We arrived into the port of Juneau around 7:00am. i got the guys up and then we went to our favorite place to eat, The Windjammer. Of course, my first priority was always COFFEE! I feel like i didn't do a lot of sleeping on the entire trip, due to the constant daylight. So after eating, we were one of the first few off the ship. (guess since missing Ketchikan, we were ready to go). When you pull into port, there usually is some little town area, where you can shop and eat, etc. so that is what we did. It is mostly touristy little stores selling everything "Alaskan", like postcards, smoked salmon, totem poles (which were more expensive than i expected), jade (that is a jade craving of bears in the second photo), eskimo dolls, t-shirts and tons of Alaskan themed scrapbooking items, which i found amusing. (i'm going to kick myself later that i didn't buy any!). Facts about Juneau: it is the capitol of Alaska, the only way to get into Juneau is by boat or plane and they are getting their first Walmart this Fall.
the boys bought some souveniers for their friends and family. i bought dillon a small totem pole, which i gave him after we got back. After walking around town, we returned to the ship for an early lunch. (i swear that is all we really did was eat!). Then as we were finishing up, we realized we had 10 minutes to get off the ship because it had to move off the port and into the bay and tenders (small boats taking you ashore) weren't starting until later and we were going whale watching. so we scrambled to get everything we needed and got off the boat. it was kind of a drag though as it was only noon and we weren't whale watching until 2:00. So, more walking around. you see the same items over and over again in each store, so that got kind of boring. so then we just hung around on the dock until it was time to go whale watching.
on the way to where we were catching yet another boat, we saw a bunch of bald eagles. you learn to look for the "golf balls" in the trees and they get pretty easy to find. they really are spectatular animals. Majestic is a very appropriate description. so beautiful when they are soaring in the sky.
whale watching was fun. we cruised out into some bay for about 30 minutes and then as we slowed down, you can hear the whales as they blow water thru their spouts. the whales we were seeing were all humpbacks. (no Orcas, darn it!). We saw quite a few of them, but not much in the way of breaching, which is where they sort of rise up out of the water in a dive. mostly we would see them blow water, then sort of glide over the top of the water a little bit. occassionally you would get a nice shot of the tail before they went back under. it was a frenzy trying to get pictures though. Comrade photography! finally i moved to a side where few people were and figured a whale would turn up sooner or later. eventually i was right where i need to be and got some great shots. as we were heading back in, we came across a whale that was just sort of hanging out on top of the water. apparently it was a calf, "playing". the way the calf played was to slap his fins on the water. he did this for quite a while. it was really cool to watch. our nature specialist onboard said she'd never see quite a show like that before. i love my pictures of him playing.
so that was our day. we returned to the ship, hung out, probably ate again and then got ready for our dinner at 8:30. the boys probably ditched me again and then i probably went back to the room to read and relax! (it was pretty much the same routine each evening!)
next port, Skagway.