In Seward, Alaska we boarded the Radiance of the Sea to travel seven days down to Vancouver, BC.

On the way through the Gulf of Alaska we turned into Disenchantment Bay to see up close the Hubbard glacier. As we sailed closer and closer I noticed how the glacier ice that had broken off into mini icebergs was a deeper blue color.

I had positioned myself on the open top deck of the ship front and centered. As we approached the 400 foot tall glacier face we would occasionally hear what sounded like thunder. A naturalist on board informed us that it was actually huge chunks of ice hundreds of feet long breaking or "calving" from the glacier. I was lucky to catch the image to the right of this phenomenon in action.

When the captain started coming about to leave the bay, I returned to our cabin to find that Maggie had taken some similar pictures from our room's balcony!

Juneau was our next stop, and after a night's rest we got up for breakfast with Johnny and Geri. We all decided to head downtown together to shop before our excursions in the afternoon. We stopped in at a jewelry store named Gemstone Heaven to check something out. A short time later Maggie left with lovely Alexandrite earrings.

We rode another bus to a dock where we hopped aboard a whale watch boat. Less then 20 minutes after leaving the dock we spotted a pod of humpback whales feeding. They used a technique called "bubble circle".

They would all dive and make a circular wall of bubbles around a large school of herring. Then they would swim up in the circle with mouths open and gobble up the herring.

We had a marine biologist on board to help us to see the whales and understand their behavior. He was ecstatic because seeing this behavior once on a cruise was a real treat. We would witness this about 5 times with different pods!

whale wave

Hello!

Our next unbelievable photo came when one of the adult humpbacks breached and I caught it with the 200mm lens.

This whale watch lasted 3-4 hours, we saw 3 breaches, and 5 or 6 bubble circles. A very good day, but I had 585 images to edit from this day alone!

A great day with the whales, and the girls in the snack bar were all beautiful. I wish Johnny and Geri had come with us, but I promised we'd share our photos. Besides, they'd gone up in a plane with a bush pilot.

Next stop: Skagway!

Hubbard Glacier and Juneau, Alaska

Radiance

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bubble circle

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