Friday, July 28, 2006
The Boat Ride
But before we get started, I am compelled to point out one of the boats that was in the harbor with us as we were getting ready to leave.
It's worth pointing out that we've had about nine or ten days of unremitting rain and overcast skies. Then, on the day of the big boat trip, the sun blazes, the temperature climbs to 72, and there isn't a cloud in the sky. Not so bad.
Every time a whale's body broke the water in the characteristic slide that preceded a tail flip, the whole boat full of people began to "oooo." When the tail flipped up and over, the whole boat cheered. It was an immense experience.
It's also worth mentioning at this point that Humpies are baleen whales; they feed by sucking an immense amount of water into their mouths and then straining out fish or krill.
They typically come up under a school of fish or grouping of krill and fill their mouths as they come flying up through the water. This behavior is called "lunging."
7/2 entry, would have my head if I raved only about whales and didn't put any glaciers in my journal. Here's a particularly glorious glacier. Happy, John?
As many as a dozen whales can team up in this fashion; here we had about five, I think. In this photo, they're just finishing the lunge.
Cody caught the same bubble net lunge at almost exactly the same moment. This is a different picture taken with a different camera; we just managed to click the shutter at almost the same instant.
Cody, you'll notice, has the superior lens. You'll also notice that he clicked a fraction of a second earlier than I did; the seagull that's almost directly over the highest whale's jaw here is just a hair further along in my picture.
There were people on the boat and great conversation; there was great food. But let's face it: the whales win.