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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…

Very Non Invasive

Alaska Tide Pool Small Ship CruiseFor several years now we have had Josh McInnes come aboard the David B to share his knowledge and his enthusiasm for marine biology, and especially mammal-eating killer whales known as Biggs killer whales or transient killer whales. Josh is an incredibly passionate nature nerd and his ability to inspire our guests while we’re searching for whales or tidepooling is one of the reasons we ask him to come back year after year.  If you too are a nature nerd who loves everything from whales, to birds, to octopuses, be sure to listen to this podcast and then check out our Whales and Ecology of Southeast Alaska cruise that Josh does with us every year.

 

 

Northwest Navigation Podcast - Pack Creek BearsListen to Very Non-Invasive on iTunes
Listen to Very Non-Invasive on Spotify
Listen to Very-Non Invasive on Google

Click below to listen to Very Non-Invasive now:

One of our most fun trips of the year is back! Join us as we welcome back marine biologist, educator, and killer whale researcher, Josh McInnes for an exciting cruise where we’ll explore the ecology of Southeast Alaska’s marine life. We’ll search for killer whales in Endicott or Tracy Arms and humpback whales in Frederick Sound, as well as troll for plankton and explore the unfamiliar microscopic world. There will be lots of time for kayaking, tidepooling and learning how the sea and the forest are interconnected.

Trip #339
Dates: June 30 – July 7, 2019
Departs: Petersburg 12:00pm & Disembarks: Juneau 1:00pm 
Price: $7,100 per person

For availability and discounts visit our Schedule and Rates Page.

You can do it

We were cruising alongside Gloomy Knob in Glacier Bay on our AdventuresNW Magazine Photography Workshop when spotted this mother mountain goat waiting patiently for her youngster to catch up to her. It was a nice opportunity to observe these amazing sure-footed creatures and also to try to photograph them as they were high up on the mountain-side and we were at sea level.

We have several photography workshops aboard the David B in 2019. We’ve really come to love these trips as photography brings you a depth of experience with the beauty of Glacier Bay, as well as providing you the time to slow down and observe nature while learning how to get the most out of your camera. If you think you would like to know more about our Photography Workshops and instructors, click on over to our photography page for dates and locations.

 

photographing mountain goats in Glacier Bay alaska
Mountain goats in Glacier Bay, Alaska

RE: Your Dad is coming home, I’ve met someone and I’m staying on in Alaska

Laurie can’t ever get her kids to read her emails. It doesn’t matter if the message is important or mundane, they just won’t open them, so she’s had to resort to click bait. The crazier she can make the subject line, the more likely they are to open it.

She and her husband were just on a trip with us in Alaska. We had an amazing time, got to see brown bears very close up. One even wandered by us about 30 feet away, then stopped to munch on grass for almost ten minutes. Then we spent three days in the fjords watching glaciers, and going for hikes, kayaks and skiff rides in magical places.

Laurie wanted to do more – see more places, go for more hikes, see more glaciers. Luckily for her we had space on our next trip, which (also luckily for her) was to Glacier Bay National Park.

 

Rose was also on the trip. She had come to Alaska hoping to do our trip, then find someone who could guide her on a kayak trip in Glacier Bay, but it was too early in the season for most of the tour and guiding operators. She had decided to go home after the trip with us.

Then they started asking about the next trip. “What do we do in Glacier Bay? What wildlife would we see? Was there space available on the trip?”

Laurie and Rose had become great friends in the eight days of the trip. From day one they had been sharing stories and becoming fast friends. This is the stuff our trips are made of. They quickly had become BFFs. We did have space. They wanted to go.

When we arrived in Juneau we worked out all the details. Laurie’s husband had commitments at home, and their schedules wouldn’t let them go for the whole trip, so I arranged for a float plane to meet us and pick them up 4 days into the trip. It was all set up.

All they had to do was let their families know…

RE: Your Dad is coming home, I’ve met someone and I’m staying on in Alaska

 

We’re talking about bears on Facebook Live

We tried something new — Facebook Live!

Jeffrey and I thought it would be fun to see what it was like to do a Facebook Live Chat so we could talk about what we do on the David B, where we go, and to answer questions about what our trips are like. It turned out to be a blast. We were joined by lots of familiar people as well as new people. Not only did we get to talk about one of my favorite bear experiences from as summer, but we also got to answer questions about our trips and drinks with glacier ice.

Below is a link to our YouTube account that has the conversation. I hope you enjoy it and stay tuned for more Facebook Live Chats. And if you haven’t had a chance to follow the David B on Facebook, here’s a link.

-Christine

Newsletter – Wild Brother Wolf and Skiffyasaurus

Wild Brother Wolf visits on Trip #296 May 31 – June 7, 2017

– by Christine Smith

Sometimes the quickest animal sighting stays with me the longest, especially when it comes to elusive wildlife. This past week while I was making coffee, I happened to catch some movement on the beach out of the corner of my eye. I paused the coffee grinder and looked with intent as a wolf ran along the shore.

“Where’s my camera, where’s my camera,” I whisper-shouted to Jeffrey. “What’s wrong?” Jeffrey answered back, not fully understanding my question so early in the morning. “Wolf. Beach. There.” I pointed out as I found and aimed my camera – clicking rapidly before the “wild brother” disappeared back into the forest.

The wolf trotted along. Stopped to sniff the ground several times before leaving. The whole encounter lasted not more than two minutes, but even now as I write a week later, I still get goose bumps knowing I got a glimpse of a wild wolf. For me, wolves are special. We rarely see them. In twelve years of running the David B, this is only the fourth time we’ve seen wolves. It was a treat, and one that I’m happy to share with you.

-Christine

Wild Brother Wolf one early morning in Sanford Cove
This Trip also had other Animals Such as…

Birds:
Surf Scoter, White-Winged Scoter, Common Loon, Arctic Terns, Boneparts Gulls, Marable Murrelets, Bald Eagles, Pacific Loons, Varied Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Swainsons Thrush, Pacific Wren, Junco, Stellars Jay, Red-Throated Loons, Harlequin Ducks, Pigeon Guillemots, Trumpeter Swan, Rufus Hummingbird, Raven, crow, Canada goose, Horned Grebe, robin

Mammals:
Wolf, Mountain Goat Humpback whales, Brown Bears (grizzly), seals, sea lions, harbor porpoises, deer

Seal on Ice
Also, Christine’s Meal highlight – Smoked Black Cod Risotto with caramelized onions, and mushrooms. Yum.

Introducing the Skiffyasaurus!

When the Tin Hat Project was being built, Jeffrey also decided to build a new skiff with some very unique features.

Skiffyasaurus at North Arm

Some of the new features include:

  • Seating up to 8 passengers plus crew – no more multiple trips ashore
  • More speed, range and stability for longer excursions
  • Flat bottom with easier access steps to get in and out of the skiff and onto the beach
  • Charting and Depth Finder so Jeffrey can scout new anchorages for the David B

The Skiffyasaurus’ Spacious Interior!