Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday AM Brown Bears, Porpoises, Seals, Sea Otters, Humpbacks

Early wake-up call at 6:10 AM, Brown Bear (what Grizzly Bears are called in SE Alaska) on shore--just walking around, we're about 500 feet away on the ship. Lots of Bald Eagles.

Three Humpbacks just ahead, they all come straight up at once, mouths open. There are now a few less herring here.

Turn west into Icy Straight and pick up speed to go to George Island. I go back and add a 4th layer of clothes--it is cold in the wind.

Back out to see two Sea Otters resting on their backs in the water. One with a kit. Porpoises jumping on one side. Moving very fast.

We're in an area where the Pacific tidal current mixes with the inland passage water--very productive, lots of fish. No wonder is seems to be marine mammal city. (Plus a number of fishing boats--both commercial and charter.)

Three choices for hikes this morning on George Island. The fast one was mainly exercise, the middle one concentrated on botany, the short one concentrated on beach geology with a retired U of Cal professor.On Lindblad cruses you tend to learn things whether you're trying or not.

This afternoon was sea kayaking. Saw some fantastic sunflower star fish--about 15 arms, over a foot across- one purple, one orange.Also yellow and red star fish that were smaller--about 9-12 inches across. Tried my new Olympus pocket camera that can be used under water. Forgot to set it for underwater so pictures are not great. Two crows dive bombing an eagle nest. The Eagle's call is a piercing sound.

Back on ship--detoured to watch sea otters and sea lions. More humpbacks feeding. In a bay of Glacier Bay National Park saw more humpbacks, seals porpoise a black bear and sea otters just paddling along doing the back stroke. One with its kit.

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