Juneau, Alaska

Juneau was a fun stop - we saw whales, our first glacier, and found a waterfall. Good food and a fun town to poke around in.

Cost Climate Type Ease of Access Repeatability
$$$ Seasonal Adventure Complicated Every Few Years
By Helena

Seeing the whales close up was awesome!

We took a boat out on an inlet near Juneau, Alaska. We weren't expecting to see many whales, and we ran into a pod only 15 minutes from the dock.

What we say was very rare to come by - a pod of three whales bubble net feeding. The whales would herd herring and other fish by blowing a wall, or net, of bubbles, and then eat them!

The birds would circle overhead as the whales fished, eating the leftovers.

Humpbacks whales - the ones that we observed - feed by filtering the water through their mouths, filtering out their food with their baleen. It's a a filter, almost like a natural net, that catches the fish and wildlife on a huge scale.

One whale jumped out the water - that is called a breach - and it's a big splash. You can identify each whale by their tails - each have singular patterns that are like fingerprints. The marine biologists on board have a log of each whale and record their encounters, in an effort to track the population, hunting habits, and social groups among the whales.

Our time was limited with the whales, as there are strict rules on the amount of time spent in contact with any group of whales or orca. Also, other ships and boats joined the show - the whales were swimming underneath our boat and spending a lot of time on the surface, which Is not common.

Our goal with this expedition was to learn more on how whales hunted and hoped to see a breach, and to get as many photographs so we could share what we had learned with classmates and friends at home. It's very hard to explain why we need to use less gas, or not drill in wild areas, when people don't understand what they are hurting. Seeing the whales fly out of the water, or how they worked together to feed, makes it easier to want to protect them. Getting good photo