checking out all the red things on deck. One time a tired one arrived that was too weak to fly up to the feeder. We set the feeder on a chair next to the bird. It regained its strength and a few minutes later it buzzed off. We love these small visitors and appreciate the way they help us connect with nature and care for the world around us.

For more information visit any of our Alaska itinerary pages like this one for our Juneau to Petersburg 8-day tour.

Killer whale up close

Killer whale from whale watch

Looking forward to getting back out on the water and having encounters like this one. We had stopped to watch some killer whales that were socializing with each other. The young ones had caught a common murre and appeared to be playing with it. While we were watching the youngsters, this male came and surfaced right next to us. Wow!

To learn more about killer whales join us in June for our Whales and Marine Ecology of Southeast Alaska trip.

Mother with Newborn

Seal on ice in Alaska.

We carefully skiffed past this mother and newborn harbor seal in Tracy Arm. We didn’t want to disturb them on our way to South Sawyer glacier. Harbor seals use ice calved from glaciers to give birth to their young and to protect the newborns from land predators such as bears and wolves.

To learn more about the ecology of southeast Alaska join us when we have our guest naturalist, Josh McInnes on board for Ecology of Southeast Alaska where we learn more about seals, whales, and marine life.
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Mountain Goat Up Close

Mountain Goat as seen from small cruise ship in AlaskaUsually, when we see mountain goats they are tiny little nature dots high up on the walls of either Endicott Arm or Tracy Arm, but not this day. The David B was underway and I was making lunch for our guests in the galley when I looked up and spotted a female mountain goat and her kid only a couple of hundred feet up from the water’s edge. It was such a pleasure to watch them without having to crane our necks back so far while looking through binoculars.

For more information on our 8-day Alaska Northbound Petersburg to Juneau cruises…

Glacier Bay Oystercatcher

Birdwatching in Glacier Bay National Park from small ship cruiseI had just stepped out of the skiff at Lamplough glacier in Glacier Bay National Park when this oystercatcher gave me a look that more or less seemed to suggest that the mussels hidden under the kelp were for oystercatcher only.

This photo is from our May 2019 Glacier Bay Photography Workshop. There’s still space for the upcoming 2020 season. Visit our Glacier Bay Photography Workshop page for more information and discount pricing.

Killer Whales in Endicott Arm

Two killer whales in Alaska's Endicott ArmWe had an amazing encounter with these mammal-eating killer whales this past summer. While we were leaving our anchorage they were coming towards us in pursuit of some sort of prey, maybe harbor seals or maybe Harbor porpoises, we could see. But watching them hunt with wolf-like coordination was breathtaking.

For more information https://northwestnavigation.com/alaska_inside_passage/ on our Alaska trips…