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Whale Wake Up


Crew, Wilderness Explorer

It’s a safe bet that throughout any given week we’ll have some incredible wildlife sightings. Maybe not every critter will show off for us, but most will grace us with their presence for a passing moment or two.

So when we woke up on the first morning aboard the Wilderness Explorer to find crew members exclaiming wildly and jumping up and down on the bow, we knew something pretty spectacular was happening.

That’s how our week began. Walking out on to the Wilderness Explorer’s deck at 7:00 a.m. and being greeted by a breaching whale.

Breaching Whale

Not a bad way to start things off. It got even better when we found out that this excited young humpback was being escorted by several others, each taking a turn showing off their massive flukes as they dove deep, preparing for another lunge.

Whale Fluke

It almost made us overlook the stellar sea lions lazily swimming past the port side. These lumbering beasts are large enough in their own right, but they were almost dwarfed by the show happening directly in front of us.

Sea Lions

As we watched the humpbacks lunging, slapping and rolling in the water, a small speck appeared on the surface directly between the sea lions and humpbacks.

A sea otter had returned from a dive down to the watery depths with several crustaceans in tow. A bold fellow, he flips onto his back directly between the sea lions to our left and humpbacks to our right and busily gets to work making a quick meal out of his catch.

If this small guy has any inner fears about settling down for breakfast between two behemoth species he shows no signs. He looks happy as can be.

Fearless Sea Otter

It’s not every day or even every week that the stars align and all of our favorite marine mammals come out to play, but strange exciting moments like these do seem to pop up more often than you’d think.

Breaching Whale in Alaska

Alaska is a land that you can never quite get enough of and it’s always outdoing itself. Maybe next week it will be bears or the northern lights, or even salmon on their epic journey home.

You just have to take these magical moments as they come, and always be prepared to be astounded. For now I’ll sit back and take this moment in, humpbacks, sea lions and otters alike.

What’s that over to starboard? Better go check out those orcas!

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