After exploring the beaches and forests of Icy Strait Point, H and I boarded a small boat for some afternoon whale-watching. About 15 miles away (or a twenty-minute boat ride) from Icy Strait Point lies Point Adolphus, a world-renowned humpback whale feeding area.
As we sailed to the feeding area, we passed many smaller fishing vessels, including this one right by our cruise ship. We passed some truly fantastic scenery too. With the mist draping over the dense forests and the sunlight peeking through the gray clouds, H and I found it impossible to not fall madly in love with the Alaskan landscape. I love how that one tree towers over all the others on its island. You totally won king of the hill, buddy!H and I rode outside in the very back of the boat so I could get some shots of the scenery. It became a challenge to keep my hair out of my face in the wind though (learn from my mistake: don’t wear lip gloss, even if it’s Burberry — your hair will stick to it!).
When you pass scenes like this, it’s easy to understand why so many thousands of tourists make an Alaskan pilgrimage every summer. Once we reached Point Adolphus, it wasn’t long before we had company! First came a raft (group) of flirty sea lions. They were splashing and dancing around so much we almost wondered if they were putting on a show for us in exchange for food. Little buggers…And then finally, it happened! The first humpback whale appeared in the far distance and we just barely saw his magnificent dive. But, as we waited, the whales eventually came closer and closer to our vessel, which had completely shut off its engines. We saw some truly magnificent diving as the whales ate their fill of krill and small schooling fish. It was almost poetic, watching the way the water pours off their tails as they dive. The sun eventually came out too, making the diving even more glorious.But just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, two whales began feeding in the same area at the same time! Since humpback whales are solitary creatures, this incident — while not impossible — was a rare and unexpected sight. As our watching continued we warmed up with hot chocolate and munched on crackers with the most heavenly smoked salmon dip. I have been trying to recreate the dip recipe at home and once I have the flavors properly balanced, I promise to share it here!The longer our vessel silently sat on the waves, the closer and closer the whales came to us.
In the perfect finale to our whale-watching expedition, one whale came brazenly close to our vessel.
It almost seemed like this whale was charging right at us… And then promptly dove in a perfect arc right in front of where H and I were standing at the back corner of the boat. What a breath-taking ending to our whale watching adventure! We headed back to Icy Strait Point with full bellies, full SD cards, and a desperate need to soak in the cruise sauna!