Posts tagged: whale viewing

Whales in Winter

By , December 15, 2011

One of the more thrilling features of life on our homestead is our close proximity to humpback whales. We regard this as a seasonal phenomenon. Generally speaking, humpbacks that summer in our waters migrate to Hawaii, the mating and calving grounds of the Pacific humpback population. I say “generally,” because many whales overwinter here in Southeast Alaska.

I remember that last year, a friend of mine went home to Wrangell, south of here, for Thanksgiving. He got some amazing video of a large pod of humpbacks feeding in the waters off his mother’s beach. I remember seeing humpbacks in the shelter of Tenakee Inlet at Thanksgiving as well, but they seem to forsake the northern end of Southeast Alaska, where we live, in the colder months.

In the time we’ve been here, we usually stop sighting whales between November and March. Our wildlife journal contains one humpback entry as early as January, but these are very rare.

This year, for some reason, things are different. Humpback whales have stayed in the area into mid-December so far. Continue reading 'Whales in Winter'»

Visitors Have Arrived: Cue the Whales

By , May 18, 2011

An open letter to the whales of Lynn Canal:

Okay guys, help me out here. The in-laws are visiting from “outside” for the first time in three years. Dad can’t make the hike to the cabin, so he’s staying at a motel in town, but Mom’s gamely hiking the trail, even with her bad heart. She’s really making the effort necessary to get out here, to spend time at the cabin, to see us, and—I hasten to add—to see you.

Yes, you! You know you’re one of Southeast Alaska’s greatest draws, so don’t be coy. You know that people shell out big bucks, talking about how important it is to keep family ties strong, to see the one grandchild who lives in a different state than all the others, and all that, but the real reason is a chance to see you big, beautiful creatures up close. Eagles are a thrill, sea lions, porpoises, seals, otters are great, moose and bears are cool, but you’re the real draw.

So come on, where the heck are you?

humpback whale spyhopping in Lynn Canal

Dear whales of Lynn Canal, remember the show you put on for the in-laws in 2008? More please! (Photo: Aly Zeiger).


Continue reading 'Visitors Have Arrived: Cue the Whales'»

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