Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Day 18, Seward Boat Tour

Today is the day we take our boat tour.  This will be the highlight of our Alaskan vacation.  It is all dependent upon the weather however and so far the weather has not been very cooperative.

We are awakened very early by what sounded like a moving for horn.  We have no idea what this horn is or why it is going off, but at 4:30 in the morning, it is highly annoying.  We find out later that a cruise ship is in port.

We are scheduled to be picked up at 10:30 am for the ride to the boat dock, so we walk over a bit early.  Good thing as the bus was early as well.  We get to the office and check in for our tour.  We mosey around the gift shop and buy some snacks for the day.  Lunch is served on this particular trip, so we don’t need to pack anything for that.  We do bring all our cameras, binoculars and water.

Soon, it is time to board and we quickly make our way up to the upper deck.  There is inside seating on both decks and we choose a table.  The tour is full, so we are joined by another couple and we hit it off with them right away.  The captain gives us the safety briefing and soon we are motoring out of the marina.

We get a close up look at some eagle roosting on some pilings.  We pass by the campground and can see our RV parked right in the front.  The boat picks up speed for the trip down the bay to open water.  The captain warns everyone that the ride out on the deck will be very windy and to be sure to hold on to your hats and small children.  We stroll out to the deck and find out that she speaks the truth.  It is very windy and even though the fog has lifted and the sun is out in full force, it is very cold out there.  The wind is blowing so hard that it is difficult to stand up without holding on for dear life.

After a few minutes, the captain announces that there are some humpback whales on the right side of the boat.  Naturally, everyone rushes over to that side to see.  Good thing this is a really big boat!  I’d hate to go into that water.

We sit and watch the whales for a few minutes and then move on.  The captain promises that there will be lots more whales and other sites to see.  She proves to be correct.  I lost count of the number of whales that we saw that day.

We go by many scenic viewpoints featuring snow capped mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls.  There is so much to look at that it is hard to decide which way to look.  We make our way to a particular glacier and get close up and personal.  We didn’t get to see the glacier calve but it was still fun to get that close.

After moving on, the captain announces that she heard on the radio that Orca whales were spotted close by and she will motor over to that area.  Sure enough, we spot two Orca whales.  These are also known as Killer Whales.  We spot a female and her offspring jumping and swimming around.  The young one comes right over to the boat, swims underneath and then appears on the other side.  Conveniently, I am waiting there and get some great shots as the whale teases us with her antics.

We find another pod of humpback whales and watch them as they dive deep for a snack.  We can see them surfacing and then doing a tail flip as they dive again.

The weather is perfect, we did have one brief shower though.  The water is fairly calm although there was one spot we had to go through where the seas were a bit rough.  Everyone was inside sitting down for that part of the trip.  Lunch is served.  This is a six hour trip and it seems to go by quickly.  We hear the captain announce that we need to start heading back to port and since we spent so much time with the whales, we will have to make a beeline back.  That’s OK, I think most everyone is exhausted, I know we were.

After disembarking from the boat, we catch a bus back to the campground.  We took a lot of pictures. Way more than I can post here.  I have setup a special album with all the pictures of the day here:

Boat tour pictures

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