Monday, June 8, 2009

National Geographic, here I come!!!

Okay, maybe not, but I did get some great shots. This post is dedicated to the wild life we saw on the cruise. I have always been fascinated by whales, I still have a whaling book that I received when in about the 4th grade. These incredible animals just took my breath away when seeing them in person. But they weren't the only cool wild life that we saw......

Victoria, Canada is known for their beautiful gardens. They have a beautiful one right in town where the ducks and peacocks are so tame, they eat right out of your hand. Shelled peanuts are their snack of choice.

This leopard slug was the only animal that we actually saw living in the Tongass National Rain Forest in Alaska. My grandsons are probably the only ones that appreciated this picture. :)
There are around 30,000 bald eagles living in Alaska. They are magnificent. The guide informed us that you could fit a Volkswagen into their nests, which weigh over a ton.
These seals' favorite place to sun tan is on these harbor buoys. They spend a lot of their time fighting for the best seat - the bigger you are the better your seat!
We saw two types of whales on our whale watching excursion. There was a family of "residential" orcas living in this harbor. They call them residential because they only feed on the salmon, therefore the seals and other ocean life do not vacate the area. This is the best view we had of the orcas, but there were quite a few of them living together.

But my favorite was the amazing hump back whales. I got some great pictures, but that is mainly because I just kept snapping away and didn't know what I was getting until I checked them later. You just get so carried away watching them that it is easy to forget that you have a camera in your hand.

Of course, you only get to see part of the humpback at a time, first their back and then their huge tails as they dive. Unless you get really lucky....

And we did! This is a young humpback whale that breached out of the water, right in front of our boat. Truly spectacular! You could hear our excitement from miles away! Our guide was excited, too, he told us we were really fortunate to see that at this time of day! Wow! I was so excited to actually get a picture since I wasn't even looking through the lens at the time - probably just accidentally snapping. Some people got to see whales from our cruise ship, but I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't get to see dolphins or bears, but I can't complain about what I did see!

I think I can stretch my cruise pictures into about five posts!


jarcarhar said...

What an incredible picture! I am so excited to see all of thw trip pics!

Leslie said...

Great pics, it looks really amazing there! I love animals, but slugs are not a favorite of mine. We have them everywhere around here, you go to take out the trash in the evening and there will be dozens of them on the sidwalk, on the garage door, on the front storm door, they really gross me out. I cannot believe one of you picked that juicy one up - ICK!!

Annie said...

BEAUTIFUL pics!! Whales are amazing and beautiful. Who was holding that slug? YUCK!

Hilary said...

Great pics! Can't wait to see the next installment!